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Bauer Business Focus

Madison Robinson On How To Build A Successful Business While Still In High School

The Galveston native and fashion designer’s company, FishFlops, has already earned more than $1 million in sales.


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Photo of Madison Nicole Robinson
Amanda Sebesta
Madison Nicole Robinson, founder of FishFlops, photo taken at HPM News 88.7 hall studio, November 23, 2015

FishFlops is a Houston company that makes aquatic-themed footwear and clothing. It's turning a profit and has racked up more than $1 million in sales. Not bad for a small business in its sixth year. But what's truly remarkable about FishFlops is that its founder, Madison Nicole Robinson, is still a senior in high school. Robinson joins Andrew Schneider on this week's "Bauer Business Focus."


How did you get the idea for FishFlops?

"I always loved to draw and to swim and the beach, and being from Galveston, all you could ever really wear was flip flops. I came home from the beach one day...and I kind of combined my drawings and the sea creatures...drew an outline of a flip flop, sketched them on there, wrote ‘Fish Flops' across the top and gave it to my dad. And I just said, ‘Hey dad, look, Fish Flops!' He got really excited, and he bought the domain name for the website the same day."

How did you get from that design phase to launching a business?

"My dad worked in the apparel entrepreneurship business...He used to do t-shirts. He used his connections that he had to send over the drawings [to manufacturing facilities in China]. They have to send back prototypes and different samples, and you have to...examine them and make sure everything is the way that they really should be. Then you just confirm it and then send it back, and then the products are made."

What advice would you give to other students who want to start their own businesses?

"I would definitely say that it takes a lot of time and to be really, really patient…If you get any feedback, and that's not really the kind of feedback you think is positive, take that into consideration and turn it around and use that to improve yourself. And also...have fun with it."