How Philly native Milan Rouge became the owner of a successful fashion brand
As CEO of Milano Di Rouge, the entrepreneur often preaches to others her journey, as well as the work and determination it takes to succeed.
MORE IN THIS SECTION
Milan Rouge has been sharing her journey into entrepreneurship since the very beginning of that venture in 2012.
She hasn’t been shy about sharing that journey on her social media accounts because she wants it to serve as an inspiration, showcasing that while entrepreneurship isn’t as glamorous as others may make it out to be, it’s still rather fulfilling.
“I want you guys to see the blood, the tears, and the hard work that goes into it,” said Rouge.
The entrepreneur, and CEO of the fashion brand Milano Di Rouge, shared her journey in-person during the Philadelphia stop of the Advancing Black Wealth Tour on Saturday, October 8.
When Rouge began her entrepreneurial journey, she started with two sweatshirts.
She wore one and sold the other, using the money she received from that purchase to buy more. Rouge then started driving around the tri-state area selling T-shirts out of the trunk of her car.
In 2014, she opened her first warehouse in Kensington.
“People would come from all over the tri-state to my warehouse,” Rouge recalled. “So, from there I realized that there was a demand for a store.”
Initially, she didn’t want to open a brick-and-mortar store, but the demand for one led to the opening of her first store in 2016.
Along the way, she made the switch from retail to wholesale, which helped add a crucial layer to her business success.
Through each step of her journey, Rouge has stayed true to a single motive.
“I’m always looking to be better than the day I was before,” she said. “I’m never content, I never get comfortable. I know there’s another level.”
Rouge is a West Philly native. She admits to having a rough childhood, often getting into fights and getting suspended from school. Her father was also incarcerated for much for her life, leaving her to be raised by a single mother.
“I come from trials, so I understand the struggle,” she said.
However, this business venture has helped her turn her life around and set herself on a new path, despite further challenges of some trying to pull her back.
“I had to create a tunnel vision to focus on my goals and not let negative influences control my mindset,” said Rouge.
She learned how to set boundaries, and in 2017 moved to Los Angeles with the intent of continuing to grow and scale her business.
What started out as a company that primarily sells T-shirts and sweatshirts has since grown to selling a multitude of luxury and streetwear apparel.
“Milano Di Rouge means making dreams reality,” she noted. “Milano isn’t just a brand, it’s a symbol of hope.”
When asked what tips and pieces of advice she would give for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs alike, she said: “Never stop learning.”
“That’s one of the most important things I want you guys to take away. Always be open to learning new information,” Rouge added.
Learning the stories of other entrepreneurs who have made it and reached high levels of success have inspired her to keep pushing herself forward and strive to reach that status, as well.
“The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is the work that they put in to become successful. We all have it in us, you just have to tap into your greatness,” said Rouge.