Vanessa and Angela Simmons, co-founders of the urban fashion venture Pastry Footwear, are featured in the Entrepreneur of the Week segment on this week’s edition of the Black Enterprise Business Report, hosted by Caroline V. Clarke.
Vanessa, 27, and Angela, 23, are the daughters of hip-hop pioneer Rev. Run (of Run-DMC fame) and nieces of uber-entreprenuer Russell Simmons. Since launching Pastry in 2007 with one sneaker collection, the sibling CEOs have seen the company expand into a multimillion-dollar brand that includes junior apparel, dress shoes, kidswear, accessories, and handbags, and is sold in more than 15 countries—all under the design, concept and constant management of the sisters themselves.
“I’m particularly proud that we developed a sneaker line just to see how it would go, and it went above and beyond what we would have expected… We’re making really cool clothing you can work out in and also clothing that you can wear to go out,” said Vanessa in a recent interview with Black Enterprise. Angela added one of the important lessons they’ve learned as business owners: “Be organized. Make sure you know what you’re spending, where you’re spending it, your taxes—just know your overall financial picture.”
Our Power Player segment features Ian Clarke, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment Ltd. Clarke, who also heads business development for the parent company of several sports franchises that include the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, provides valuable insights into how merging sports and entertainment businesses have increased profitability for the company.
Also this week on the Black Enterprise Business Report, attorney Marcel Florestal offers expert advice on estate planning in our Wealth for Life segment, and Robin Meyers provides gift shopping tips in Executive Style.
Black Enterprise Business Report is the award-winning weekly, half-hour program offering a mix of one-on-one Power Player interviews with top Black corporate executives, Wealth for Life discussions on personal finance, Entrepreneur of the Week profiles of successful small business owners, Quick Tips providing actionable advice from top business leaders, and Executive Style featuring the hottest lifestyle trends and luxury living for today’s consumer.