How to Overcome the Odds to Become a Business Owner in Madison | the market

MADISON (WKOW) “Just keep pushing the envelope of what you can be,” said Patrick Smith, owner of MidWest_Vintage608 | Madison WI | Facebook.

“We wear all our shoes under sports or casual clothes. So, from Jordans to Adidas or Yeezys,” he said.

Smith now owns the company and it wasn’t easy getting here. His mother, Roylawn Smith, died when he was 16 years old. Smith found himself homeless and headed down the wrong path. So he made a big change and his new role with his three brothers and one sister made a difference.

“I believe God challenged me and pushed me. I’m the first in my family to go to college and graduate,” Smith said.

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from W Steven’s Point University under the guidance of a longtime mentor.

“Alex Lewis, he was in the NFL, but he takes the time to pick me up. He takes the time to talk to me. There was never a time in my life that he never answered my call. There was never a time that if I was in need , he was never a moment away from me,” Smith said.

The former Verona Area High School football star combined his love of sports and fashion to open his first store in Midwest Vintage 608, which sells high-end jerseys with sneakers and even Smith’s own clothing line called Heavy7Hearts.

“Heavy7Hearts was born out of Genesis one where God created the world in seven days, and then our mission is to change the world trend by trend,” said Smith.

But Patrick’s opening had a major obstacle.

“Someone stole $1,000 of inventory, which really hurt, because I started with $250,” Smith said.

And bad luck followed his second location.

“We got busted again,” Smith said

Even more determined, Patrik opened his third location.

“It hurts to break into or lose products, it really hurts, but when you come home after a long day at school, and you look at your front door, and it’s closed, and all your clothes and stuff are in the front yard, and the only thing your mind can to say is to grab a bag of clothes. This doesn’t hurt as bad. So I’m just going to keep going. This has a bigger purpose,” Smith said.

The odds are high for Patrick as a business owner, 80% of black owned businesses fail within the first 18 months, which is why support is important.

There are 462,292 small businesses in Wisconsin, and 6.9% are owned by racial minorities, according to the 2022 Wisconsin Small Business Profile.

Urban League President Dr. Ruben Anthony said that when the Black Business Hub opens, he hopes to increase this number by offering guidance and financial assistance to racial minorities.

“There will be technical training opportunities and there will be access to capital, so far we’ve given out five $50,000 grants,” said Dr. Ruben Anthony, Urban League of Greater Madison.

Patrick’s next goal is to design his own shoe that will help him achieve his dream.

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