Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Alexa Buckley and Sarah Pierson, co-founders of Margaux, a leading innovator in the women’s footwear industry. They tell us about their successful leap of faith into the entrepreneurial world and share advice for women aspiring to do the same.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your career.
Alexa (A): Sarah and I met freshman year of college and became fast friends. From sophomore year on, we lived together, studied together (ironically, we both majored in history and minored in government) and senior year took the leap of faith and decided to work together as well. We called our respective employers just after graduation and let them know that we would unfortunately not be starting our jobs as planned, and instead took a gigantic leap of faith, moved to New York, and began working on Margaux.
A flat that could rival a heel.
2. What prompted you to start Margaux?
Sarah (S): Our search for the elusive “perfect” ballet flat: One that was elegantly structured, but that was also comfortable and fit perfectly.
3. Your brand incorporates a lot of inspiration from ballerinas… can you explain where that comes from?
A: We admire the elegance, poise, and grace of a ballerina, and hope we can reflect these values in the brand, as well as in the products we create.
4. What’s the lifestyle of Margaux, the brand and who is your target audience?
S: The brand celebrates a timeless aesthetic, but reinvents these wardrobe staples through modern innovation and design. The beauty of the ballerina flat is that it’s universally elegant, and requires no “target audience” – It can just as easily be worn by our millennial peers as by our mothers and grandmothers.
We have found that Margaux comes to life and resonates with our customers when are able to show them the product in person, introduce them to the made-to-measure concept, and build an authentic and lasting relationship.
5. What is your most successful form of marketing? Do you have a personal favorite?
A: Since we launched in May, our mantra has been “test, test, test”. We have experimented with everything from social media campaigns to paid advertising, but have discovered that the most successful form of marketing for us happens offline.
6. What’s your go-to color for fall and what are you wearing it with?
S: Slate. It goes with everything (literally), and looks instantly chic. I am loving winter whites and neutrals this season (Yes Virginia, you can wear white after Labor Day!), and especially love pairing the blue-gray Slate color with ivory jeans.
7. What’s your favorite decade for fashion and do you incorporate it into your own personal style?
A: The 1950s and early 1960s – the heyday of the ballet flat made popular by Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday and Catherine Deneuve in Belle Du Jour.
8. Who is a Boss Lady that you admire and why?
S: Sheryl Sandberg, for asking us the question, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid”?
You don’t have to be an expert in what you want to accomplish – you just have to be willing to work hard enough to figure it out.
9. What advice do you have for those looking to go from employee to entrepreneur?
A: We have learned that it’s important to be humble enough to admit what you don’t know, and willing to leverage the expertise of the individuals who do. We would not have been able to build Margaux without the wisdom, talent, and experience of the advisors, partner, employees, and friends that we have brought around the brand from the very beginning.