Never Judge a Business Owner Until You’ve Walked a Mile in Her Boots
Elizabeth Anne LeGear is the creator of Purse n’ Boots and the owner of Elizabeth Anne Shoes. I asked her how marketing helped her create a thriving business. My questions are in bold, and her answers are below.
Describe how you entered your current position.
The journey to my current position has been really exciting. I started the Purse n’ Boots concept about four years ago. I used to lose purses, wallets and cell phones whenever I went out. Knee-high boots have always been a wardrobe staple of mine so I started keeping things in my boots. It worked OK until the bartender would give me change and I would dance so hard that my phone would jump out.
I looked everywhere to find a pair of boots with pockets. When my search came up empty I decided to make them myself. There was a lot of years of research, designing and patents that had to be done but now I get to enjoy the fun part – getting the boots on feet.
How did you get started with marketing? Was it challenging, or did it come naturally?
I got into marketing when I started Elizabeth Anne Shoes. I knew that I wanted my Purse n’ Boots concept to become a bone fide style trend. The marketing came really naturally. I think when you’re promoting something you really believe in and are proud to show it off that makes the process easier. The products end up selling themselves.
What preconceptions about sales and marketing, if any, did you have when you started?
I was definitely really shy about it at first; I didn’t want to be pushy. However I think when you have a great product and you love what you do, it would be a shame not to share that with the world.
I think a lot of people starting out have the preconception that marketing is just cold calls, spam and useless flyers when in actuality it’s so much more. I learned quickly that there are all sorts of fun ways to promote such as gaining press, having contests, blogging, article writing, hosting events, social media relationship building, and cross promotion with other companies that I love.
How important of a role does marketing play in your day-to-day business?
It’s so important. Marketing is the pipeline between great ideas and actual success. It’s easy to get caught up in the creative side of the business and ignore it but it’s very hard to achieve success that way. I always make sure that I balance my time between the two; it’s almost a 50/50 split.
What marketing advice would you give to other women in business?
Get creative with it. Read marketing blogs and write down ideas that could work well. Try everything. Contact anyone and everyone within your business genre and pitch yourself.
Is there a way that you could mutually benefit? Is there something about your story that is newsworthy? There are lots of inexpensive ways to reach large audiences using things such as social media, blogging, article writing, contests and giveaways.
To what do you attribute your success?
I attribute my success to intuition. I really try to stay neutral and not get too caught up in my hope and fears for the business. This allows me to make good decisions from that calm and centered place. Most importantly though, my success comes from all of the enthusiastic women who have proudly been the trend setters for the Purse n’ Boots concept. Without them I would not be where I am today.