Angelo Maddox is an entrepreneur, boxer, and and true New Yorker. He attended Hudson Valley Community College for two years and seamlessly transferred to the University at Albany to complete a bachelor’s degree and decided to stay in the Capital City to start a retail company, Fresh and Fly Clothing.
As if his entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to education is not enough, Mr. Maddox’s story is empowering; in 2013, Mayor Jennings of Albany told of Mr. Maddox’s journey in the City’s State of the City Address:
Let me tell you about Angelo Maddox. Angelo grew up in Brooklyn, where at a young age, he fell into the wrong crowd, got into trouble and was incarcerated as a Youthful Offender. When he was released, he moved to Albany to live with his aunt and uncle, and in Albany, Angelo turned his life around, graduating from SUNY Albany in 2005, ready, as he says, to take on the business world.
In 2006, he opened Young, Fresh & Fly at the Coliseum, a recently renovated Downtown retail incubator, and he quickly built his business into the area’s premier urban clothing store. In 2010, based on that success, he opened a second store called Fancy, specializing in women’s fashions.
Mr. Maddox has taken advantage of the University at Albany’s Small Enterprise Economic Development program, which is a microlending program that briefly incubates young companies in order to foster growth and development of upstate New York.
1. Why did you choose to attend Hudson Valley Community College?
I went to HVCC because it was affordable, it had the programs in which I wanted to study, and it provided me with the opportunity to get myself reacquainted with the school system being that I had been out of school for four years before making the decision to go to college.
2. You then transferred to the University at Albany. We say that you “committed to complete” your four-year education. Why did you choose to continue?
I chose to continue because it was my goal to get at least my bachelor’s degree when I started college. I’m a firm believer in “if you start something you have to stay committed and finish it.”
3. You went from selling clothes on campus and in the street to opening your own store in Albany. Can you tell us about that growth experience?
The growth process was tremendous; I credit that with my current success and I’m sure it will play a part in my future success, as well. Selling clothing and accessories on campus and in the streets gave me the experience necessary to deal with different types of people and personalities. It built my confidence and taught me that a “no” is only a hurdle in the journey to “yes” and success!
4. What is a typical day like for you and what is your favorite part about your job?
My day starts at 5 a.m. I get up and go to the gym. After I work out, I go home, shower, get dressed, make sure my son gets off to school, take my daughter to daycare. Be at “Fresh & Fly Swag Headquarters” by 9-9:15 to start my morning routine to open at 10 a.m. Throughout the course of the day, I’m usually making orders, dealing with customers, going over inventory, balance sheets, and making sure I’m giving (customers/employees) and getting the best out of my employees. I close at 8 p.m. and then I do daily sales reports, go over customer request, check inventory so I know what sold and what I need to order more of and make sure everything is in order for the next day. Then, I start all over the next day.
5. Overall, how did your college education help prepare you for life and your career?
My college education gave me the knowledge I needed to make me the best at what I do. I was a psychology major and my minor was business. Psychology is the study of human behavior and its impossible to run a successful business without having some understanding of how people think, act, and why they do the things they do. This knowledge and understanding gave me better insight in how to approach the retail clothing business, my customer, and my life.
6. What advice do you have to share with SUNY students?
SUNY is a great institution that can give you the tools necessary to build whatever future you want for yourself. Just like many other institutions, SUNY can only provide the tools. You as a individual have to decide that you are going to use those tools to be great in your own life and career. Once you make that decision, utilize those tools, and as long as you have breath in your body, work towards being the BEST & greatest you you can be.
Photo: Times Union
Maxwell is the Coordinator of Digital Engagement for The State University of New York.