Today we begin March Madness, a month dedicated to highlighting successful young entrepreneurs, and what better company to kick it off than the trendy and innovative fashion hot spot, Mila and Fire Vintage. From styling, to selling the hottest contemporary pieces, this dynamic duo has what it takes to take the fashion world by storm!
IP: Start by telling us more about yourself and your business (educational background, hometown, age you started your business, how business came about, etc.)
We are long-time best friends. Mila went to VCU in Richmond Virginia where she majored in French and Fashion-Merchandising. Fire went to UNC, Chapel Hill where she majored in Public Relations and Journalism. We began Mila & Fire as soon as we graduated from college at the age of 22. We have always had a keen eye for fashion and have had experience doing personal shopping and styling shoots. Mila & Fire as an online clothing boutique grew organically from our education, previous experience in the field of fashion, and our entrepreneurial dreams.
IP: Quote that keeps you motivated?
“We are shaped and fashioned by the things we love.”
IP: What has been your biggest obstacle being a young entrepreneur and how did you overcome it?
Our biggest obstacle as young entrepreneurs has been making the decision to dedicate all of our time to a growing business. We have previously had full-time jobs, but felt that we were not seeing our business (our passion) grow because of the limited time we could allot to it. About 8 months ago, we made the decision to make our business our full-time job.
IP: How has age factored into your success?
Our age has acted as both a positive and negative factor to our success. We have received amazing support from our peers, and older people in our career field respect our ambition and fresh perspective on style. At the same time, this has worked against us. Some opportunities have not been given to us because of our age and although our peers support us, they can not fully support our growing business by purchasing things whenever they would like them. They too are building their dreams and saving their money.
IP: Describe a day in the life of Mila & Fire?
We wake up early in the morning and prepare to shoot one of our regular models for new pieces on the site. We drive to our studio, set up the back drop and begin styling and preparing the looks for the shoot. Shoots usually last 2-3 hours depending on how many items we shoot. Once the shoot is done, we either do styled looks for our blog, or go out buying. We then spend the night editing tons of pictures and begin posting them the next day.
Our days vary greatly, however, and are filled with driving. We travel a lot for events and pop-up shops. Some days are filled with looking at venues for events or packing our entire store to do pop-up shops all over the east coast.
IP: Where do you see your company in the next 5 years?
In the next 5 years we definitely see our online presence expanding and preparing to open our first flagship store.
IP: What advice would you give up and coming entrepreneurs?
We always advise young entrepreneurs to find their niche’. So many young people are trying to capitalize on what they see others doing, but those things are often not true to who they are. Really think about your skill-set and how you can utilize them in a way that would make you both happy and successful.
IP: What blogs and publications do you read to get guidance as an entrepreneur?
We love http://succeedasyourownboss.com/ !!
IP: If you could pick a celebrity to be the spokesperson for your company/brand who would it be and why?
Our fashion taste is so diverse. It would be difficult for us to pick. We love everyone from Rihanna’s edgy yet chic style, to Tracee Ellis Ross’ sophisticated looks. We also LOVE Chloe Sevigny!
IP: Outside of your business, what are your other interests?
Mila is very interested in working with children and education. Fire does a lot of free-lance public relations and marketing for other entrepreneurs.
IP: Anything else you would like to add? (pictures of merchandise or logo, additional facts about your business, links, upcoming events/promotions, etc.)
This is our website http://milaandfire.com/. We don’t just sell vintage pieces, we also sell contemporary pieces. The contemporary pieces come in S,M & L.
Here is our current lookbook, feel free to use any of these images (http://milaandfire.com/gallery/). We have also attached a few pictures of us.
We have a ton of events we either host and participate in monthly in DC, Philadelphia, New York, Virginia, and NC. Follow us on Twitter to learn about some events that may interest you. https://twitter.com/#!/MilaFireVintage