Salone Monet Overview
What are you working on? Can you give us a brief overview of your company?
Salone Monet is a color inclusive nude shoe company where beauty is defined by the individual. Our creative approach is simple: celebrate the wearer. The results are a category founding premium shoe brand offering color equity for all shades.
What about you? Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to start this journey :)
I was working at a shoe and accessory boutique, and during a training was told to always suggest a nude heel if a customer was having difficulty matching an outfit. We only sold one color nude, and it didn't match me nor many of the women that came into the store. This was the lightbulb moment for me.
What's your background? What is the unfair advantage that will make you succeed in this industry?
Black women receive less than half a percentage of the venture capital invested each year. Every advantage I have is already bought and paid for by the work of my community, family and ancestors. Nothing is unfair about any opportunity I receive today or in the future.
The Business Model
What is your business model, and who are your customers?
My brand is primarily a direct-to-consumer business. We’re adding wholesale next month through a partnership with Bloomingdales. My customers are primarily women-of-color ages 25-55.
Did you already find a product-market fit? How do you acquire and retain your customers?
Most of our success comes from celebrity product placement and digital ads.
How big is your operating market? Could you provide some independent research/insights?
According to Ibisworld 2019 total shoe sale revenue was $85.3bn, and women's nonathletic shoes account for over 40% of all shoes sold.
What's your competitive advantage, and how are you going to build a sustainable economic moat?
In today's climate it's very important for retailers and larger brands to elevate Black designers that have already been serving this overlooked audience. It would be unethical for a big brand to pivot into diverse-nudes now that the diversity is trending. But this an opportunity for partnerships and collaborations with our brand! One of the things that sets us apart is our trademarked IP such as the slogan "nude is not a color." It's a community forming inclusive campaign which will help us expand into other product lines. Additional, Salone Monet shoes are designed with a recessed platform, which help differentiate Salone Monet heels on foot but also add additional comfort and style to each shoe. Lastly and humbly, my entrepreneurial super power: when I speak people tend to listen (albeit sometimes briefly). But it's helped open many important doors for the brand and will continue to do so.
Who is on your team? Is there a fun story behind it? If so, We'd love to hear more!
Right now I'm the only full-time employee.
Where do you see you 5-10 years from now? What's your exit strategy?
Salone Monet will grow to be a size and color inclusive lifestyle brand, offering cosmetics, apparel, and accessories.
What do you believe is the biggest risk for the company?
Covid-19 virus mutations that aren't controlled by a vaccine.
Did I Invest In Salon Monet?
I’m still in the process of writing a full deal report and decide whether or not I will invest in Salon Monet. I review 100+ startups on 10+ platforms every month and send a detailed report every Saturday to subscribers of the Angel Notes newsletter (you can join through the form below). See you soon!