As women, sometimes we fall victim to a pre-determined destiny. Get married, have kids, cook and clean — you know the drill. In light of this reality, I’m so inspired by young women who resist the trajectory that society has mapped out for us.
Somebody who embodies this concept is 21-year-old Madison Martellaro, a South Jordan native who’s creating her own lane in hopes of lighting the way for other young women. While pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing at the University of Utah, she created ‘FleurFashionBoutique.com‘, an online clothing boutique with a goal of empowering women through affordable, fashionable pieces. I was able to sit down with this #Dopegirl to discuss overcoming obstacles, inspiration, and her journey to becoming a 21-year-old business owner.
- What inspired you to create Fleur Fashion Boutique?
My fascination with becoming an entrepreneur began when I was really young. I would watch motivational speeches and videos then think about how I could potentially inspire people one day. I competed in Miss Utah Teen in 2013 and realized how many strong diverse women there are. That’s when I really wanted to use my platform to help others feel empowered and beautiful. I was constantly surrounded by strong confident women but what I didn’t realize is that many women didn’t have the type of role models I had while growing up.
“The older I got I began to realize that a large amount of women struggle with lack of confidence, insecurities, depression, and abuse. While I am no professional on advice I just knew I wanted to inspire and empower women through my work.”
The older I got I began to realize that a large amount of women struggle with lack of confidence, insecurities, depression, and abuse. While I am no professional on advice I just knew I wanted to inspire and empower women through my work. By combining my passion to help others and my love for business I was able to create what is now known as Fleur Fashion Boutique.
- Where did you learn how to create a clothing line — from finding a manufacturer/wholesaler to creating the website?
This was one of my biggest challenges because I didn’t know anyone that owned an online clothing line. I spent about 3-4 months researching and creating a business plan. Once I got my licenses through the state and city I then began to search for wholesalers in which I had no luck.
“I booked a flight immediately and went to a clothing convention by myself for 3 days in Vegas.”
One day I was online searching for a quality wholesalers when I ran into a convention being held in vegas the next day. I booked a flight immediately and went to a clothing convention by myself for 3 days in Vegas. This was the biggest leap of faith I had to make to start my business because they only hold the convention twice a year and the next one wasn’t for another 6 months. So in order to make my dreams a reality I went not knowing anything but met some great wholesalers in which I used to stock my boutique.
After that things kind of fell into place because I had a Marketing business reach out to me by the name of Zee Optimizer and they created my logo, business card, packaging, website, and started the SEO (search engine optimization) on my website.
- What were the biggest obstacles you faced in starting your business?
My biggest obstacles were not knowing how to start the business and the necessary licences I needed in order to conduct business legally and legitimately. It wasn’t as easy as googling the answer because every state is different. There is a lot of research and time that goes into creating a business plan. Another thing that I struggle with is working my reg job, going to school, and running my business all at once. It’s a lot of pressure and stress to have at 21 years old but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Have you had your friends’ and family’s support in this venture? Do you think that’s essential to starting a business?
My friends and family have 100% been supportive of my business. I think I would have easily given up if it wasn’t for them so I really owe them a lot of credit. I don’t believe that it’s essential to starting a business but it definitely helps. As a business owner you run into a lot of obstacles so it’s important to surround yourself with supportive and motivational people. You become so busy that it’s essential to be picky with who you keep in your life with the little free time you have. Through this experience I have definitely been able to tell my true friends from my fake friends.
“Through this experience I have definitely been able to tell my true friends from my fake friends.”
- Where do you see Fleur Fashion Boutique in 10 years?
I have huge plans for the Fleur Fashion’s future and some of those plans are doing pop up shops across the U.S. and holding a yearly women’s seminar where we have motivational speakers come in. I want my business to empower women whether it be with their confidence or guidance into other women starting their own businesses. I think since I didn’t have much guidance with starting my business I really strive to help others that are wanting to start their own.
- Do you think being a female business owner puts you at a disadvantage to male counterparts?
Absolutely not! I am proud to be a minority women business owner. When it comes to entrepreneurship success doesn’t discriminate when it comes to gender. It’s about intelligence, planning, and drive. I hope to change this stigma that men are mostly business owners because I know many successful women business owners. I hope that little girls grow up knowing that they can do anything a man can do.
- What advice do you have for young people who want to start their own business?
Set small goals to conquer the overall goal. In the beginning to overall goal seems so far away that you may want to give up. Instead set smaller goals each day that will manifest into that ultimate goal.
Follow Madison on IG/Twitter: @mmartellaro
Follow Fleur Fashion Boutique on IG/Twitter: @fleurfashionboutique/@fleurfashionbtq