Fresh & Fly Clothing is owned and operated by Brooklyn native Angelo Maddox. He moved to the Capital Region in 2000. Maddox has been an entrepreneur since he was a student at Hudson Valley Community College, where he would sell incense, oils, and clothing at the campus center and student events. Shortly after graduating in 2005, Angelo begin to look for a brick-and-mortar location where he could establish his business.

In June 2006, Maddox founded Fresh & Fly with the mission of being the best and selling the best in urban fashion to men, women, and children. Through study, growth, hard work, and “a whole lot of hustle,” says Maddox, Fresh & Fly became a key tenant at the Coliseum. The Coliseum is an indoor mall on South Pearl that is devoted to small, independent businesses.

Eventually Fresh & Fly expanded, taking up the whole first floor of the building. Then in 2012, Maddox opened his own standalone store next to the Albany TimesUnion Center.

“Being a business owner is a roller coaster ride. As you stand in line waiting to get on, you realize you have to face your fears,” says Maddox. “Once you are on the ride, you buckle up. You see that there is no turning back because once it starts, you can’t get off.”

Day to day business will be filled with ups and downs, but that has an upside. “Once you experience that first big fall and get back up from it, you realize you can handle it,” he says.

The secret to Maddox’s continued growth? “Over the past 13 years, Fresh & Fly Clothing has developed into a store that keeps its finger on the pulse of the latest urban fashion trends while staying true to the classics,” he says. Excellent customer service and hot apparel and footwear have made Fresh & Fly a trusted community retail destination.

“Having The Community Loan Fund as a partner and ally has been a tremendous asset to my business,” says Maddox. “It provided my business with what it needed to sustain itself and grow. The Community Loan Fund truly lives up to its mission of supporting small businesses. They know that small businesses are the backbone of the economy so they consistently provide the tools – technical and financial – that are necessary for them to start, maintain, and grow. I am personally grateful for its presence and commitment to supporting small businesses in the Capital Region.”

There is no surefire recipe for success when it comes to entrepreneurship, but passion and a genuine determination to help people will always serve you well. “Don’t enter into business ownership with the sole mindset of ‘I’m doing this because I don’t want to work for anybody, and I want to be my own boss,'” Maddox advises. “You have to have a truly be passionate about what you’re doing because even though you own your own business, you work for your customers.”

“Your goal should always be to fulfill a need and serve as many people as you can with a degree of excellence,” he adds, “for if you do so, money and success will come.”