Let’s celebrate the Women Entrepreneur of the Day!
Tamara Mellon – Winner of the 2014 WED Fashion Pioneer Award
Co-founder of Jimmy Choo and Creative Director & Founder of TAMARA MELLON
A Story Profile: “Step up women (on Jimmy Choo shoes please)!”
This is the story of Tamara Mellon, a woman who not only stepped up, believed in an idea and built the Jimmy Choo Empire worth today £546 million, but who was also able to reinvent herself after selling the company by creating her own brand and becoming a role model for women-led businesses.
Born in London on July 7 1967, Tamara spent her childhood between Beverly Hills and London. She worked at Phyllis Walters Public Relations, Mirabella, and as Accessories Editor for British Vogue. In 1996, with seed capital from her father, Tamara decided to approach Jimmy Choo with the idea of starting a “high-end ready-to-wear shoe company”. With the support of Jimmy Choo’s niece, Sandra Choi, as Creative Director, the first Jimmy Choo boutique opened in London in 1996. Sandra Choi recalled Tamara as “the brain behind everything.” By 2001, Jimmy Choo had over 100 wholesale clients. Today, Jimmy Choo has become a world renowned high fashion shoe company owning 100 shops in 32 countries. In 2010, Tamara was honored as Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth for her accomplishments with Jimmy Choo. A year later, Tamara sold Jimmy Choo to luxury brand, Labelux, for £525.5 million. She then started her own brand called “Tamara Mellon,” launching a successful first collection in 2013 and due to the high demand, creating her own e-commerce site on 2014.
In a world where today women’s representation on corporate boards ranges between 3% and 36% as of October 2014, Tamara Mellon is an example and inspiration for women to step up and lead businesses.
Tamara’s Mellon advice for Women Entrepreneurs shared on the 2014 Texas Conference for Women is:
- “Own 51% of your business. That’s the magic number!”
- “Get a good Finance Director but don’t get an accountant to run your business.”
- “Find out who you are.”
- “Ask for advice when you are having a bad time. There are people that want to help you!”
So, next time you wear those Jimmy Choo shoes, don’t forget to “step up!” For more information about Tamara’s Mellon journey watch her video interview.