At the risk of perpetuating a stereotype, what woman doesn’t love shoes? Really. Natischa Harvey was always a fanatic for shoes, so much so she went into the shoe business.
Her Atlanta-based Fever Shoes offers a selection of luxurious footwear such as bedazzled platform heels and studded denim stilettos sure to turn heads. “I have always had a love for footwear since high school,” says Harvey. So what made her want to take the leap and open her own shoe line? “I just felt it was time. I was ready! I researched more than I could have ever researched, I worked the footwear industry and it was time to start my own company,” explains Harvey.
Harvey actually got a taste of the workings of the shoe business while she was still in college. She worked in a shoe store while attending Clark Atlanta University. And right after her junior year, Harvey opened her first boutique. Then she expanded to two locations. She self-funded Fever.
“Funding came from, mainly, my spouse. I also had some help from my uncle and also sold my stock, which allowed me to open 1 of 3 shoe store locations prior to designing. I then branched off of my stores and started designing,” says Harvey. “The challenges were finances and mentoring assistance. It is easy to sell your dream to someone but hard for someone to believe it, invest in it, and take a chance. The footwear industry is very competitive and tricky. So I would say finances and sacrificing my household financially to live my dream. Thankfully, it worked.”
The key to Harvey’s success: Fever Shoes stand out on their own. “I don’t try to compete with other companies. In the beginning, I was trying so hard to be sure I was on trend, on target, and was very competitive. However, when I stopped was when success came. I have a certain customer/audience and I create for them and so far, that has worked,” says Harvey.
Fever has attracted a number of celebrity fans, including Vanessa Simmons, Lisa Raye, Rocsi, Raven-Symone, and Fantasia, among others.
Through it all, Harvey says she’s learned a few business lessons, such as “understanding that everything is a process. It is okay to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run. Be patient,” she says, adding she loves being her own boss. She enjoys “being free and creative. Letting my mind do whatever it wants to on paper and loving the results.”
Looking forward, Harvey has many goals she wants to accomplish. “I want to continue to be successful in everything I do and in all endeavors. I graduated with my master’s degree this year, just published two books and thus far the support has been amazing. One book is, ‘Help! I’m Starting a New Business: A Step-by-Step Guide in Starting a New Business’ and the other book is ‘Steps in Starting: An Entrepreneur’s Guide in Starting a Business.’ My nonprofit organization, Reconstructing Youth Foundation, has also been doing extremely well. It’s so fulfilling so I am most certainly excited about my future. The goal now, in 2016, and in the future is to continue to stay blessed, expand all business endeavors and remain successful,” she shares.