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Pretty Successful: Profiles of Amazing Women Entrepreneurs – Rashidah Ali

Posted in INSPIRATION, NEWS by msceonet on April 9, 2010

Celebrity shoe maven expands her New York-based brand to Atlanta

 

Women with department store budgets can now step out in ‘bourgeoisie’ style

 

By Felicia Joy
Ms. CEO Correspondent 

Rashidah Ali is like your typical successful entrepreneur. Except she’s really humble. Surprisingly so. Like the twist at the end of a movie that was building all the time, but you didn’t see it coming. 

Rashidah Ali is an entrepreneur based in New York. She is opening B Chic Shoetique in Buckhead, an upscale suburb of Atlanta, on April 14, 2010.

 

Daughter of a nurse and train engineer, the Bronx-born entrepreneur says she wasn’t groomed for business success and nothing in particular sparked her to start.  It was something that simply built over time. “I’ve been this way since I was a child. It was just in me. I wanted to make my own rules,” Rashidah says. 

She has.  

By typical “rules” and expectations, the average 23 year old is in college, has just graduated or is working a job. In 2007, at that age, Rashidah launched Bourgeoisie Shoes, a shoe boutique in Harlem that has since become the go-to spot for celebrity shoe styling.  Rashidah is regularly called upon to find the perfect pair for a long list of celebrity clients including A-listers like Alicia Keys and Kim Kardashian.  She travels to the biggest shoe show in the world every year in Milan, Italy to stay on top of trends, and make the connections that enable her to bring the latest styles back to her everyday and celebrity clients. 

With her New York location flourishing, Rashidah is now expanding her shoe empire to Atlanta with the opening of B Chic Shoetique in Buckhead on April 14. “Every market is different. When I opened Bourgeoisie, I felt the New York market needed that kind of store. In Atlanta, I want to cater to the woman who wants to wear glamorous looking, designer shoes but pay a little less for them,” she says.  “Prices at B Chic will range from $100-$300 and we will provide the same great service we provide in New York.” 

Rashidah, who is also part owner in an importing and exporting business, has apparently learned the successful entrepreneurial tactic of collaborating.  The savvy young woman is partnering with Dia Simms in the Atlanta-area to launch her second location. Though she has partners and business is doing well, Rashidah says she never stops to admire her accomplishments. “Everyday is hard work and a struggle. I never sit back and say I’ve arrived.  There are things I might like to do in the future but one of the ways I have been successful is to focus on the goal at hand,” she says. 

Having started her business when the economy was tanking Rashidah says she did lots of research and prepared for the worse possible circumstances. “I approached my business with ‘rainy days’ in mind. I knew that great merchandise and expert knowledge would be key but my research indicated that I should be ready to work five years before seeing anything.” 

Word-of-mouth, the most powerful kind of marketing, has carried Rashidah a little bit faster and farther than she imagined. If you’re intrigued by her success you’ll soon be able to see how she makes it all happen. She shared an exclusive tip with Ms. CEO: Her reality show, Deals in Heels, will soon be airing on national television. Stay tuned. 

Atlanta Store Information
B Chic Shoetique
2770 Lenox Road
Atlanta, GA 30324
www.bchicshoes.com 

New York Store Information
Bourgeoisie Shoes
2366 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10030
212-234-7899
www.bourgeoisieshoes.com

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