Madison Robinson Set to be Teenage Millionaire with Flip Flop Design
Though most high schoolers are concerned with what they're going to wear to prom or if they passed their algebra class, one girl is running her own business.
Madison Robinson 15, of Galveston, Texas, came up with an idea called Fish Flops at the age of eight.
Robinson had the help of her father Dan, friends and family to make the sandals a reality.
Now, more than 30 stores have placed orders for them, including Nordstrom and Macy's.
"It's exciting. I didn't think [Fish Flops] would come all the way this far. I thought they would just stay in boutiques, but now they're in Nordstrom," she said.
Robinson said she made the first approach to sell them to Nordstrom by writing them a letter.
They cost around $25, and since it was launched, more than 60,000 pairs have been sold. The total retail sales is now $1.2 million.
"In 2006, I had an idea to make flip flops that showed my love for swimming, fishing and drawing," a tag on the flip flops reads. "I hope you wear them, love them and share them with your friends and I hope they make you smile."
While she is excited to start 10th grade next fall, she has already learned a lot from running the Fish Flops business.
Robinson draws all of the designs and picks out color combinations digitally. She also learned how to pack shipments, stock the warehouse, explain her pricing, host a trade show booth and make sales pitches.
She's also learned about social media marketing.
It was through her Twitter account that she first captured the interest of Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O'Dell. O'Dell's daughter wanted a pair of the flops.
She said her flip flop business has helped her hone many life skills, like public speaking. She also learned what makes a quality shoe.
"When I go shoe shopping now, I look carefully at the quality of the materials," she said. Fish Flops are sturdy and made without punch-out holes.
As for her money, she said her father won't let her get into it until college.
"My dad won't let me touch the money," she said. "It's for college."