Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: Interview with Shennel Fuller of Miles and Milan
Shennel Fuller is the Founder and CEO of Miles and Milan. Miles and Milan is alleviating poverty through Whole Planet Foundation, a Whole Foods Market non-profit. Shennel Fuller worked for major fashion retail brands for over 15 years with a focus on adult apparel, footwear, and accessories. Shortly after the birth of her first son, she decided to create a children’s’ brand that was classic and simple. This month, Miles and Milan, an Amazon seller, is a Gold Sponsor of Whole Planet Foundation's Women’s History Month activation celebrating International Women’s Day and the Foundation's global impact and creating more opportunities for microentrepreneurs – mostly women - to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Here’s why that's important to Shennel Fuller and her team.
Q: What is Miles and Milan?
A: Miles and Milan is a brand that provides style with simplicity. Our clothes are free of stereotypical colors, cliché phrases, and loud prints. Simply neutrals of black, white, and grey! We create gender-neutral clothing that starts as a foundation to mix and match with any item in your child’s closet. And the journey goes beyond clothes. Miles and Milan’s goal is to bring parents together to create a safe, inclusive, and educational spaces for parents to learn child development via our meetups and our social parenting card game, (Parent)hetical.
Q: What inspired you to start Miles and Milan?
A: I started Miles and Milan because I couldn’t find what I needed in children’s clothing as a new mom. I received many thoughtful gifts from family and friends with bold stereotypical colors and loud cartoonish prints. Nothing that match my minimalistic yet fashion thoughtful aesthetic.
I saw a gap in the market that I decided to fill for myself and moms like me.
This journey started when my first son was barely 1 and launched the website when I was pregnant with my second. I was juggling a pregnancy, a toddler, and a startup. Becoming a mom was the catalyst to creating my business. So, every day I am driven to support Moms by offering a brand that speaks to them.
Q: How did Miles and Milan experience growth as a brand after selling on Amazon?
A: Amazon has been a valuable marketplace in growing the brand awareness of Miles and Milan. Being a part of Oprah’s 2021 Favorite Things program helped me reach more households with Amazon. Amazon has changed the landscape of shopping; where once we would have to hit a mall to find what we need we can now do our groceries, get furniture, and pick up luxury goods all at once with the click of a button.
On top of that, Amazon supports the development of small business. There are so many channels available; From the account representatives, accelerator programs, and small business teams it is clear across all departments that Amazon is more than selling products, but helping brands grow and thrive.
Q: What are the core values of Miles and Milan and how do they come to life?
A: Miles and Milan is a brand that showcases timeless, no-fuss clothing; paired with milestone development content that will keep parents informed on the stages ahead. Let’s face it, we get thrown into parenthood with a lack of knowledge and high stakes with raising our little bundle(s) of joy. Our goal is to bring parents together to create a safe, inclusive, and educational space for parents to learn child development via our meetups and/or our social parenting card game, (Parent)hetical.
When you purchase product directly from Miles and Milan, parents will receive a MILEStone card corresponding to the age of the product purchase to offer clues about growth and developmental for the age group. Nothing gives us more joy to know that we have helped someone in the journey
Q: Why are you excited to join Whole Planet Foundation’s International Women’s Day activation?
A: Creating my very own business was a dream that I had for many years; one that I didn’t think would ever become possible. Had it not been for the support of dear family, friends, and partners that made the leap toward realizing a dream feel less impossible, I’m not sure I would be where I am today.
I am honored to partner with Whole Planet Foundation during Women’s History Month as it is centered around uplifting and supporting women around the world whose dreams may not be easily accomplished through socioeconomic factors.
Learn more at wholeplanetfoundation.org