Angelo Maddox receives inaugural Downtown Luminary Award

Angelo Maddox receives inaugural Downtown Luminary Award


The owner of Fresh & Fly, a clothing retailer located in downtown Albany, has been recognized as a "leading light" in Albany's newest neighborhood

The Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) presented its inaugural Downtown Luminary award to Angelo Maddox, owner of Fresh & Fly Clothing, at last evening’s “Let’s Talk Downtown” networking event at Jack’s Oyster House. The event, co-presented by the BID and Capitalize Albany Corporation, offered an update on Downtown development and initiatives to the neighborhood’s business and residential stakeholders. 

The Downtown Luminary award recognizes an individual or organization that acts as a “leading light” in the development of Downtown’s small business, arts, and/or residential communities. A Downtown Luminary is a gamechanger, a leader who helps shift the perception of what the District is and what its future can hold.

A Brooklyn native, Angelo Maddox moved to the Capital Region in 2000 to attend Hudson Valley Community College and the State University at Albany, honing his business concept through student events, vending opportunities, and even selling clothing out his car while still in college. In September of 2006, just a year after graduating from SUNY, he founded Fresh & Fly Clothing as one of the first storefronts in the Coliseum retail incubator on S. Pearl Street. Through steady growth, Fresh & Fly became a key tenant at the Coliseum, eventually expanding into an entire floor of the building before moving into its current standalone location at 13 S. Pearl Street in 2012. Over the past 12 years, Maddox has developed Fresh & Fly into a store that keeps its finger to the pulse of the latest urban fashion trends while staying true to the classics. Offering excellent customer service and some of the hottest apparel and footwear brands, Fresh & Fly has become a trusted neighborhood retail destination. Maddox’s community spirit extends to his work as a mentor; his success at the Coliseum made him a natural role model for other South End small business owners, and he partnered with the City of Albany's Office of Youth and Workforce Services to establish the Succeeding With Attainable Goals (SWAG) Program, teaching young people entrepreneurial skills and the importance of teamwork, leadership, and community engagement. Maddox was recently included in the Albany Business Review’s “40 Under 40” Class of 2018, an annual list and awards ceremony recognizing young Capital Region professionals who are shaping the community’s future.

“As a mainstay in downtown Albany since 2006, Angelo Maddox’s Fresh & Fly Clothing has been a ‘leading light’ in the Downtown small business community,” said Mayor Kathy Sheehan.  “My administration understands that our small businesses are a key component of the successes of our neighborhoods, and we are extremely appreciative of Angelo’s hard work and dedication to Downtown Albany and our entire City.  I wish Angelo and Fresh & Fly Clothing continued success.”

“Angelo is a Downtown luminary, lighting the way for new innovators to take the next step in pursuing their goals,” said Downtown Albany BID executive director Georgette Steffens. “He took his Fresh & Fly model and not only thrived, but expanded into a space that had historically been difficult for other businesses. What was once one of only a handful of true retail destinations in Downtown is now a cornerstone in our burgeoning community. Through Angelo’s commitment to the neighborhood, customer-driven approach, and consistently positive outlook, he has become an easily accessible and inspiring role model to both other entrepreneurs and the District as a whole.”

“One of the key factors that has allowed me to obtain this level of success is just listening to my customers – understanding their needs, understanding what they want, and listening twice as much as I talk,” said Maddox. “Coming up from hard beginnings and being in the place that I’m in now, I’m showing young kids that come into my shop that if I can do this, they can do this. They can run their own businesses and do whatever they set their minds to if they stay focused and go after their goals,” continued Maddox. “It’s proof positive that it can be done – not by saying it, but by actually seeing it and being it. It’s illuminating. Winning this award and being able to reflect on these accomplishments is a great position to be in, and I don’t take it lightly.”

Presenting the Downtown Luminary Award was BID board member and owner of B. Lodge & Company Mark Yonally. Recently celebrating its 150th year in business, Lodge’s is a Downtown institution that “kept the lights on” during periods of rebirth and revitalization in the Central Business District. “Angelo is a success story for Downtown,” said Yonally. “Not only is he a small business owner who truly listens to his customers, he’s also become a mentor for others to look up to as example of what the entrepreneurial spirit can accomplish over time. We’re seeing the resurgence of downtowns across the country, which is in large part driven by independent, fully-invested retailers like Fresh & Fly Clothing, who can feed on one another’s success and work together while meeting the needs of the residential population.”

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