Social media has the power eliminate any distance barriers between two people and has the ability to connect people who would otherwise have never met.
Me in Oklahoma, Beverly Feldman in Spain, and social media has brought this fabulous woman and me together. When Beverly Feldman and I began communicating, and I can’t even recall how, it became a PLEASE PINCH ME moment. THE Beverly Feldman and I were Skyping and have become dear friends across the world. How lucky am I, someone who owns many pair of her shoes, to become gal pals with someone who designs bags and shoes? Isn’t that what most women love? Well, I’m delighted to introduce this dear friend of mine to all of you.
She’s sharp, she’s business savvy, and she’s life wise. She’s hysterical and beautiful and fun and I feel like I’m hanging out with one of my girls when I talk to her. So let’s hear what Beverly Feldman has to share with all of us. And at the end, she has a special discount code JUST for us!
Name: Beverly Feldman
Location: Alicante, Spain
Current Title/Company/Business: Beverly Feldman Shoes – Shoe Designer
1. How do you live On Purpose?
My purpose in life is to create beautiful things that do not exist in the world. Original product that will make women happy and comfortable wearing them. My purpose has always been to be true to my philosophy “Too much is not Enough” and keep to my personal style, no matter what is happening in the fashion world, and not to try to follow every one else but stand on my own two feet in my own gorgeous Beverly Feldman shoes.
2. How did you get started in the shoe business?
I loved shoes, as young as 10, and was making my own designs when I was 13 to match all my clothes that I sewed myself. I got into Pratt institute by winning a Singer Sewing machine contest. My career was my destiny. Just one road lead to another until I ended up in Spain at 23 in a shoe factory, where it all really started. You cannot be a shoe designer without factory and shoe-making experience. I had a natural born creative talent, that I combined with my personal love for shoes, and my genetic heritage of having the ability to sell myself and sell product. If you cannot market a design, it has no value, in my expert opinion.
3. What were some of the challenges you had to overcome along the way and how did you overcome them?
Being a woman in a male-dominated business: I became a total ball breaker. Having no capitol: developed product so great it sold without advertising or marketing investment. Trying to stick to my style, even when it was not in fashion: every designer is faced with this, and it is very difficult, but you must be faithful to your core customers and your true design statements. Having a non working partner that was my husband: divorced him. Trying to please all my international markets with one collection, I could only do so many styles per collection and every country had different tastes and requirements. Germany versus Hong Kong you can imagine. In Germany, the women are huge and need different types of shoes than the petite Asian women. I usually accomplished this as all women want to be feminine, but I was working constantly to fuel the the choo choo train. I always felt like a hamster running around in those circles. Never could stop working. There is tremendous stress on designers now a days to make the sales figures for the factories and importers. It’s much more about the profits than the design.
4. What do you think are 3 characteristics that someone needs to be a successful entrepreneur?
Never give up. Be the heroine of your own life. Believe in your own talent.
5. How do you define success?
Certainly not in money or things. Success for me is the ability to provide futures and security for loved ones around me. Not to be in debt. To be able to give back something to someone, maybe as a teacher. And most importantly, getting the right table at the right restaurant.
6. What are you doing now?
Trying to maintain the success, because it does not come with a lifetime membership. I am working on a smaller level now, no more crazy life of wholesale and four collections a year and traveling around the world 4 times a year. I have a website that I do myself without a lot of staff. I design what I want, and what I think my customers, the end client, the woman who actually wears the designs and not the retailer, wants. It is very rewarding to deal with my long time collectors. I am also mastering the social media game and have been getting very creative with my photos on Instagram. I, unlike many other designers, manage my own Social media. I also pack and ship all my orders. None of this I studied in college.
7. Any regrets?
Not realizing that I was beautiful a lot sooner in life, like 50 years ago. Hindsight is great, but you cannot go thru life thinking should of, would of. I have done what I thought was best at the moment. Usually enjoyed the decision, until wisdom arrives later, shouting “you Idiot!”. I should had more self-esteem earlier in my life. I am a great believer in destiny. So I think all the decisions I made I was suppose to have made to get me where I am today.
8. Final piece of advice to someone who wants to become a successful entrepreneur?
Very strong stomach to endure the punches. Patience as things happen when they happen, and not when you want. Strength to keep it together when it’s falling apart. Belief that it can and will happen.
I am still working out at the gym today and I am going to be 69 this month. It has been a very important part of my mental health and strength. Having a life of as an entrepreneur is a life of sacrifices and constant stress, I gave up my country to live in a foreign one so I could build my business. I gave up my marriage, as I saw it was destructive to everything I had worked for. I gave up much of my personal life as I was working all the time. Entrepreneurs have no work hours, they give up their lives for their business. You just don’t wake up, and are successful. You have to work at it all the time, and then once you get there, you have to maintain it. Just like dieting.
Here’s a peek into her studio:
Here is her SHOE MUSEUM! (Yes you read that correctly!)
Beverly’s number one bag of the season, her Be Leave Bag….
You can shop Beverly Feldman shoes and bags HERE. Enjoy reading her diary, and let me tell you, she has some JUICY stories. Read them HERE. And just for all of us friends of The OP Life, enjoy 20% off your purchase with code DIARY.