“If you think you have a talent, go all out and explore the possibilities.” – Nelissa
Prior to starting her own business, she worked in business development for an oil and gas company for about four to five years. “It was a career that taught me the fundamentals of business… but it’s a different ball game when you start your own business,” explains Nelissa.
She found an online course in shoe-making and went to Polimoda Institute of Fashion and Marketing in Florence, Italy, for a hands-on experience. “
I decided to choose shoes because I’ve always had a ‘thing’ for them,” she says.
Upon returning from Florence , she was attached to a local shoe-making factory before starting Nelissa Hilman Shoes as she wanted to understand the local manufacturing industry.
Right from scratch
“When I first started out, it was hard as I didn’t have any connections and had to develop contacts from scratch. Looking back, I should have had a business plan. The first year didn’t go well as I needed funds, but thankfully, I got my loans approved, and I managed to get support from the Malaysian Footwear Manufacturers Association,” she explains
Her shoes stand out in the market today as most of her collections are produced from collaborations with different artists. Nelissa is proud that her collection has expanded and is well accepted by Malaysians.
Her next goal is to be able to enter the Indonesian market and go international in the long run.