By Deirdre Hall
Rebecca Mink’s effervescence is a clear indicator of why she created Mink, her high-end line of Italian-made, animal-free shoes. From classic heels to pairs that would definitely put a spring in your step, celebrities and regular gals can feel good about wearing a Mink-made shoe. Rebecca’s vision and determination have granted her success and a front row spot in the fashion world, but we want to know, has Rebecca been Minted?
What inspired you to devote yourself to creating an eco and animal friendly line of shoes?
Rebecca: I have been dedicated to making Mink since birth! I was four years old and at a birthday party where they were serving hot dogs. One kid told me that hot dogs were made from dogs … and I freaked out! I thought, “How can anyone hurt an animal and eat them?”
From then on I wanted to know what was in everything I ate, to make sure I was not hurting animals. I never ate meat from that day forward and went on a mission to create a career that would mirror my beliefs. I was very into fashion and so when I was old enough to move forward with my company, I combined my love for fashion and the animals into one! Mink was born. No job in the world had more that I was interested in. I created my own destiny.
What was your first job?
Rebecca: My first job was modeling. I was very young and my friend’s mother was getting her into modeling at the age of 12. I went on a casting with her and got the job! I made enough money to buy my own car by the time I was 15.
What have been your most effective marketing strategies?
Rebecca: The most effective marketing strategy is to not mention the word “vegan” right away! Even though I do still use it and make sure to let everyone know the shoes are vegan, there is a problem with the word. People think that if it is vegan it is not as good or not fashionable and made without quality. Someday I will go on a mission to reinvent the word vegan for the world. There is a negative association and that must change.
What have you learned that you wish you knew when you started out?
Rebecca: This is a funny question because I always say if I knew how hard it was going to be, I would have never done it! So I am happy I knew nothing about making shoes and running a business when I started. The only way to make something happen is to JUMP in full-speed-ahead and sort it out as you go.
If you weren’t the lioness behind Mink, you’d be … ?
Rebecca: If I was not doing Mink, I would be working for National Geographic as a photographer out in the wild living with animals in their environment.
Friends and family would describe you as … ?
Rebecca: Friends and family describe me as a piranha! My father nicknamed me this because I latch onto something and never give up! NEVER!
What activities keep you centered?
Rebecca: Meditation keeps me centered. It is a time to be with myself. Another thing is my dog—walking, kissing and loving him is amazing—[and] having a healthy relationship with my fiancé—he is supportive and works harder than I do.
Who has been a motivational figure in your career?
Rebecca: The motivational figure for my career has been the animals. I am on a mission to change the shoe industry! I want to show the world that you do not need animal skins to make quality fashionable shoes!!
Mink is not just about pretty shoes. I want to change the way people think; to shift the paradigm of the way people see eco-friendly products so they know that they [eco-friendly products] are better for themselves and the planet.
You do not have to compromise … you just have to think differently.
What is the last thing you think about before you go to sleep?
Rebecca: The last thing I think about before I go to sleep is how lucky I am. Every day I do what I love to do. It is very hard and life is filled with many challenges for me, but I would never want another life. I have chosen everything in my life and I love it.
Final thought to share with readers…
Rebecca: I want people to know if they do what they love, follow their dreams, they will always be happy. And to never, ever, ever, ever give up!