Merchandising & Marketing Grad Launches Footwear Line

Merchandising & Marketing Grad Launches Footwear Line

Name: Leslie Bessent

Title: Creative Director 

Company: Agnes Bethel

FIDM MajorMerchandising & Marketing

Grad Year: 2013

Where are you based? My husband, who is the designer for Agnes Bethel, and I are both veterans and after we left the military, we decided to stay in San Diego, the home base for Agnes Bethel.  

What led you to launch Agnes Bethel Shoes? For a long time, I was afraid to share my designs with people for fear of perception and also the risk of my designs being stolen. About two years ago, I decided to just go all in. 

What are some of the high points and challenges of launching a business? It's exciting seeing your creation come to life and being a part of the development process from sourcing materials and lasts to seeing the overall final product. I love to see the reaction of people to my designs. The challenges that I've faced has definitely been trying to navigate through all the social media marketing changes and trying to stay engaged with my customers as well as develop new content to raise brand awareness. As a new brand that is totally self-funded there are always challenges because right now its just a two person team trying to build a brand from the ground up. 

Where does the name Agnes Bethel come from? Agnes Bethel is my husband's mother maiden name. She is the inspiration behind us creating the brand. Agnes Bethel is a tribute to her sacrificing her dreams of becoming a fashion designer to raise and care for her family.