Madison Robinson launched her business two years ago, but Houston teenager has yet to face something most new entrepreneurs do: rejection. Every store buyer she has approached has placed an order for her Fish Flops for Kids shoe brand.
Robinson came up with the idea for her sea-creature-adorned flip-flops with battery-operated lights when she was just 8, living at the beach in Galveston Island, Tex. Her dad Dan, a former banker helped her turn her drawings into a product and get samples made. More than 30 stores placed orders the first time they exhibited at a trade show, so he hired an overseas manufacturer and started shipping in May 2011.
Launched with “friends and family” financing, the enterprise is already profitable, the elder Robinson says. The shoes now sell online, in various retail boutiques, and at 60 Nordstrom stores nationwide for around $20 a pair.
More than 60,000 pairs sold in 2012, making for retail sales of at least $1.2 million. That’s not all Fish Flops’ income; the Robinsons sell wholesale. But Dan Robinson says it’s safe to say that his daughter, who is about to complete 9th grade, has already socked away enough profits to cover her college tuition.
You are not too old or too young to start something; The best place to begin is the beginning.