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Entrepreneurs: Where There’s a Will…

by Miki Saxon

 

MilkandHoney shoesLast week I told you about an entrepreneur who insisted that a new winery was a business, not a startup and why I thought that was ridiculous.

Based on his thoughts, Zappos was not a startup nor was it scalable, but I’m sure that founder Tony Hsieh and acquirer Amazon have more than a billion reasons to disagree.

Now comes Milk& Honey, another startup that sells shoes online—a business using e-commerce; not exactly revolutionary, but one that is scalable and, once it proves itself, a prime acquisition target for someone like Zappos/Amazon.

In Ms. Howard’s case, that meant starting a business with her sister, Ilissa Howard, 39, in a field where neither had any business experience: fashion.

Make that two fields. Milk & Honey Shoes, their shoe company that allows women to design their own stilettos and pumps with the click of a mouse, is also an e-commerce business despite the fact that the sisters had zero tech expertise when they began.

Yes, they added a major tweak so that customers can design their own shoes, but even that isn’t original, Shoes of Prey is a direct competitor and Nike and Converse do it for sneakers.

What’s more, the sisters did the original funding from their savings; Milk & Honey, started in 2011, has already doubled sales, the company is profitable and they are now looking for investors.

Just as entrepreneurs come from many backgrounds, startups come in many flavors.

It’s a good lesson that applying labels and limits to human creativity, let alone human will, is a losing proposition at least 99% of the time.

Flickr image credit: Milk & Honey Shoes

 

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