In our most recent interview on the Silicon Slopes Friday Conversation, Madeline Hamilton and Kendra Steffensen, the dynamic duo behind the renowned fashion brand Ivy City Co., shared their remarkable journey of transforming a small brand into a growing business. Hosted by Garrett Clark, the interview shed light on the pivotal moments, challenges, and strategies that propelled Ivy City Co. to new heights of success.
With a passion for creating something unique, Madeline and Kendra embarked on their entrepreneurial adventure, driven by the question, "We have something different here, how can we capitalize on it?" This mindset laid the foundation for their innovative approach and willingness to take risks.
Acknowledging the difficulties along the way, the founders emphasized the importance of having a strong sense of purpose. "It is always hard, but when you have your 'why,' it ends up great," shared Madeline. This unwavering belief in their vision gave them the courage to push boundaries and embrace calculated risks. They recognized that to achieve greatness, they needed to believe in themselves and be open to taking larger leaps. Kendra added, "We finally started to believe in ourselves a little more. We said, 'Let's take a little more of a risk.'"
The journey to transforming Ivy City Co. into a global business demanded not only a focus on sales but also a holistic approach to growth and employee well-being. "It's not just getting smarter to make the sales better; it's getting smarter to take better care of your employees, as well as grow a business," explained Kendra. This mindset allowed them to create an environment where their team thrived, fostering innovation and a sense of shared purpose.
Collaboration and adaptability emerged as crucial elements in Ivy City Co.'s success story. Madeline and Kendra recognized the need to work better together under pressure. "We've had to learn to work better together because we're under pressure all the time," they admitted. This synergy fueled their ability to overcome challenges and make strategic decisions that propelled the company forward.
One of the pivotal milestones for Ivy City Co. was the establishment of their showroom, initially designed for operational ease. The showroom served as a tangible representation of their brand, attracting customers and solidifying their presence in the fashion industry. This physical space became an integral part of their growth strategy, enabling them to showcase their products and engage with customers directly.
However, it was the strategic utilization of influencer marketing and social media that played a significant role in Ivy City Co.'s meteoric rise. "We feel like influencer work and using social media is what really helped launch us," revealed Madeline. By leveraging the power of online platforms, they effectively connected with their target audience, building a community of loyal customers who became brand ambassadors.
Throughout their journey, Madeline and Kendra understood the importance of balancing technology and human resources. "If you don't have the right people to support the technology, then it's not worth doing the technology yet," they emphasized. This philosophy highlights their commitment to empowering their employees, fostering a culture of continuous learning, and ensuring that the human aspect remains at the core of their technological advancements.
As Ivy City Co. continues to flourish and expand its global footprint, the story of Madeline and Kendra serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs. Their ability to capitalize on their unique offerings, embrace risks, nurture their employees, and leverage digital platforms highlights the power of innovation, collaboration, and purpose-driven leadership in building a successful business.
With Ivy City Co.'s remarkable journey as a testament, Madeline and Kendra's story underscores the importance of staying true to one's vision, adapting to changing market dynamics, and continuously pushing the boundaries of what is possible.