Ilene Arellano, the CEO and Creative Director of Drip Creationz, Inc., is a high school dropout. She dropped out then turned her passion for customizing shoes into a scalable
7-figure business. She was born and raised in Riverside California, where she lived in a low income and single-parent household. She started alone, but as time progressed, she could not keep up with the pace, she had to hire a team to help her in business. Her elder brother helped her develop a team.
She later teamed up with two amazing business partners (one being her brother) who believed in her vision and helped her grow the business. She was achieving her greatest success, but she knew that there is more to come. Right now, Ilene is planning on releasing her own official Drip Creationz shoe.
Establishing a Footprint
“I started my brand, Drip Creationz when I was in High School by building an Etsy website and selling Old Skool Vans with patched roses on them.” started Ilene. “Unexpectedly I started selling hundreds of pairs on a weekly basis and created the “rose vans” trend. This opened up my eyes to the potential in the custom shoe industry, and I decided to drop out of high school to pursue my new passion for customizing shoes.”
She was spending countless hours hand making every pair and endured back pain for months from fulfilling all orders in her garage. “To help get my name out, I was sending out free pairs of rose Vans to my favorite influencers which essentially gave me the traffic and exposure that I needed to start growing my brand.”
Starting business young, she had no experience, and she had to learn quickly on the business models and how to run a company. “I knew my strength was being able to design and create strategies to make custom shoes, but I had no idea how to efficiently fulfill my orders, source materials, market my products and create a professional trustworthy website.” She had to hire people who could work efficiently to help her.
Overcoming the Obstacles
She eventually hired a family member to fulfill her orders and began to learn some online courses that focused on Shopify, Etsy, and Excel. “When I didn’t know the answers to a question, I did extensive research on informative platforms like Reddit and Youtube.” She eventually started having meetings with family members and acquaintances that were familiar with the industry to learn more on how to operate her business efficiently.
To get good things, you have to strive for them. Nothing good comes easy. Ilene had to spend sleepless nights in her garage and had back pains developing her classy shoes. However, she now has a team and she is selling her shoes globally.