Bronx native and pro-Black business beauty Markisha Marie was inspired to design luxury shoes for a living, despite never seeing another person around her do it. Her rugged environment, much like Diddy and his 15 roaches, inspired her to sketch out the luxury heels of her dreams. It was a serendipitous moment while showing her creations, she was connected with the perfect Italian shoe manufacture and that opportunity changed everything.
Now against all the odds, Markisha is a rare diamond in the grand scope of the luxury fashion business. A young, Black woman from the Bronx with a luxury shoe collection made in Italy.
How has being born and raised in the Bronx inspired your brand M. Marie?
Growing up in the Bronx was like GOLDEN the mixed culture of Black & Hispanic people. You can always find somebody tryna sell something or promote themselves it’s the land of “hustle & bustle” that’s what I call it [laughs]. It was rough but like ‘diamond in the rough’ where it inspires you to push through and make something of yourself.
It’s rare we see Black women, shoe designers, especially as luxurious as M. Marie. What really pushed you to make your dream happen?
That right there, wanting to do something that you have never seen done. When I started I had no one to turn to I hit wall after wall tryna find answers for something that no one can help me with. I always wanted to make shoes because this is a childhood dream but when I realized it was something that was so hard to accomplish it pushed me more. The goal is to make sure other little black girls see me & say I can do it she did it. That’s why I’m doing it no one opened the doors for me so I’m going to make sure I open the doors for US.
What has been your proudest moment so far?
The day I found my manufacturer, it’s a long story but I’ll make it short. I sent someone my sketches and he connected me with a friend in Italy. The person he connected me to couldn’t believe my work he immediately had a sample made for me. I was like oh this is real this sh*t is happening [laughs].
What sets M. Marie aside from other luxury shoe brands?
The intricate details, the experience I create for my customers, the shoes being sold in limited amounts because I believe in quality not quantity and most importantly me being a Black woman. There are many luxury brands out here I see them I love them. There’s only one ME, though.
What’s the best and worst part about being an entrepreneur?
The best part is seeing the fruits of your labor, the flower don’t grow the same day you plant the seed but when it bloom baby it feel good. The worst part would be not being able to have the resources and different things to further your brand because you have to work twice as hard when your skin is one color & you are a woman.
Occasionally we see people complain online about “Black businesses” not having great customer service, or just lacking in general after they’ve had one or two bad experiences. What are your thoughts when you see stuff like that?
I hate it because Black people are not extended the same grace with our businesses as others. We don’t get room for error. We are not allowed to make mistakes because the moment we do we will get bashed, the same people who will bash us will shop in Saks, Neiman’s & etc have horrible experiences but won’t say a word and still shop with them. When I see it happen depending on the situation, I don’t really care for it. I shop with many black-owned businesses frequently who I have zero issues with.
Where can everyone find you?
My website is www.mmariebymarkishamarie.com my personal Instagram is @Bymmarie & my business Instagram is @Mmariebymarkishamarie I’m also having a pop-up shop in The Bronx, NYC on July 31st where people can meet me in person for the first time shop & catch a vibe.