Colette Glover-Hannah is the Founder/CEO of Hannah’s Shoebox, an e-commerce shoe store that provides a solution for families looking for age-appropriate shoes for tween girls who wear women size shoes. The shoe store is also an award-winning company that instills self-esteem and confidence in girls by offering the footwear styles they want, in the sizes they need. In addition to online sales, Hannah’s Shoebox is also an official school shoe provider for private and public schools as well a partner to organizations and associations that purchase shoes for children. Hannah’s Shoebox has been recognized in the business community as one of seven tech and innovation companies to watch at the annual Synapse Summit by Tampa Bay Inno, by the Centre for Women in Business, Tampa Bay Minority Enterprise Development Week and 1Million Cups-Tampa. The company was also selected to participate in the competitive Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Startup Scholars program and was chosen from hundreds of companies to be a finalist for the Chamber’s Small Business of the Year Award. Hannah’s Shoebox was a participant in the Community Incubator of the University of Tampa’s John P. Lowth Center for Entrepreneurship and is a certified woman/minority-owned business with the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County Public Schools and an ASO provider for the Hillsborough County Children’s Board. The company has been featured in international media outlets, national and footwear industry publications, radio shows and podcasts; as well as the focus of interviews on major news channels including SiriusXM channels and Inside Edition.
In addition to serving as CEO of Hannah’s Shoebox, Colette is also co-author of Mompreneur: Managing, Presentations, Parenthood and Partnerships, which examines the art of attempting to balance the simultaneous demands of family, motherhood and entrepreneurship.
Before creating Hannah’s Shoebox, Colette was an Associate Vice President for Community Relations at the University of South Florida, where she created many sustainable programs throughout communities in the Tampa Bay region. Her most notable program was the creation of the Kente Awards and Bulls Country, which became one of the institution’s most visible marketing campaigns.
Colette earned a bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University, a master’s degree from the University of South Florida and a certificate in Women’s Entrepreneurship from Cornell University. She has been invited to participate in Entrepreneurship Day on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC by the Kauffman Foundation. She is a member of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the 2020 Chair of the Tampa Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator Program and a member of the Tampa Chamber’s Women of Influence Committee. Colette serves on the Board of the Friends of Joshua House, is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Women of Color Golf.
Where did the idea for Hannah’s Shoebox come from?
Hannah’s Shoebox, LLC was created because I have a daughter with big feet. The company sells age-appropriate shoes for girls who wear women size shoes. The footwear industry leader in providing tween (ages 8-14) shoes to tween girls.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day as an entrepreneur is filled with many roles. I departmentalize my day into morning/afternoon and evening tasks. I usually do routine tasks early in the day and because I am most creative in the afternoon, I save that time for writing and campaign tasks and evening is filled mostly with social/networking activities.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am a person who begins with the end in mind. I think about the end results and fill in the blanks to accomplish the end goals.
What’s one trend that excites you?
In the fashion footwear business, I am surrounded by revolving trends. I am really enjoying the return of platform heels as a must have for younger teens and those who enjoy their simple comfort.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am always learning. I take advantage of webinars, seminars, lectures and any other delivery of information.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stop being so serious. Work hard and play hard.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Your shoes dictate your mood.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Expand my reach. I look at my shoes company through the lens of the retail business, but I also consider us a tech company. In addition, I work with those in the health profession who support our goal to get girls to wear age-appropriate shoes and the psychology behind wearing age-appropriate shoes.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Surrounding myself with college students as interns and allowing them to be my subject matter experts and creative leads on marketing and outreach projects.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Inventory was an Achilles heel initially. I spent too much money on too much inventory and until I developed a better understanding of the industry and buying patterns.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I joined a membership to Ladies Who Leverage, which is a group of professional women who collaborsouce and strategize with each other. The business advice and support received from this group has been invaluable.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I love Canva and Fiverr. We use both platform for social media creations, which is one of the primary sources of our marketing efforts.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Peaks and Valleys, by Spencer Johnson, is a great and inspiring book. It is all about the “peaks and valleys” in our lives and how tremendously important each one of those are. We will endure both peaks and valleys, but the goal is the prolong our peaks so the valleys will be shortened.
What is your favorite quote?
In all things give thanks.
• I still need to play more and not work as hard.
• I am still on the right entrepreneurial track.
• I need to find additional software and web services.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.