We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Velicia Hill. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Velicia below.
Velicia , appreciate you joining us today. Before we get into specifics, let’s talk about success more generally. What do you think it takes to be successful?
Personally, I think before anyone becomes successful in the real world, they must first have already lived it and received the accolades and given the acceptance speeches in their minds. Visualization is a helluva drug-I highly recommend it! EVERY thing, business or personal goal I wanted to achieve, I visualized it first. And to be very clear, it’s not a one off. Oh no, it’s constant…like 3-5 times a day. Feel what it’ll feel like, taste like, smell like-literally live it all in your mind. I promise you, it will come to fruition. Combine this with some grit & determination-nothing can stop you.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
Ms. Heel the brand has had many lives. The name came to me in a flash and I ALWAYS accept those lil gifts from the heavens/muses. Ms. Heel is a play on my last name and what people call me-Ms. Hill. But in that flash, I saw my name being spelled like a heel on a shoe. I secured the domain in 2010. It began as a website for high heels, to a boutique in Smyrna. GA in 2016 to a major Atlanta mall in 2017. Subsequently closing that mall location in 2018. For two years to be very frank-I was devastated, broke and lost. In 2020, I downsized my life and moved. In the midst of that move, I was surrounded by boxes of all my greatest hits & misses. I said to myself-are you going to walk away from another business? And just like that-the idea came to me to stop selling shoes online (yes, I was still operating the fledgling MsHeel.com) and start a magazine about shoes! So I did. Not knowing a damn thing about running a magazine. BUT, I’ve always been an avid reader of magazines and knew what I wanted to see in a mag. Plus, women LOVE shoes-and there’s no magazine for them. For this reason, I created the first & ONLY magazine for shoe lovers; it began with just a cover in April of 2020 (during the quarantine) and in May of 2020, I released my first digital issue. Let’s just say it won’t be winning any awards-but I took that crucial first step of simply beginning. By January of 2021 we released our first print edition. In May of 2021, my hard work paid off-I signed a distribution deal to distribute the magazine across the United States. And starting in March of 2022, you can now pick up Ms. Heel Magazine in book & grocery stores in Canada. I tell this story to let others know, just start-no matter what. The right things and people will show up. I am so proud of the work my team and I do. Ms. Heel is not just a bunch of pretty pictures-we combine shoes with very insightful editorials as well. More importantly, I make a point of and tell my fashion editors to always search for and highlight smaller brands; especially those operated by women and women of color. They are the ones who really need the press. Ms. Heel is a magazine for shoe lovers and yes, that includes all price points. Inside our pages you’ll find cheap cute shoes to the pricey couture. There’s something for every budget. I am so proud to say that if you wanna pick up our magazine you can at Amazon.com, select Barnes & Noble, Target, Walgreens, Kroger, Publix, Ralph’s and other grocery and drug stores across the country. We have exact locations on our website-MsHeel.com.
Any thoughts, advice, or strategies you can share for fostering brand loyalty?
One thing I know about people/society in general-we all want to matter…that proverbial 15 minutes of fame. So I set out to answer that question: How can I let my readers know they matter to us? We answered it by including a ShopWithMe & Ms. Heel Of The Month page. Every month we invite a reader, a follower on social media or a subscriber if they’d like to be our MHOTM. it has been a great way to show our readers that we appreciate them and our way of giving back to them for their support of our magazine. In turn, they become even more loyal and will share the magazine on their social media pages and tell all their friends and family about their 2 page feature inside a magazine. Garnering us with more eyes on our mag. And on our ShopWithMe page, this is where we feature a retail salesperson. I’ve been in retail my entire life. Retail workers do important work. So we highlight them, their store and ask a few questions. Resulting in the same sharing of the magazine and building loyalty, Not to mention, the store or brand gets a shout-out as well.
Have you ever had to pivot?
Ms. Heel magazine is a total pivot from my dream of owning a shoe boutique. Pivoting is just another word for never giving up! When I started in 2010 as an online shoe store, I never in a million years would’ve guessed that 12 years later I would NOT be selling shoes-but having a magazine about shoes. As they say: find a way or make a way!
- Website: MsHeel.com
- Instagram: @msheelmagazine
- Facebook: @MsHeel
- Twitter: @msheelmagazine
- Other: Pinterest @msheelmagazine call us @ 1855 SHOE MAG