Being a champion with your hustle on National Small Business Day

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Olympic champion Allyson Felix gets down to business with Nestor in discussing her ladies footwear company Saysh the importance and National Small Business Day on Wednesday, May 10th.


business, feet, endorsements, learned, baltimore, resources, small business, shoe, daughter, medals, world, pleasure, women, small business owner, wife, good, kids, week, sport, pregnancy


Nestor Aparicio, Allyson Felix

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

wn st Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive. We’re taking the Maryland crabcake tour out on the road all week long gonna beat state fair on Friday really looking forward to get together with some friends out there. And Preakness week around here. We got other doings and as a small business owner here, this one’s going to be after my heart, it is a pleasure to welcome in a real American hero, decorated champion, well, wife found out that Alison feels she’s going to be on the show. She came in and she said, Hey, you’re the sports reporter. How many medals does she have? And I said an ish load? I said, I don’t know exactly, but I’m gonna ask first question. First off, welcome. And thanks for coming on behalf of something that’s near and dear to my heart, because I am a small business owner. A pleasure to have you aboard today. Thanks for making some time for us.


Thank you so much for having me.

Nestor Aparicio  00:49

How many medals? Do you even know?


I have 11 from the Olympics. Yeah,

Nestor Aparicio  00:56

we just 11 Okay. Well, Michael Phelps lives down the street here. So we have a lot going on here in Baltimore. So I know you guys have marched in and out of some stadiums together and probably on some planes together wearing the red, white and blue. Tell me about your your small bits, because I think people think of you on the track. I think certainly, I think of your business endeavors and, and having some wayward associations with some shoe companies, but also your pregnancy. You know, you can read up on all of this. But business is the next thing, right? I mean, this is something you’ll take with you the rest of your life is that you are your brand.

Allyson Felix  01:28

Yeah, absolutely. And like you said, you know, all of the steps in my career really led me to starting my own business sation, it came about organically, and we make women’s footwear to fit the form of a female foot. And we just think that women deserve better. We’re formed by women. And so that has really just been amazing to step right into that and be fulfilled by that work.

Nestor Aparicio  01:50

I’m getting old. And you know, my feet, I often think like, there’s got to be better science to a 54 year olds, feet. I’m a relatively slight guy, I shouldn’t have these problems. Tell me about feet. And I mean, no one knows more about the science of this, I would trust you, whatever you’re telling me I would listen to.


Yeah, I’ve definitely learned a lot about feet over the years, and especially as I’ve gone down this path, and what I learned is that there are differences between men and women’s feet. And for women, our shoes have been made off the mold of a man’s foot. And so when I learned that, I was like, we’ve got to change that. And so that’s what my business focuses on. And just doing things differently. So it’s been really, you know, it’s been really great to go down this path.

Nestor Aparicio  02:35

I think for some people, it’s easy, especially for an athlete, you get paid, you take endorsements, but then you actually open a business and I’ve been at this a long, long time I’ve been on the air 31 years, I’ve seen the RE Lewis’s and the Cal Ripken zuv giants in our town come in, and businesses a little different. And I know you had some struggles along your way. And I think it’s very different. What you do, then what Lamar Jackson is doing today, which is picking up a check, and he works in a team sport is very, very different. But endorsements and businesses and things that came along for you that probably put you to this point, for the rest of your life, to understand that it’s not easy being in business for anyone.


Yeah, business is definitely a whole different realm. And I did learn a lot from my experiences. And I think the thing I learned most about is that you just want to be proud of the work that you do with whatever partner you have. And also when you do it by yourself, as I’ve, you know, gone down that path. I really get to control that it gets to be authentic. It gets to be genuine and I just character and integrity is so important to me. And so that’s at the core of everything we do our mission.

Nestor Aparicio  03:44

Listen, my wife is a hiker, she’s going to be hiking in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, probably as this airs on the 10th of actually, of May, which is National Small Business day. Tell me more about the feet and your business. I like I’m absolutely intrigued as to where my wife could go and learn more about them. I watched a two time leukemia survivor, she’s always looking for an edge in whatever she can do to stay healthy. It’s the most important thing. Tell me more about your company.


Absolutely. So my company is safe and she can go to Sage sa ey to hear our full story to see the shoes that we create and be able to partake in all of that and yeah, the the business has just fulfilled me in so many ways. So I’m so excited that on National Small Business day now I can really turn my attention to my daughter and her own the entrepreneurial spirit that she is already getting at four years old and we’re gonna have some some real fun with that.

Nestor Aparicio  04:46

Why she the picture behind you and I do remember you know, your pregnancy was you know, obviously you were a very public figure at this. How you doing house day we got business and all that how’s the run or how’s the athlete How’s the family woman? How’s the one that we fall in love with every four years coming through our television? Yeah, I’m


doing really well. I think it’s challenging transitioning, you know, from competitive sport, into, you know, the real world. But I’m enjoying every step of the way. Being present at home has been amazing. Being able to be there with my daughter pick up and drop off and soccer games and all that good stuff. So I’m really enjoying this, this next chapter for sure.

Nestor Aparicio  05:28

You know, I haven’t been a guy that’s traveled around the world a little bit. And I actually went to Beijing, you know, seven with Ripken because baseball was a demonstration sport in Beijing. And I remember, you know, the birds that like, what what are your memories of all this and I would think the international travel, I’ve been to Brazil, I’ve been on the beach of Copacabana chasing the Rolling Stones years ago. So I’ve been to these places, and I’ve been to the top of Corcovado I’ve immersed, different when you’re there trying to win, right, trying to eat right, trying to stay healthy, trying to make sure all of that’s going on. But through those memories, are there pieces of that that have nothing to do with the track that you’re like I got to see part of the world or maybe something that you bring back for your business?


Yeah, I mean, when you’re traveling, you know, for competition, you definitely don’t get to take in as much as the culture as you would want. And, you know, the sightseeing and all that. But it has been an incredible experience. I’ve been able to meet so many incredible people from all over the world, and learn so many great lessons that are applied to every aspect of my life, like you said, so much of what I learned, you know, in the sports world, I use it every day and growing my business and working with my team and all of those things. So I’m so thankful that I’ve gotten to travel the world gotten to compete and have all of have all of that experience.

Nestor Aparicio  06:48

When did it come to you that this that the foot idea and sation and the fact that there was going to be life after this right? You always knew that. And I think in your own mind, you’re always looking to the next competition when you’re in, right. I mean, it was until family came along, it was probably the only thing but but the business side of this, because you you took endorsements and very famously fought with a shoe company, an apparel company, as well, people can Google that as well. But for for you and learning along the steps and understanding that they’re what you are going to be in business, you just weren’t going to be retired athlete giving speeches or doing these crazy radio segments.


Yeah, I mean, I definitely started to think about it, as I, you know, approached towards the end of my career, you know, I started to think about other things that I was passionate about. And of course, I became a mother. And so that was on the forefront of mind. And so yeah, just really fostering my daughter’s desires and ideas as well. So that’s as National Small Business day comes up. And as we think about you know, our kids and what we want to teach them and I know a lot of parents out there, their kids have interest in small business. And so I’m working with HP and we’re creating these resources for kids to be able to take part in National Small Business day resources, like business plans and principles. We my daughter, she’s into baking and so we came up with camis cookies, and we’re gonna

Nestor Aparicio  08:20

give them a lemonade, but they’re not lemonade. It’s cookies. Okay.


I did lemonade going offshore. That was a little Kool Aid. But um, she’s doing cookies. So we have

Nestor Aparicio  08:32

newspapers say that. Your kids never gonna know what that is. Right?


I know. Isn’t that? Isn’t that weird that that’s not a thing. But yeah, it’s a great jumping off point just to teach her. You know, obviously, business is so important in my life. And so I want her to understand that as well. We recently just started, she’s four. So she’s counting money and counting coins. And so I’m excited for this project with her. And he has all these resources available for us to use. And we’ve been using our HP laptop and printer as well. So we’re we’re ready for a small business day.

Nestor Aparicio  09:07

She figured you out and count your metals yet or No, I mean, does she know? There’s just sort of a big deal or no, she had figured that out yet. You’re still too little.


She’s like, Mom, where’s my snack? That is the most important thing in her life right now. And we’ll tell her later on that you know that I had some fun on the track.

Nestor Aparicio  09:26

Didn’t you go to school to be a teacher? Am I wrong in that?


No, you’re absolutely right. Yeah, I did. And I thought for a long time I was gonna be in the classroom. And so life kind of took me in a different direction. But I had this passion for kids. My mom was a third grade teacher. And so education has been always been really important.

Nestor Aparicio  09:46

Well, it shines through and who you are and what you do, and it’s been a pleasure to spend a little bit of time with you. I’m very appreciative your folks to bring you on to talk about something that I’m involved in National Small Business Day, May 10. Maybe they’ll take the afternoon off, we get good whether you’re in Baltimore, to honor myself, but to honor all small businesses, everyone knows, even after 31 years, we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary as a small am radio station this summer. So we’ll be celebrating that. And I want to celebrate with all the small business owners who support me and support what we do to support what we’re doing out here. I really, really appreciate the time. You’re done on the track? Are we gonna get done run it or no?


No, I think it’s a wrap on the track. But viewers can go to instant to get more of those resources and I’ll be the biggest cheerleader when Team USA goes to Paris. All right,

Nestor Aparicio  10:39

well, sometimes it’s more fun being out of the arena just watching and clapping and not having that pressure. Allison feel that she’s got a lot of medals a beautiful child and is here on behalf of National Small Business day and we really appreciate her take our time. Thank you very much a pleasure. Thanks for having me. Now. Now I want to go out and run fast and get better feet and be safe. I gotta know about that as well. And you can find me out on the Maryland crab cake Tour presented by the Maryland lottery in conjunction with our friends at window nation this week. We’re gonna be at state fair on Friday, from two until five eating their delicious crab cake never, never a bad idea to go back and get a good one a second time. I am Nestor. We are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. And we never stop talking Baltimore positive

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