Jul 17, 2019
This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra interviews Josephine Lee, Founder at The Pointe Shop. The evolution of Lee’s company is remarkable. What started in 2011 as a simple brick-and-mortar retail store now has gained notoriety for its “mobile store” component, which takes pointe shoe fitting on the road to customers and, selfishly, allows Josephine to fulfill one of her favorite pastimes — road tripping. Josephine is also well-known for placing third in the 2016 Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking — a competition featuring 35,000 contestants across 142 countries.
On the podcast, Josephine deep dives on the events that drove her into the retail space and the thoughts behind the transition from simple brick-and-mortar to pointe shoe fitting on wheels. Along the way, Lee provides some advice on “going the extra mile” in the early stages of a company, the importance of having a firm support system, being patient in business, and much more. Through Lee’s story, inspiration abounds for all listeners.
“[My favorite part of being an entrepreneur] is having the freedom to create whatever I want to create. There is really no ceiling when it comes to being an entrepreneur. It can be as big or as small as you want… I have an idea of something that I want to do in my life, and I can manifest it through my business."
[On setting goals] “I need to give myself 30 days — a very short term — so that I can finish a goal and then move on to the next thing. And when I finish a goal, it gives me motivation to look for the next one. And I so I keep building and building on top of my little goals until, one day, I look back, and I see everything that has happened."
[On starting a business] “Give more value than you take at the beginning. Give as much as you can… You have to give so much value that people almost feel obligated to come to you."
“I do well with short term goals because I’m very good at sprinting. I’m not very good at marathons."
“You don’t know the direct return on investment for social media marketing techniques, but you might see it 5 years down the line — 10 years down the line — because people feel like they know you. They’ve had interactions with you. It’s great to have that rapport."
“It’s really nice to have a peer mentoring group rather than someone who has already made it because we’re all going through it at the same time. We’re discovering new apps and products and ways of doing things. And we share our difficulties, our wins and losses — all of that."
[In entrepreneurship] “If you don’t have a partner or somebody to rely on, it’s very difficult to get somebody to understand where you are."
Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:
2:03: Josephine gives a brief history of her journey, from amateur dancer to dance retail store owner.
5:50: Josephine lays out the events that led to the opening of her retail store and reflects on the benefit of knowing very little about starting a business.
8:04: Lee discusses the evolution of her retail store, including the 2014 opening of her “mobile store” and her infamous long-term road trips where she proactively takes pointe shoe fitting to customers.
11:57: Josephine discusses her favorite and least favorite aspects of entrepreneurship.
15:24: Lee speaks on her goal-setting routine and her difficulty in setting long-term goals.
16:46: Lee takes some time reflecting on someone she takes a lot of pride in — her very own mother.
18:53: Josephine discusses how the role models in her life take a different form than most traditional ideas of having a role model.
21:00: Josephine shares some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, centered around “going the extra mile” when you first launch your business.
23:29: Josephine describes the public speaking competition where she placed third overall — a competition involving 34,000 people across 142 different countries.
26:48: Lee reflects on a time when she failed, why she considers that experience a failure, and how she learned from this mistake.
30:00: Lee discusses the future for her retail store, which including expansion of brick-and-mortar stores.
Bullet List of Resources –
The Pointe Shop