Black entrepreneur fills some pretty big shoes
Ashley Montgomery | 6/12/2014, 12:53 p.m.
Most ladies can recall a moment in their lives where they were tempted to do the unthinkable — ditching the pretty yet painful heels and just walking to or from their next destination shoeless. Thanks to the beauty behind the late innovative business nightly party-goers, busy commuters and students have Flat Out of Heels to relieve the pain.
Dawn Dickson, the 35-year-old self-proclaimed ‘Pitch Queen’ created Flat Out of Heels due to a void in the market for fashion-conscience women in need of an on-the-go emergency flat.
“Every woman can relate to the pain experienced after wearing high heels for hours. Selling shoes out of vending machines is how we plan to address the problem,” she said.
When the idea came to her in a dream, she became a woman on a mission to find a way to turn it into a reality.
Flat Out of Heels is growing in demand day-by-day. Each pair of rollable flats can fit into a small purse and currently comes in 13 colors and five sizes. Every pair comes with a convenient carrying bag for high heels.
The emergency flats can currently be found in vending machines — that she too owns — in the women’s restroom of LIV at Fountainbleau and terminal E of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
With a background in journalism and broadcasting, information technology, and fund-raising the sassy CEO attributes her current success to being well-versed in all of these fields.
“Having the ability and confidence to speak and write is so important,” Dickson said. “I never was into fashion and I didn’t go to school for manufacturing — I wanted to be a sportscaster but that's life, you never know where your path is going to end up. I never knew I was going to be selling shoes in vending machines.”
Dickson, a serial entrepreneur since 2001, has an evident passion for educating others about the ins and outs of entrepreneuriship.
“I wrote my own business plan— I wrote my own everything — I wrote my own content on my website,” she said. “That comes from my background in journalism.”
Being able to understand technology is extremely imperative when growing a business today.
“That’s where the world is going, it’s important to understand the basics about coding and how computers work,” Dickson said.
‘NETWORK MY NET WORTH’
“What do you want your legacy to be?,” Dickson rhetorically asked.
Dickson understands what it means to portray a positive image in society.
With social media, one of the most cultivating platforms in the world she says it's important for young women who are looking to become their own bosses to be conscience of what they put on the internet.
“When we want to see how our grandparents were in the past, we look at pictures. . . when our children and grandchildren get older all they have to do is Google us — everything we ever put up will be able to be accessed . . . even if you think you deleted something, it’s their forever,” Dickson said. “Your brand has to be super clean if you want people to invest in you,” she said.
According to a report by the Center for Women’s Business Research, Black and Hispanic women are the fastest growing entrepreneurial segments in the country. The report found that Black women are three to five times more likely to start a business than their white counterparts.
Knowing this, Dickson has taken full advantage and educated herself.
“Leaders are always readers,” she said proudly. “I read and emulate a lot of people that are doing what I am trying to do. Because you know what, why invent the wheel?”
The future of Flat Out of Heels is bright. Dickson’s average day consists of meeting with investors and constantly working to grow her brand. New prints, styles and a children’s line is expected to release soon.
“I’m keeping in my emergency footwear space,” she said. “I am disrupting the shoe market and making several different lines for rollable footwear.”