While some may argue that the children of famous families are essentially set for life without having to lift a finger, the Simmons sisters claim their family was motivational. “With a family like ours, it would be easy to sit back and reap the benefits. But Angela and I have been so driven since we’ve been younger,” Vanessa says, adding, “We’ve been following our families lead and watching them ever since we could understand the words that are coming out of their mouth. We just go for our dreams and that’s what we’ve been taught.”
But prior to the launch of Pastry, both girls were pursuing very different dreams. Vanessa was beginning a career as an actress and model and Angela was working in publishing. Both girls had always had a love of fashion, and Angela had studied pattern making in school, but the girls hadn’t considered building a business until they discovered a noticeable flaw in the industry. “We saw an opening or void. There weren’t any female-based sneaker lines out. Sneakers that are slick,” Vanessa says. “We told our uncle that we wanted to do this. We sat and brainstormed for days to come up with a name. We came up with Pastry and from there we started the Cake collection.” “I have seen a lot of companies that just take men’s silhouettes and turn it into a women’s line,” adds Angela. “We look at the consumer and ourselves and we go in and really try to make what’s best for women.”
With fun, colorful color combinations with confection-based names like the “Berry Sprinkles Cake Runner” or the “Marshmallow Wedge Dark Chocolate Boots,” the Simmons girls are quickly building a strong consumer base of women of all ages, who don’t know whether to wear the shoes or eat them. “The
original marketing plan was 14-18 year-old girls, and when the sales report starting coming back we saw that we had a lot of 12-21, so we embraced that and started pumping out more sneakers,” Vanessa says. “We definitely embrace how large our demographic is, and I don’t think many companies can achieve that.”
The line also got a big boost when it was featured on Run’s House, an MTV reality show that profiles Rev Run’s family. “You can’t even pay for that! People got to see us develop Pastry from the beginning so that does even more to push our brand forward. We have so many viewers so that helped a lot,” Angela says. There is even talk that the girls may be getting their own spin-off show on MTV, but details are still pending.
“You can expect to see a lot more Simmons on TV,” Vanessa informs. “We’ll leave it at that.”
In the mean time, both girls are continuing to build on the Pastry brand, having recently added a clothing and handbag line and launched in the UK . “The possibilities are endless, and we don’t have any fear or reservations when we approach these things to globalize Pastry,” Angela says.
Angela agrees, “It has been such a fantastic journey, and it’s just the beginning.”
By Jillian Gordon