A 16th century corset has been reinvented into what business owner and entrepreneur PreMadonna calls a “waist trainer.” In 2010, the 27-year-old established the Waist Gang Society at her Florida condo shipping over 500 packages per day. Her multimillion-dollar company specializes in custom-fitting waist trainers to help today’s modern woman get rid of unwanted inches and reshape their waists. After creating endless buzz on social media with her waist-snatching products seen on celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose, Blacc Chyna and Trina, the rest was history.
The young mogul says she is more than just a business owner; she’s also an engaged mother with two sons. In addition, to her extensive workload, PreMadonna is also a rising rapper and is wasting no time kick-starting her new music career. She recently dropped her debut single “Single Nights” featuring Rich Homie Quan and Trick Daddy.
Rolling out caught up with PreMadonna to find out more on her experience recording with two hip-hop superstars, how social media helped grow her brand and her future plans for expansion.
How did you start your business, What’s A Waist?
I got started with my business when I was a young mother. After I had my second son my stomach was all over the place and I did not like my body. I had to find something to get myself back to what it was before pre-birth. I came up with the idea of a waist shaper, however, at the time, these trainers were only made for girls 110 pounds and smaller. I didn’t know my waist size at the time, but I did know I was too big for the garment. I had a lady sew me up one and we figured it out. To make a long story short, I would go everywhere once I got my pre-birth body back and people started to ask me how I looked like this. My body had actually become a silhouette. I noticed how much I was being asked the same questions and decided not to tell anybody anything. I started selling the trainers to see how things would go. Things started to get crazy, so from there I created a whole business.
What sets you apart from other brands like Spanx and Arbonne waist trainers?
I don’t know who Arbonne is, but I do know who Spanx is. I believe Spanx is less aggressive and I want to say they are made for a smaller woman. My company caters directly to every culture and with Spanx when you buy certain products it doesn’t work for everyone. Spanx does what it is supposed to under the clothes and that’s about it. They give you a certain appearance that is less aggressive, but you see a difference in your shape. My garments are helping women correct their postures. This product will help shape you while you wear it. It’s like your gym in a garment. You do not have to work out.
Do you use social media to promote your brand?
Yes. Social media is a big tool and influence when it comes to promoting myself as well as the brand. When I came on the internet Instagram was only for iPhone users. I didn’t have an iPhone when I started, so I had to go purchase one just to download the app. I knew that all the people on Instagram were business people. I was in college at the time and this guy in my class was talking about this app and how he was networking with all types of business people. It was really a free market at the time to promote and put yourself out there.
What celebrities were you initially able to connect with starting out?
I have no idea. They would come around months later. I don’t know if it was because of what I wrote or if it wasn’t. This was a route I took to promote the brand. I would aggravate these celebrities every day with messages. Instagram is so different now. It used to have a popular page based off of how many likes you get on a picture. One day my homegirl told me my picture was on there and that Kim Kardashian saw my product and wanted one of my shapers. I was like girl Kim doesn’t ‘want my waist shaper and she said yes she does. Kim just had baby North. The rest was history from there.
Where can you purchase the waist trainers?
You can purchase them online at www.whatawaist.com and we also have two store locations in Florida. We are working on getting a store in Atlanta in 2016 if it’s Gods will. The best method is to purchase off of the internet. You can go online where we have a sizing guide to help customers. You just put in your weight and height and then it calculates your size.
Do you have international customers and will there be an expansion of the brand?
We ship to everywhere in the world. I wouldn’t be surprised if I shipped to outer space. I know it’s some aliens rocking with me out there. I ship to North America, South America and more.There will definitely be an expansion. I want to go back and put a store in Africa and one in London. I am going to try to place myself wherever I can go. We also have a lot of international and domestic distributors. We do have a call center that can help customers with whatever they are looking for.
Did you have any mentors help you along the way?
I looked up to a lot of celebrities and have searched for a mentor. I have learned in the beginning of my journey to success that all I have is me. When I started the business it was just me and my house. Sometimes I would have my kids take a label and glue it to an envelope, but it started with me. I was shipping out 500 packages a day by myself and answering customer service calls pretending to be somebody else. People had no idea they were talking to me in the beginning. I was doing it by myself, but it didn’t mean that I wasn’t in need of help. It got better over time when I was able to acquire a staff. Things are just going smoothly now.
Before you started your business, what were you doing?
I was a rebel. I was working, partying and trying to go to school. I was being a mother and trying to play men. I was doing whatever a young girl was supposed to do. I am only 27 years old, so I think I am kind of mature for my age. I had this job that taught me something. I would always be late to everything, but when it comes to work you can’t be late because you’re not the boss. I had a million excuses blaming it on the bus or having kids. My boss came up with a pay structure where every time I came in late he would dock my pay 15 minutes and take off 25 dollars. When I got my check I made up my mind that I am not working for anybody else. Also, I made up my mind that I wanted to be like him. He was tough, but he taught me the value of time.
How has your experience been tapping into your music career?
I am following my number one passion. I always wanted to be an actress and a rapper or entertainer. I am happy that I have the time, space and resources to do it independently with my team as opposed to being a thirsty rapper like I would have been three years ago. I could have signed a million contacts, but maybe the Lord spared me. My music is real. It’s all about me.
When did you start to develop your relationship with God?
I developed my relationship with God when I was a little girl. My mom used to beat my butt and I would ask God to tell her stop. I knew who he was. My mom kept us in church and I found it boring then. I get up and go to church every Sunday now. I got my experience with God when I was broken in spirit and lost. A friend of mine called me and I know I could always call this person. He gave me a prayer number one day and I didn’t want to argue, but I was like is he serious. I was like I have bills to pay and mouths to feed and he is giving me a number. After I calmed down, I called the number and it was a prayer line. I told the lady my whole story and she was so calm. She was telling me about an abundance of blessings that was coming and my faith was as little as a mustard seed. At that point, my relationship got stronger with God.
How did you come up with “Single Nights”?
I grew up listening to Uncle Luke, Trick Daddy and all that booty shaking stuff. I wanted to dance and vibe when I am in the club, so that is what I was thinking about. I wanted to be me, be sexual and have fun. I rapped about how I felt. People put so much effort into a record that they are not thinking about other people. Everybody is not on a level where you are. I can’t make music about where I’m at right now, because what happens to the girls that aren’t there yet?
What was it like working with Rich Homie Quan and Trick Daddy?
Working with Rich Homie was fun, but working with Trick was more personal than anything after growing up listening to him and wanting him to come back with music. I am from Miami, so being able to work with him is crazy. I watched him do all these duets with him and Trina and now I can do it. I relate to those who come from where I came from.
What is the difference in being a single mother back then versus being a single mother now?
I was a single mom, but now I am engaged. It is kind of different because now I have help. There is nothing in the world like having somebody be a father figure to your child. I remember when R. Kelly made that song where he said any man can make a baby, but it takes a real man to be a father. I understand it now. I grew up without a father in my life. I had my mother, which was more nurturing so I felt like I didn’t need him. As my boys get older they ask a lot of questions. My children have their grandfather as a father figure to look up to. I wouldn’t want them to look up to any other man than him.