– The Sun News
RICHARDS

Woman of The Sun: What my father’s death taught me – Richards

Richards, in her book “Building a Million Dollar Side Hustle,” details her journey into entrepreneurship and building a big brand.

Christine Onwuachumba

Julian Richards is the founder of A Million Dollar Enterprise, owners of popular women’s wear, Slim Girl Shape Wear, which has been worn by celebrities

Richards has also written a book, titled “Building a Million Dollar Side Hustle,” which details her journey into entrepreneurship and building a big brand.

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She recalls the ugly incident of her father’s murder, the bitter lessons she took away from it, as well other issues in this interview with Daily Sun recently.

What were you doing before you founded your enterprise?

I was working at Chase Bank Mortgage. We were responsible for managing risks. Homeowners who had taken loans from banks were required to maintain insurance to protect the banks’ investment and we were responsible for enforcing that.

For ardent users of shape wears, should wardrobe choices be limited?

Not at all. In fact, it should be the opposite. There are many women who have limited their wardrobes because their belly is too big or they feel that they do not possess an hourglass figure. Our body shapers are designed to shape your body and give you that figure that you have always desired. Now, you can wear those dresses or clothes you have always wanted to wear or even the ones you used to wear before you had kids.

What is your book, “Building a Million Dollar Side Hustle,” about?

The book is about my growing up days here in Lagos and the ordeal of losing my father. I was inspired by my parents’ relationship as well as my mother’s fighting spirit.

I was born and raised in Nigeria but relocated to America after the murder of my father. While I was travelling overseas, I had just a little above $100 to survive on. I was driven by a high sense of determination to move on with my life, in spite of the challenges occasioned by my father’s sudden demise.

READ ALSO: How dad’s death changed my life – Uche Jombo, actress

As a young entrepreneur, I thought my story would inspire budding entrepreneurs, so I decided to write about it.

Do you recall the circumstances surrounding your father’s death and how it affected you?

My father’s death taught me to be prepared for anything and made me a stronger person. However, it broke my spirit for that moment because I was only 16 years old and I thought that my life was over, but I have realised and learnt that taking life one day at a time was all I needed to get by.

I was really traumatised. I can tell you that one never really gets over something like that but, like they always say, time heals everything.

What does it take to sustain your kind of business?

You have to work round the clock and remain focused. I am obsessed with my job because it is my passion. I love to do it because, with it, I have helped to put food on the table for other people. That is what fuels my ambition.

As a player in the global shape wear and undergarments industry, you should be ready to explore new frontiers and markets. I have introduced a line of lingerie with the intention of leveraging my brand to gain market share. I was born and raised here in Nigeria and it would be unpatriotic of me not to bring my business home.

With my indomitable spirit as a Nigerian and hard work, I was able to achieve my dream in America with $100 while still studying in school and it has evolved into a big enterprise.

What inspired you to start this business?

I always wanted to run my own business, just like my mother and my grandmother did. So, when the opportunity came, I was ready to turn what was just meant to be my own new journey into a livelihood.

It has taken me a lot resources, time and determination to get this far. And I am happy that my sacrifices and commitment have paid off.

What were your initial challenges and how did you overcome them?

I had so many challenges when I was setting out, and how many can I even recall?

I have lost count of them but the important thing is that we were able to rise above the waters, and here, we are today. Expanding our business to Nigeria has remained my biggest challenge. It tested my love and commitment to this country. However, it has taught me to be very creative, flexible and, above all, to think fast about solutions.

What would you say are some of the lessons you have learnt since you started?

I have come to understand that genuine people are rare in the world, but do not be a bitter person, in spite of what people throw at you. You should also realise that you will come across good people and, when you do, you should recognise them and keep them close.

What is your advice for young women who are desirous of starting up their own enterprises?

I urge them to work hard, remain focused and sleep little. Know your priorities, have a workable and realisable plan and work within your budget.

Build within your capital such that when you begin to make profit, you can account for every kobo you make. Most importantly, look up to God and work hard, even as you pray. Remember, that you must build up first before the harvest comes.

READ ALSO: Adeboye urges people to trust God for solutions to whatever challenges
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Tokunbo David
Tokunbo David

Writer and editor.

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