Female Feature Friday: Lizzie + Sarah of Miron Crosby
We are back at it, bringing you another Female Feature Friday. We are so excited to be sharing a new amazing Girl Boss every week. The inspiration behind this series was to highlight the brilliant women running small businesses in an effort to inspire other women to bring their talents to the table. We can do it all, ladies!
Today we want to introduce you to Lizzie and Sarah, the brilliant owners of designer boot company Miron Crosby. These boots are next level y’all!!!! Like seriously, I dare you to go to their site and not want everything. This sister duo is making waves in the fashion industry taking cowboy boots mainstream and have graced the feet of celebs like Kacey Musgraves. I loved hearing from these two and I think you will too, enjoy!
Name and Job Title:
L: Lizzie Means Duplantis, co-owner
S: Sarah Means, co-owner
Briefly describe your business:
L+S: Miron Crosby is a luxury cowboy boot brand headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Our business is inspired by our experiences of growing up on our family’s West Texas cattle ranch, and later living and working in New York City. The artisanal boots for women and men are hand-lasted in Texas by Rios of Mercedes—a 160-year-old manufacturer owned by our cousins. Our line features the iconic tall cowboy boot, the popular shorty, and the novel midi-boot in an array of leathers, exotic skins, and intricate stitching.
Did you always know that you wanted to be a business owner?
L+S: Yes! Actually, I consider myself very entrepreneurial in spirit and I read somewhere that you’re either a person who loves to build something or loves to run it. I consider myself the former. In fact, MC is the second business I have built. I started and sold my first company, Perch Event Décor Rentals, to seed MC.
S: Our parents are business owners, and have always encouraged us to try to figure out a way to work for ourselves. My Dad always repeats a saying of one of his mentor’s: “If you’re going to work that hard, try to figure out a way to work for yourself.”
What was your first real job?
L: My first job out of college was working in the marketing group at Forbes Magazine. It was great exposure to a level of excellence – in such a refined and professional environment. I learned the importance of attending to detail in every aspect of my business dealings.
S: I had a summer internship at Loeffler Randall in college. It was the best experience! In fact, it led to my first job and is really how I learned about footwear. I’m endlessly grateful for my time there, and for the opportunity to work for a family-owned fashion company.
L+S: We are ranch kids, so cowboy boots have always been a part of our lives. Actually, our uncle owns the factory where all of our boots are made. While Rios of Mercedes does not usually produce custom boots, they make them for friends and family, so we had access to custom boots our whole lives. As we grew up and our styles changed, so did the aesthetic of the boots we were designing and ordering from Rios. After college, when we were both living in New York City, we recognized that people really responded to our personal boot collections. Strangers would ask us where they could buy boots like ours, and we realized we had nowhere to send them. This sparked the idea for MC, and our mission is to bring a high fashion, luxury cowboy boot to contemporary market that is not just for the ranch or the rodeo.
Your favorite Miron Crosby Boot: GO!
L: So hard! I have to go Brooke in crème.
Why is small business so important to you?
L+S: Independence, autonomy, pride of ownership, the opportunity to give back to our community by being locally owned and involved locally.
What motivates you to keep going on the less than awesome days?
L: As the mother of three small children, every day is a challenge to meet the needs of everyone that wants something from me, but I am driven to set an example for my children, and especially my daughter, of a woman who prioritizes and works hard to pursue her dreams. My motto is “you can do it, and you can have it all!” I think we as women wear so many hats - it’s empowering to be mindful that yes we can.
S: My mortgage. Just kidding! Honestly, Miron Crosby is the most exciting thing in my life right now, and when things are rough, I remind myself of how lucky I am to get to do what I love with my best friend/sister.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
L: Keep pushing! There is an answer to any predicament; you just have to be creative and think outside of the box.
S: Be thoughtful about surrounding yourself with people that are smarter than you but also have different strengths, interests and backgrounds. Also, remember that feedback is a gift – don’t get defensive, learn from it and be committed to constant improvement.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made and what/how did you learn from it?
L+S: Our first boot, the Margretta, was very well received and demand was greater than our supply. We value the craftsmanship with which our boots are handmade, so forecasting the demands for each design and figuring out our inventory was a challenge at the outset. We learned the value of communication throughout that experience. Always explain to your customers and team what is going on, and be receptive to feedback.
What has surprised you most about running a small business?
L: How much we are constantly learning. There feels like an unending education that comes with owning a business – surprises never cease, and I constantly need to be abreast of something unexpected or new.
S: The challenge of making all the different parts work together. Our business does not operate in a vacuum, and learning to keep up with the ebb and flow of the different aspects requires creativity.
How did you get your name out there?
L+S: We made a significant investment in PR. Local first, then national shortly thereafter. We know experiences are such an important part of retail, so we are committed to hosting fun events, trunk shows and pop-ups often. Also, we have, of course, used social media extensively.
What software/apps do you think are the most helpful for running your small business?
L+S: We use Shopify for our point of sale system. Quickbooks is a lifesaver! iCal, too, keeps us on-task.
Who have you looked to for advice and mentorship?
L+S: Amazing, smart women! We try to seek out women who have integrated a successful venture while making time for the important things in life, which are family and friends.
What does it mean to you to be a woman in small business?
L+S: Learning to juggle, learning to do everything excellently, learning to constantly stay on your toes and, most importantly, learning to be sensitive to the needs of everyone around you, and to be kind.
What’s next for Miron Crosby?
L+S: We’re working on some exciting collaborations and are pursuing ways to extend our reach nationally through wholesale opportunities and fun pop-ups!
What brought you to Dallas?
L+S: This is the fashion center of the South, and we’re Texas girls. Besides, it’s a great place to live, and the community here has been so accepting and supportive of MC.
Favorite steakhouse in Dallas?
L: Bob’s Steak + Chop House! In fact, the night before I have my children (which I have had to have by caesarian section), I always host a family dinner at the original Bob’s on Lemon Ave!
S: Although it’s Italian, our neighbor Fachini in Highland Park Village has an incredible steak!
Favorite cocktail in Dallas?
L: The Manhattan at Hudson House is a game-changer!
S: A ranch water (tequila, topo chico and lime) from José on Lovers with muddled fresh mint!
Favorite way to spend a day in Dallas?
L: A Saturday! I love to squeeze in a run with my chocolate lab Marfa before Seth and I take our kids to Mustang Donuts for treats, followed by a fun hour at our neighborhood park to watch the ducks. Our weekends are sacred time with our kiddos, so we try to hang with them as much as possible, but Saturday night, we save for date night or a get-together with our favorite friends!
S: Shopping with friends, margaritas with my sister, a venture to the Nasher Sculpture Garden, and a great concert at the American Airlines Center!
What do you love about being a business owner in Dallas?
L+S: We are endlessly impressed by and grateful for the level of support that the community has shown for our venture.
Tell us 3 of your favorite Dallas small businesses:
L: Ellis Hill, Canary, and Flower Gals Truck
S: Hadleigh’s in Highland Park Village, Kirstin Rose Events, + Mi Golondrina