I am a pump girl all the way, give me a pair of pumps to throw on with anything and I'm good to go. For designer, Thressa she is that same girl and she created a pump that is geared towards the woman of color who is always on the move, House No. 3028. Similar to myself, this designer had a fitness journey that led her to losing 50lbs and when she started learning how to dress her body and looking for new ways to dress. On her journey to a "new Thressa" and searching for nude shoes that were made for brown girls and she noticed that only Christian Louboutin had them, but they weren't affordable. As a true girl boss would she designed her own. Theresa and her brother decided to make it a family business and become partners in designing the collection. Read our interview below for some insight on how she got started and what the process has been like for House No. 3028, the nude pumps for us.
Asia: Why does representation in the fashion industry matter to you?
Thressa: It's a lot of reasons. One, it's a lot different from when I was growing up, when I was younger we had Naomi, we had Tyra, we had a couple other people but they didn't't have names.So we didn't have that many people to look up to. It is important to me that young girls have that. Another reason that it's important is that we make these trends and never get credit for anything. We make so many hot things, but not only do we never get credit for it, it's like you can't even trace the origins back to whatever black women came up with the idea by the time it's been tapped and remixed by somebody else.
Asia: What were the steps that you took in order to start your own line and to now be a shoe designer?
Thressa: One, research. Read as much as you can about what you want to do. So, I did a survey, I surveyed a whole bunch of people to make sure I had a market because just because you like something it doesn't mean it's a good idea or people can't help you make a better idea than what you think is so great. I took a business training program because as much as I love a cute shoe I was not well versed in business. I didn't know how to set up a corporation and I didn't know the legal stuff that was needed. The time you're spending to prepare your business is just as important as what it is that you're selling. Do as much research as possible, go to the library, Google, whatever you need to do. Research the legal, financial and business part just as much as you research the product part that you're doing or whatever service it is that you're providing.
Asia: What challenges did you face while starting up?
Thressa: One of the number one challenges and I've been reading about this a lot in the media, is it's hard to raise capital as a black woman. It is hard in general, but as a black person, and as a woman selling to black women. People don't tend to understand the vision or they devalue our buying power, they don't think of us as a market. We are spending money, but they don't even consider us valuable to begin with. So, the hard part is raising capital. The other hard part is time management. There are never enough hours in the day to accomplish all of the things that I want to. I'm getting better, well no, it depends on what day you ask me [laughs]
Asia: How do you overcome that?
Thressa: I always have a mentor! Always have someone around who's better at something than you are. I have a lot of people in my life and they help me stay on track and be organized. I'm starting to use a planner which I never did i my life and I tell people what my planner says for the day so they hold me accountable. I'm bipolar and I have ADHD, my brain naturally does not want to sit and concentrate on anything. So I need a good team of people who pick up where i lack. I have people who really like studying, like writing stuff down, enjoy being organized, and that's what they help me with or they help me compartmentalize things when I'm getting overwhelmed because that's what I mostly need help with. I can be creative and come up with dope ideas, but if I can't implement them it doesn't matter. My advice is to know yourself, don't lie to yourself about who you are and don't try to make yourself seem greater than you are. Be humble, because you'll figure it out. You'll make the same mistakes over and over again if you don't recognize the parts of yourself that you need help with.
Asia: That's so true, I remember listening to an interview with Angie Martinez and she said when she was younger she had to tell herself, allow yourself to be wack, because that was how she found out the things that were wrong with her and she proceeded to fix it. So, I understand that 100% — What's next for House No. 3028?
Theresa: We're going to be partnering with a company called My Nudist and what they do is put a piece of technology on our website that you can use from your smartphone, tablet, or any device that allows you to scan your skin and it will color match you to the right shade of House No. 3028 heels.
Another girl boss shining and winning, I love it! You can shop House No. 3028 pumps here and the technology is live on their site for you to color match. The nude pumps come with fun melanin dripping names like "Brownie," "Caramel," "Honey," and more! I'm wearing Brownie in the photos below if that helps!