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by Nadine Graham
PreMadonna found her niche without really even looking for it. The 20-something-year-old Miami native sort of fell into the waist training industry back in 2008 after the birth of her second son. The successful entrepreneur turned her door-to-door business into a booming multi-million dollar company, garnering the cosigns of everyone from the Kardashian sisters to Amber Rose.
These days the head of the Waist Gang Society is also trying to kick off her rap career while starring in the latest installment of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta with her new fiance Buck, a major player behind-the-scenes in the city’s music industry. Clearly, waist trainers aren’t her only hustle. Although there have been many who’ve tried to duplicate her product, PreMadonna is already on to the next thing having found love, a prosperous business and a way into the hip-hop circle. Here, MommyNoire speaks with the young mother about what it means to be a busy business woman all the while holding it down at home.
Double Bar Ashland Hoodie Pullover Eagles MommyNoire: What got you into the business of selling waist trainers?
PreMadonna: I had two sons and after I had the second one my stomach was really big. I just didn’t like how I looked so I decided to come up with some products and I just figured it out.
MN: How did you start selling them to other women?
PreMadonna: At first, in Miami, I would just go to the doctors’ offices or walk around. I would stand outside of businesses and solicit. It was like a nine to five. I did it all the time.
MN: But for it to blow up the way it has…
PreMadonna: When I was walking around doing it, it was different. It wasn’t the internet, people had to see a physical presence. I was this lady walking around with waist trainers, outside of clubs or where ever else I knew that women were going to be.
It took three to four months from that point until Instagram came out. Instagram was new and I didn’t even have an iPhone. If you remember when Instagram first came out you couldn’t get it unless you had an iPhone. I had an Android so I wasn’t familiar with it. It was a little Metro PCS phone. I decided that I had to get an iPhone because I knew that there were celebrities and all of that on Instagram.
Once I got the iPhone I didn’t even know how to work it but that’s how I started. On Instagram. My first post was something like ‘Ask me how to lose 3 inches from your waist.’
MN: So you ended up relaunching the company then?
PreMadonna: I founded my company in 2009 but I revamped it in 2012.
MN: How did you know there was even a market for something like these waist trainers in this day and age?
PreMadonna: I had my son in 2008 and I had gotten tired of people asking me what I used or where I got it from without making myself some money. That’s how I came up with it. Because I would get harassed. So it was like, ‘Instead of me just telling you, why don’t I sell it to you?’ And it worked.
At first, two sales a day was good for me. I could pay some bills with that. I figured if I could sell five trainers in a week, I would be fine. It started to grow faster once I got on Instagram. Even in MySpace days, I was doing it then as well. It was just something I was doing it wasn’t a career goal at first. But once I saw the results and that it was really working I said ‘okay I have to take this seriously.’
MN: Now it seems like they’re everywhere though. Even at kiosks in the mall.
Double Bar Ashland Hoodie Pullover Eagles PreMadonna: Mine aren’t the same as theirs. We have independent resellers but mine are different from others in the market because we use different products and of course there are certain trade secrets that are undisclosed. If you get their waist trainers and then look at mine, there’s a difference in the “ingredients.”
MN: One of the criticisms is that they aren’t safe. They aren’t good for your back. So on…
PreMadonna: Well… How do I look? I’m sitting here, I’m not coiled over. I’m walking correctly. Actually, back in the day I used to have scoliosis so for people that say ‘it’s not good for you,’ that’s a lie, because it cleared out my scoliosis. It corrects your posture. As women we don’t stand straight up, we might slouch a little. Even as you get older, you know as you age, you might get that hunchback effect, but this waist trainer corrects it. It’s like standing in heels all day without having heels on. Its a medical garment. It doesn’t hurt.College Stitched Sun Mike New Bercovici Jersey 2 Grey Devils
MN: You have creams too, right?
PreMadonna: We have a slimming cream that when you wear it… Like, one is the lipo cream. You rub this one on and it helps you perspire more so you can lose that waist.
MN: Do you remember the struggle of trying to get your business off the ground? Seems like you’re far past that now.
Double Bar Ashland Hoodie Pullover Eagles PreMadonna: It took a long time. It did, but it doesn’t seem like it. When you’re doing something you love, the time really just went by, at first it was just like, ‘Okay, I need to pay some bills’ and then once I started to love what I was doing, of course time started to fly by. I love to make women feel good about themselves. I love making men feel like ‘oh my gosh, she’s tricking me with this.’ I made it cool to wear a girdle because if you remember, there was a time when women were embarrassed to even say they wore a girdle.
Read Part 2 of this interview tomorrow!
Check out PreMadonna’s Waist Gang Society products here and spot her on VH1’s Love and Hip Hop on Mondays at 8 pm EST.