325: How Wilglory Tanjong Got Her Luxury Bags From Senegal To Beyoncé

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325: How Wilglory Tanjong Got Her Luxury Bags From Senegal To Beyoncé

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In this very exciting episode, I’m chatting with Wilglory Tanjong, the Founder and CEO of Anima Iris, a technology-driven luxury bag brand that is industrializing Africa through retail. Starting with a personal investment of $5K, in under two years Wilglory has scaled Anima Iris into a multimillion-dollar valued company. 

In this episode she shares:

  • How she worked alongside artisans in Dakar, Senegal for their craftsmanship and ended up supporting their livelihoods and families
  • Her advice on keeping the faith and betting on yourself and your business every time
  • The crazy story of how she got Beyoncé to rock an Anima Iris bag and post about it on Instagram!

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Anima Iris: https://www.instagram.com/anima.iris/ 

Wilglory: https://www.instagram.com/wilgloryy/

Nicaila Matthews Okome 0:02

You're listening to side hustle Pro, the podcast that teaches you to build and grow your side hustle from passion project to profitable business, and I'm your host Nicaila Matthews Okome. So let's get started.

Hey guys, welcome. Welcome back to the show. It's Nicaila here and today in the guest chair I have with Wilglory Tanjong, the founder and CEO of Anima Iris, a technology driven luxury brand that is industrializing Africa through retail, starting with a personal investment of $5,000. In under two years Wilglory glory scaled Anima Iris into a multi million dollar value company. Wilglory has built an engaged and loyal community of over 95,000 irises as she calls them across social platforms. And the brand has grown rapidly and is now available at Saks Fifth Avenue Bloomingdale's and more. And Mima Iris has even been worn and highlighted by Beyonce, seen on Easter race insecure and featured in essence folk Harper's Bazaar in style L and more. At aneema Iris, every bag is carefully handcrafted by seasoned professionals in Senegal, and in today's episode, we'll glory shares how she scaled her business while juggling a full time MBA and dual degree program at Wharton Business School. She also shares her approach to saving and finances that allows her to bootstrap her business so far. And she shares the story behind that infamous photo shoot of Beyonce wearing one of her aneema Iris bags. You're not gonna want to miss this. So let's get right into it.

Welcome, welcome. Welcome to the guest chair will glory. You guys it has been a journey we have had to cancel reschedule so many times. And I'm so glad we're finally doing this. So welcome officially to the guest chair with glory.

Wilglory Tanjong 2:02

Thank you so much for having me. It's really an honor to be here.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 2:06

It's an honor to have you I'm so impressed by you. So inspired by you. So you as I can see you are very you're naturally fashionable, stylish, and all of that, but you don't have a formal background in fashion. Right. So what led you to go into this industry of starting a fashion product?

Wilglory Tanjong 2:27

Yeah, I am not formally trained in fashion. And that was actually something that I had to overcome in becoming comfortable. And even calling myself a designer, I kind of felt like I had, you know, impostor syndrome in a way. But I just I've always loved fashion. I remember like begging my mom to buy me this like Vogue Fashion book from Barnes and Nobles. When I was a kid, we used to always go to Barnes and Nobles and get books there all the time. And I just love flipping through the pages. And the thing is, I never saw people that looked like me in it though. So I never really considered myself as someone who could one day work in an industry like that. However, when I did start making bags, it was just for fun. It was just because I was like, Oh my gosh, this is just a really good relief was I've always been a creative person. So it just felt like like it just it felt like I was just having an opportunity to

question here. Yeah, like it was like a pair. I totally get that it was like self care, because I was also going through a really difficult mental health journey as well at the time, so I'll just creating for fun. And then it just kind of hit me like maybe I could actually sell these bags because people are always like, oh, Laurie, would you get this? Where'd you get that? And people buy things that I make? Let's see.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 3:54

And look at you now so tell me a little bit more about the actual making process because I can speak from personal experience that is the part that intimidates that's the part that stops a lot of us in our tracks. And as we record you're actually in Senegal right now. So how did that process come about? Were you there and said you know what, this is where I want my home base production facility to be

Wilglory Tanjong 4:17

Yeah, so initially I think I people don't know that I didn't like venture out to start a new virus right and the virus came to me fashion found me this purpose was you know, when when when you are destined to do something, your purpose will find you as long as you are also looking for it at the same time. I was in Senegal, interviewing young people for the African house well series was just this platform I created on YouTube, where I documented the work that young Africans were doing and the things that they were building and I had gone to Ghana, I went to Kenya and I decided to go to Senegal. So first Francophone con trying to see what other young people were doing there. Now, while I was in Senegal, I came across this incredible community of artisans who just create all kinds of things. And so I was making handbags and jewelry at first. And I was just like, so amazed. I was like, I cannot believe I drew something. And then we like, put all these materials together. And a couple of days later, like, it's a real life thing that I can actually use and wear and love. Like, that was just so much fun to me.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 5:33

And yeah, I would have been amazed by that, too. Like, I'm trying to wrap my mind around that. And I

Wilglory Tanjong 5:38

think that's why I have such a, you know, great following online, because I show people that process and they are amazed by it. I feel like you know, people kind of gatekeepers, how to build a company, feed the behind the scenes, and I'm like, no, no, no, let me show you guys everything I'm doing and how I'm going about doing it. But yeah, so like, long story short along the way. You know, I met some really great artisans, the first artisan actually worked with, I no longer work with him. So that did not end well. But fortunately, artisan I worked Yeah, that's just the reality, right is like, people are hard to find, but you have to keep going and keep trusting your in your instincts. The second artists and I started working with we built a really great relationship. And then I started and he led me to another good person and you know, good people, no other good people. And that's how I built my team. But it was really hard. Like, these are artisans who do not work for other people, they you know, they do work for other people as in, you hire them to make their bags, but they work with all different kinds of people, right? So to get them to come on board full time and to be like, I'm taking you out of your Atilla pas to come to my facility to work here for me only me full time. That was that was really difficult. But it took it was it took me about a year to get me know people to trust me to see the vision. But as they saw, like the you know, their workload increasing, it was like first I was like, I need 10 Back in 2014 and 15. And it's like, oh, we're not even able to make enough we need a bigger team like people started seeing the vision for sure.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 7:25

You set it took like about a year so how what did that look like in terms of your lifestyle, you know, you were working coming back and forth traveling or was a lot of this done? Virtually.

Wilglory Tanjong 7:35

Alright, so let me set the let me set the background. So here we are. It's November 2019. And this is when I'm like, I'm just gonna do this side hustle thing a NEMA Iris right, I had actually taken time off of work. So it's like heading into month six, it's time for me to go back to work. I'm doing a lot better in terms of my mental health. So initially, when I took time off from work, and I head back to work, I know. So December, you know, got to get that bonus. One thing about a year bonus child. And I'm just like saving, saving, saving, saving, saving, like I'm saving 70% of my paycheck. And I'm actually living with a friend and people this is something I've never shared, or don't share frequently. But I lived with a family friend, who she was so gracious. I mean, to this day, she needs anything, I would never say no. So she was an overnight nurse. And I worked during the day. So we actually shared a room. And she let me stay at her place for free. And I was like literally please at least let me play utility utilities. Like I can just say you're for free. And I will go to work during the day. And then she'd be sleeping during the day. And then I might see her as she's like, you know, I'm coming home, and she's leaving, etc. And so it was just kind of like perfect. And I did that for about three months save 70% of my paycheck. I'm saving like crazy. I'm planning to quit, you know, in April, but now I'm like really over the company. Come You know, I was like really over it. So it was like March you know, it's like every single day I'm fighting for my life to make it to the next day. Because my financial advisor and I had agreed upon a certain amount before she you know, essentially let me like quit the job and said okay, well like you've saved enough you can you can pursue what you want to do and being comfortable financial setting. But then COVID happened. And then it was waiting for the ball to drop. Yep. Then it was like, Oh, hold on, didn't plan for that didn't pan for a pandemic. So I ended up so but the week COVID was not a pandemic, I still quit my job because I was like, You know what? I had so much faith in what I was doing that I was like, I don't care. I'm just gonna go and quit and we're gonna see where I land. Because at the end of the day, you I have this great degree very fortunate to have graduated from Princeton. It's like somebody don't hire me, you know, so I quit my job. And then I moved to Philly. I'm living with a friend. And we had both quit our jobs, quit our jobs, gonna

Nicaila Matthews Okome 10:16

quit our jobs society.

Wilglory Tanjong 10:19

We built our businesses, you know, alongside each other. And it was amazing. You know, I supported her, she supported me and I'm incredibly grateful for for, you know, having been able to do that. And then one day, I call my friend to let him know, like, Hey, bro, I just moved to Philly. And he was a student. I wore it. And this is how I actually ended up at Wharton. And he's like, sorta talking and he's like, oh, you know, well, there's this program at Wharton. I think you should apply to him. So long story short, I ended up applying with like three days left to to the deadline.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 10:51

What's the program called? I mean, how did you take your GMAT what?

Wilglory Tanjong 10:55

So I didn't I hadn't taken the GMAT. But here's the thing because of COVID, the GMAT, all these testing organizations had not figured out how to, you know, do at home testing. Everyone was like scared outside for valid reasons. Yes. Oh, yes. Like, all right, you know, what y'all that were applying in the last like it was a third round. You don't have to submit your GMAT score. You don't have to submit a GRE score, we will consider your application without those test scores. But if you do get in, you have to take it. So I'm like when I tell you what, so I got in and I like was sitting there taking the GMAT or I don't know what the GRE the GMAT online. I was like, I was really that mean, that's like, I just, I'm just here, so I don't get fine. Just showed up, I cannot tell you what

Nicaila Matthews Okome 11:46

is amazing. I did not know that's how they were. That's what was going on. It was always crazy how everyone had to adapt. Yes. And there were a lot of there were other schools that that did that that didn't take into consideration your test score. So that was a really unique opportunity. So I applied for that. But you know what we'll glory. There's just so many amazing things that you've said. So hold that thought, right. But what I want to touch on is number one, you have a financial advisor. Many people have that. And what age did you get a financial advisor,

Wilglory Tanjong 12:19

I got a financial advisor, my freshman year in college, when I was getting refund checks from Princeton, and I had spent all of it at J Crew. And I was like, I said that I looked myself in the mirror. I said, Well, where did all your money go? I reached out to the richest person I knew Maxine Clarke, she found a builder bear that was my mentor at the time. And I said Maxine, please Like I didn't I don't know. I don't I don't I don't come from money. I don't know anything about things. Maxine is the greatest person in the world. She plugged me to my financial advisor. And through her financial advisor, I started saving 30% of every paycheck. Any paycheck, Princeton cut me, I say 30% of it. And I ended up graduating, you know, with about, I think it was either 12,000 or 21,001 of those two numbers,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 13:11

probably $21,000 in savings. Amazing that you don't hear that often. That's why I had to roll it back. So we can talk about how did you get Maxine as your mentor was that through Princeton or a program,

Wilglory Tanjong 13:23

I did this program called Lita leadership enterprise for diverse America, they actually helped me get into college, they help low income students, who are also high achieving, and they you spent a summer on Princeton's campus, and they help you apart and everything. So definitely recommend for people to apply that program. So Maxine is a supporter of that program. And I met her through that program, and yeah, so she's been great.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 13:52

Rachel, alright, so we're gonna get back to work glory story, but if you are, right now thinking like, I don't need a financial advisor, go get one, let this be the inspiration. And also if you know anyone who qualifies, tell them about that program leader.

So Alright, we're back. You've moved to Philly, you reach out to your friend, what happens next?

Wilglory Tanjong 14:16

So he's telling me, there's this program called water, and it's a whole war in and International Studies program. So you, I would be getting my degree in International Studies with a focus in Africa. There are other regions you can focus in, and also getting a warrant because I've been getting two degrees at the same time. And I'm like, that makes sense. And he's so we're looking at each other like, this makes sense. I just spent this time traveling Africa. You know, I am building a business on the African continent, very entrepreneurial. So the MBA was making sense. The International Studies program was making sense. So I applied, I pulled together my application literally in three days. I'm super grateful my roommate at the time, she was like, super supportive. Like, she was honest. She's like, well, apply, make sure you don't. My cousin a shill, you know, he helped look over my application. I mean, consistently in my success, it always takes a community. And so even getting into war, and I'm so grateful for all that just even said, like, pushed me were like, Girl apply. So and then I got in, and it was like, Okay, wait, hold on. Whoa. Were you planning to go to business school? didn't think I was gonna get in, you know?

Nicaila Matthews Okome 15:34

Yeah. Did you ever worry about the money part because like starting a business as this huge investment, and then going to business school is a huge investment. So how did you make that decision?

Wilglory Tanjong 15:46

Yeah, we're in is very expensive. So I was very fortunate to not have graduated undergrad with any debt. So taking on debt and grad school was not like I was adding on to anything, you know what I mean. And then latar had also given me substantial financial aid and not only covered their program, but then it also covered a portion of my war in program. So it was still expensive to attend war, and but it was a lot more affordable.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 16:18

And how did you once you started? How did you balance running a business plus going to grad school?

Wilglory Tanjong 16:26

So this is how we then you know, circle back to how I'm building a good relationship with my artisans. Because what happens is Warren is online for the first year, the entire first year is online, and I become a huge benefactor of that, right. So now, I am actually able to travel to Senegal, Senegal had opened up their borders to like Senegalese citizens and Americans. I don't know why specifically Americans, but I was I will be in there and ask some questions. We get there. Let's go. Versus America. Okay. I went to Senegal. And I would wake up every morning at about 8am. I would meet with my artisans by 9am. Start working, working that to many of my artisans, and I was there every single day like sunup to sundown, I would buy it was by 1pm. I was taking my first class, I started at like 9am at the time, that was a timezone difference. And 9am was my first class for Lauder. And then we'd be taking classes all day from the both the Lauder program and for war. And I would do and then by like, the end of the day, my artists and said I would finish around six o'clock, then I'd go home, I would do another classroom we're in I would do, you know, go to study hours, or like whatever they're called, to get extra help, and would end my day, usually around 10 to midnight. And that's how I was doing it every single day. And I became super close with my artisans, because they were seeing they really knew I was in school, I would be in classes. And in the background, you will see all these bags and people be like well yeah, and then and my artisan he actually purchased and installed an AC unit in his Lea because I would be there with my like little neck fan. I was so hot, but the hustle was more like I was so hot. I was sweating. I was sitting there I was in class. And so he like spent his own money he installed an AC unit for me so I could be more comfortable knowing that I was there every single day.

Not that is a story. I don't think I've ever heard anybody story that is just this. I mean, I'm sitting here just and also just truly blown away. I mean, the fact that you're doing this and as someone who saw I went to business school and you know had to do the in person like I remember struggling getting to that 9am class. I used to think like oh man, it sucks that everyone is online, but not for you when you're building a whole business. This is not just like a little side business. This is so talk about what starts happening to in this year. You're featured on insecure Beyonce is wearing your bags like how did that come about? My Queen? I just sold Queen before the Beyonce moment happens right? Yeah, I actually sold lots of programs starts in the summer. So I'm online doing a lot of program are taking our classes and I can start seeing my phone like I keep getting texts my my why my friends texted me that y'all know I'm trying to do the school thing like

like my friends are blowing up my phone. So I turn my camera off, and then class and then I like somebody We did about us. And they were like, Oh, if you're looking for black on handbags, this is a brand I really liked, like one of our customers had tweeted about as well I told you like we were it was going viral, it was getting so many retweets, orders. Again, it was like ping, ping, ping, ping, ping. And I was like, Oh my gosh. And so at this point, you know, now my camera is always off in class, because I'm packing orders, and trying to listen to whatever the professor is saying. So this juggled from before I've even started day, one of already real. And I at this point, now we're doing about $10,000, a month in sales. Yep. And so I'm, like, feeling great about it. I didn't think this business was going to accelerate so quickly. But you know, it's like, we're growing. And it's like, 15,000, that's like 20,000. And then I actually ended up having to drop out of the water program. And, you know, because I mean, I told you what a typical day looks like, right? From 8am to 8pm to 10pm, midnight, it was too much. I was stretching yourself way too thin. And it was one of those things that was like, I'm going to fail as a business owner, I'm going to fail in war, and I'm going to fail in lottery because I cannot commit enough time to any of these things.

Yeah, I was wondering how you were doing I know, right? Yeah, I

mean, I think for me, it was it was incredibly difficult, especially as a first gen African immigrant, this idea of dropping out is like so like, it's like, what we don't want is that I've like never heard of an African person ever dropping out of anything, like, especially not a topic of conversation. So you're going to college, you're going to get your education, you got to finish it. And whatever you do, guys, your business, but like one thing about it, you're going to finish what you start. And I had to come to his reckoning, like I simply just cannot continue forward. It's, it's just not possible. So I you know, in the program leaders, they understood that and I remember that night I cried, I cried so hard, because I was like, I really felt like I had failed, you know, but I had to make the decision. That's like, what the success actually look like a year two years from now is building a business. You know, by the time I graduate, or and I ask myself, is building a multimillion dollar valued business by the time you graduate? Going to be what you deem to be success? Or is it going to be graduating at the top of your class in both war inland and Lauder as successful? And I chose my business because I had already done the Princeton thing. You know, the educational thing I graduated Princeton, cu laude graduate the top of my class, right? Like, I have nothing left to prove to anyone, whether you know about being academically capable, I know I am now I have to pay myself into the world, that I am entrepreneurial enough to build something that's going to make a difference. And that's why I decided to do

Nicaila Matthews Okome 23:14

Snap, snap snaps. That's it right there. And I mean, really, you don't have to prove anything to anybody but yourself. But I like that you face that question of what does success look like to me? Because that's what matters at the end of the day. What does that look like to me?

So for you, you talked about being an open book, you talked about working with different artists? How do you go about scaling your business and growing your business without worrying about you know, people copying people who you no longer work with running forward with your designs? How do you manage all of this all these moving parts?

Wilglory Tanjong 23:58

Yeah. Alright, so in terms of people copying, I have been getting copied a lot. Unfortunately, it's coming majority from other black woman designers, which you know, that hurts me most because like, it's always gonna you know, copy me Please Don't copy me because I have to stop marrying Zara and that's half my closet. So Zara, please Don't copy me but it's one thing if you're copied by like, oh, you know, a corporate institution or whatever. So that when you're copied by other who that look like you that really hurts, but I'm copied a lot by people, other people in Senegal. One of my bags was like copied like straight like, this is not even inspiration. This is like you showed your team. This is the bag we're trying to make. Let's redo it, you know? Yeah, but um, I haven't worried too much about my team because those first two people I told you about that. Uh, you know, I like became really close with let me actually tell you the story. So the first person, I started this, so I had the first artisan, him and I didn't work out, I found another artisan. And his name was his name is Malik. And he then when I wanted to expand, he introduced me to Chef. Now chef also speaks English, Chuck and I did not get off on a good foot because chef had somehow found my bag and he wanted to work with me. And so I don't know how you got my number, but he made my salsa. Wait a minute, hold up. Like, why are you making my bag and like sending it to me and Malik had to make chef apologize shows. I'm so sorry, my wha we did not get off on at all. But then when it came time to needing another artisan Balak was like, you should ask? Sure, you know, he's a great artisan. And I'm like, how you will be added chef onto the team chef and I became really close, especially because he also speaks English really quite well. And he and I became so close that he would always tell his mom about me, actually. And share has a story that he told me like a couple of months ago that I hadn't I didn't know I've known him for you know, over two years now, but I didn't know about this. There's this tragedy that has occurred quite frequently in which, you know, we have young Senegalese people going onto these bones, and trying to emigrate to like to like Italy and Spain, etc. And it's extraordinarily dangerous. And a lot of people are dying on these boats. Because, you know, they feel as if there's no opportunity in their country. And chef told me that when he was like 20, something years old, he did that against his mother's will his mom was like, I will literally die if you go on that boat. And he did. And he told me that he actually almost died, they ran out of food, they ran out of water. And they made it all the way I'm forgetting whether it was Spain or Italy, just to be flown back to Senegal. And his mom was like, just keep working on what you're doing. One day, everything is going to change. So by the time she meets me, right, um, he tells his mom about me. It's like, I love this girl. She's a woman. She's a boss. She's been growing why like cheese, you know, and I'm a big fan too. Like, I'm like, I can't wait for the day to meet his mom. And I remember coming back and learning that his mom unfortunately, she had been sick for some time and she passed. And before she passed though, one of the last things but she told Sharon was whatever you do stay by the glory side. You know, you guys aren't meant to work together, you guys are going to go to new heights together like stay by her side. And that was something that like he was like That is why we glory no matter what happens in this business. I'm always gonna be by yourself and I'm getting so emotional. Wow.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 28:28

Because I'm getting emotional listening. And I thank you for sharing this with us. Yeah,

Wilglory Tanjong 28:33

and you know and I did get permission from from Chicago to be able to share this story so but it's just one of those things where it's like you come to this country this continent hoping to make change and you really are I did not I had learned about these tragic accidents happening to Senegalese young Senegalese people by see I had no idea that this artist and I adored and loved so much, could have been one of those people. And to see that, you know, him and I have now really built this business alongside each other. You know, that's why I don't even like referring to anybody that works for me as like an employee because I feel like you're not building this business. For me. We're building this together. We're opening this alongside each other. So now Shanghai, we're super close, he knows like artisans in this country. Anytime I'm like, okay, Shah was looking like we're going to need another one too. He already has like a list in his own head of who he's going to bring on next. And he's super intentional personality and attitude is everything if you cannot work in a community setting this is just simply not for you. If you were only here to make money and that's it, you know, like medicines definitely make good money. Don't get me wrong, but yeah, money is your only driving factor. This company is not for you. So sure. I was able to like filter out and find those people for me and he onboard, someone brings them on. So this is why I tell people, that good people, no other good people. And it's really hard to find good people. But when you find them, make sure you keep.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 30:21

Yes. Oh my gosh, that story was so powerful. And you take a minute you take a minute, because there are a few things that hit home for me that I want to call attention to. Of course, it's relationship building, right? When people talk about hiring, hiring, hiring, and it does come down to relationships, it does come down to how you feel, and how you work together, and that rapport and that trust. At the end of the day, you have to have this trust in a person on your team. You know, however you refer to them. So that relationship building is so key, especially when you're first starting out, I know, as you get bigger and bigger, you might not have that same relationship with everybody on your team. But at least that core person who's helping to grow your company is passing that along. And they're growing that with the intentionality and the integrity that you have looked for in your business. And then also this idea of impact. So I know for me a lot of times, when you think of impact, you think it has to be this huge scale of like, I need to impact 1000 women, I need to impact a million women and all this all these big benchmarks that we put out there. But we forget that if you can change the life of one person, and then they go up, like that is the ripple effect of impact. And so we have to focus on that a little bit more and start stop thinking like, oh, I need every $1 of every sale to go to some charity that we're not connected with. And we're looking at money is being deployed and inputted into communities. Why don't we focus on that personal connection and that impact? So I love that you highlighted that with that story?

Wilglory Tanjong 32:15

No, that's 1,000%. And, you know, for me, it's like, the other week, one of our artisans came up to me and he was asking me if he could, you know, I think he like needed the day off tomorrow because he wanted to he needed to go sign this paperwork for land that he had purchased. And I was like, Oh my gosh, like yes, like wow, obviously take the day off and congrats on buying land, you know, like, and that for me is what it looks like when people are receiving good consistent pay. It's like yeah, you know, they're able to actually buy property expand upon it. Bill provide for their family. You know, like, I remember thinking Last Christmas I Asha, hi, boy, this him and his kids, they were doing like for Christmas. He was like, telling me all this different stuff. I'm like, Dad is really living like, Oh my God. They are. Like, and I you know, I've met kids on on FaceTime. And you know, I've talked to the kids of some of my other artists. And it's really wonderful to cause you to see that because then it's like, well, I'm hustling every single month, my booth, my business is still bootstrapped. So you know, it's like I'm hustling every single month, it's like, I can't mess around because I, there are families relying on me, and I know the faces of the children that are relying on me to

Nicaila Matthews Okome 33:49

have bills, you have real overhead real gas to pay for each and every month. So let's talk about that a little bit. Now, you mentioned like you started having $10,000.50 $1,000.20 $1,000 month. What did that look like on the profit side? Like how much of this are you able to retain? Or how much of this are you putting back into the business? And, and talk to us a little bit about that?

Wilglory Tanjong 34:13

Yeah, so fortunately, handbags are actually a very profitable business, a luxury handbag, and Sri has really strong margins. And so that has allowed me to be profitable a few months into the business. And then you know, as we were like growing and scaling, like I lost profitability, because you know, that you're investing a whole bunch of money into inventory, and it's not until you sell those things, you know, you start recouping that money, but you know, we've gained profitability lost it, but you know, we've remained cashflow positive for like over a year now, and I just keep investing it all back into the business. All of it, right, because I feel like this is, this is what I'm meant to be. This is what I'm meant to be doing right now. This is what the money should be doing. And so you know, we growing the team adding on new people, you know, now we sourced from Italy, which is expensive, right? Materials are a lot more expensive, and we're investing in that. But we definitely reap the benefits of that for sure.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 35:18

So when you say that you don't take anything from it, so how do you pay yourself?

Wilglory Tanjong 35:24

Okay, so I do pay myself. And this is funny, because one day my financial advisor, like, you know, about a year ago, she was like, Well, I'm weighing all these people, I don't see your name on any Excel sheets. And I was like, oh, no, like, I don't pay myself like everyone has to get paid. It's not about me. And she's like, all glory, to pay yourself to you need to prioritize paying yourself because you're putting a lot of work into this company. So I do pay myself I certify I set aside $5,000 to be transparent, I set aside $5,000 each month. And even when I when I do payroll, I cut everybody's check besides mine, I do always do mine last. And but if we're being honest, a NEMA harness is still an LLC, so there is no such thing as really paying yourself. That's what I learned when I file taxes. I had an accountant for the first time because once a NEMA ours started making money, I was like, oh, I need an accountant because I'm not trying to go to prison because if I do my turbo, I'm gonna

Nicaila Matthews Okome 36:34

call you up like is like you're still like a single member LLC. And so it's still like, it's that blurry area of like, technically, you're still filing under your name, too. And yeah.

Wilglory Tanjong 36:55

So all earnings are technically my earnings by you know, and so by the time I had to pay taxes,

I said it was see me 5000 I was setting myself each month is not my pocket Doctor mode because what that is, I had to understand was that it is a transfer of money to another account. I am not on payroll, you know, and so until the structure of my business changes, you know, maybe if I bring on investors someday I'll actually be on payroll and that'll be a very different story. But also one thing I'm gonna say shout out to Brandon Blackwood. Because he connected me to his accountant actually nice work with his accountant. Yeah, so

Nicaila Matthews Okome 37:48

I love to see the energy and help across same industry. That's awesome. Shout out to Brandon

Wilglory Tanjong 37:56

was one of the most wonderful people in the world. I'm always sharing.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 38:02

I love to hear that.

You hear that? That is the sound of another sale on Shopify. The E commerce platform with everything you need to run a successful online business. I use Shopify to sell my side hustle pro merch over on side hustle shop.co. And if you have a signature gold side hustle promote, then it came from my Shopify store. I love Shopify, because Shopify makes it simple to sell to anyone from anywhere. Whether you're selling gold mugs, or candles, start selling with Shopify and join the platform, simplifying commerce for millions of businesses worldwide. With Shopify, you can customize your online store to your brand, discover new customers and build the relationships that will keep them coming back. Shopify covers all the sales channels to successfully grow your business, from an in person POS system to an all in one e commerce platform, even across social media platforms like Tiktok, Facebook, and Instagram. And thanks to 24/7 support, and free on demand business courses. Shopify is here to help you succeed every step of the way. It's how every minute new sellers around the world make their first sale with Shopify. And you can to this podcast actually started as a side hustle, as you know, and it's now my full time job. And running my shop on Shopify helps make this possible. When you're ready to take your idea to the world. Do it with Shopify, the commerce platform powering millions of businesses down the street and around the globe. Now it's your turn to try Shopify for free and start selling anywhere. This is possibility powered by Shopify. So sign up for a free trial at shopify.com/hustle Pro, go to shopify.com slash hustle Pro to start selling online today shopify.com/hustle Pro as people are thinking about where to start their businesses, I noticed that you know, you started in Senegal, you're still there. What went into what you are sourcing a little bit from Italy too. So how does that work? As far as was it a matter of oh, I started here this works or have you ever considered other places, when you look at the bottom line and how much materials costs?

Wilglory Tanjong 40:31

Yeah, I've considered expanding into Ghana, not necessarily because of the bottom line just because, you know, go the operation I went to and God is just a country that I loved being sounds like, I'd love to just like be here having

Nicaila Matthews Okome 40:49

I have a friend for you. To connect with.

Wilglory Tanjong 40:53

I went to come I say with a friend, one of my good friends, Phil, who has his own shoe company, Phil and Joe. And he works out of class and they do a lot of you know, leather goods stuff there. And I tried to you know, have the makeup bag and unfortunately, they just aren't busted bags down the same as the way you know. They are in Senegal, unfortunately. So I then I realized I said, Okay, you know what, each African country kind of has their own thing that they're really really good at, like, my artisans here are actually like literally incredible. And I realized, like, I should stay in Senegal expand the handbag portion of this business here. Especially since you know Shaq like knows everybody. And we'll be able to continue growing the company. Because now it's like everybody wants to work for Nima ours all the artists. Especially in their artisanal community, they're like, Yeah, this American girl like came and gave everyone jobs. A lot of their artisans who are like literally like getting trying to improve and get better. So they can, you know, be at the caliber to work for us. And I, I'm like, alright, well, let's stay in Senegal, let's continue producing our handbags in Senegal. The goal of this company is to become a lifestyle company, right sort of starting with handbags. But I want to venture into shoes, I want to venture into clothes, I want to venture back into jewelry. I want to do furniture one day, I love furniture and home decor and wallpaper. I'm here for I want to say made in Africa as much as possible. And so in Ghana, their strength is close, like, oh my gosh, they can so over there, you know. So I'm like, if I'm going to expand into making clothes, I might consider Ghana. And you know, things like that. So that's what my own expansion plan looks like in terms of how to expand across Africa.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 42:56

And let's talk a little bit about the marketing piece. So obviously, word of mouth was great for you. But word of mouth, it can ebb and flow. Right? So as you are, you know, in grad school focused on scaling a company, how did you tackle marketing, promoting your business getting it in front of eyes?

Wilglory Tanjong 43:14

Oh, my gosh, this is this just reminded me. I got so sidetracked. I even forgot to talk about Beyonce. So we're gonna have to circle back.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 43:22

No, we are circling back. Don't you worry. I'm bringing it back. Well, first, I want to know, like, what were some tactical steps that you weren't

Wilglory Tanjong 43:29

doing? You know? So initially, when I started building up the business, we were building it in a way that was like, kind of like every other business like I was building it in a way where I was inspired by established luxury houses. And that wasn't really resonating with people. And it made sense, right, which is like these established luxury houses have like didn't have to do anything. Yeah, they don't really got much, right. They don't have to themselves anymore. So now it's like, well, as a young brand, it's like how do you differentiate yourself because we are different. So there's no reason to be a company that's actually really different from these fashion houses, and market ourselves or showcase ourselves on social media the same way. So I started becoming more of, you know, the face of the brand when I realized that people kind of like liked seeing me. And you know, this is just kind of like a tip to all entrepreneurs out there that people nowadays want folks want brands who have a face behind it. And that's why you see even huge luxury houses now having these brand ambassadors that are really popular with people you know, because now those you know, those celebrities, etc, are the faces of the brands and people can resonate with the brand with those luxury houses even more. So being somebody that has a very big personality, and I was just like here Are you open and just like, not really caring, you know, if I was being copied or whatever, because I'm like, listen, you're gonna copy me like, you're always going to be worried, you're always gonna be 10 steps behind because I'm working on the next thing. So I was just so transparent, people love that they love seeing the behind the scenes. And so it all started on Instagram. Instagram is really where we build our initial following. And people would like, you know, reshare to other people, um, tell them about us. I will also create content that was re shareable, which was key. So when you're thinking about the kind of content you're creating, you have to think like, Would I reshare this? What? This you know, you don't want your friends reshare your content just because they're like, oh, I want to support my home girl. You want them? Right? No, my friends reshare the content and like, they don't even tag me no more, because it's like they're sharing it because they want to, you know, post it not because they like want to get in there brownie points right up front, if it's important you in the meals will tell you so you see exactly, exactly, yeah. So you want to create really shareable content content that feels relatable content that doesn't fit feel like it's been so polished and put together, you know, and that's why for a long time, we didn't really do like these extensive, like, Next Level campaigns, editorial campaigns, like I do them now just because I need editorial images out there. So we do like a series of brands

Nicaila Matthews Okome 46:29

are serious brands. But I know what you mean. And I'm glad that you raised that as well. Because I think because Instagram started as such an eye focused platform, like, share what's going on with you. Now when people then start a brand Focus page, they're thinking with that lens, but no, actually, you need to be thinking about the person. So it's kind of like instead of saying, Look what I did, it's like, look what you can do. And that content is shared.

Wilglory Tanjong 46:52

I get messages all the time from people who are like, you inspired me to like, you know, go for this, to build this company to do this. And that is in that in that and that's what is so meaningful for me, you know, and that's why showcasing how I'm doing it. And showcasing the behind the scenes and being so transparent is so important, because people are like learning from that. And I think and I always tell people all the time, like I got a lot of messages people you know, wanting me to help them like one on one and I can't help everyone one on one. But I'm I actually think that my greatest gift to entrepreneurs who are interested in doing what I'm doing is my social media. Yes. Between the Lines and you don't consume the content like a everyday person. You're consuming the content from like an analytical perspective and thinking why did we go posted like that? Why she's saying you like that, you're gonna start seeing and understanding and it's going to really teach you a lot like, you know, ours is history like you will learn so much as an entrepreneur for sure.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 48:08

All right, so now we got to talk about Beyonce. How did she find it? The iris come to be? I need to know.

Wilglory Tanjong 48:16

So I won a three month free he our marketing gift package thing from this lock ons company called Simmons PR. And a part of it she was like she's she says, Send me a list of who you would love to have your bag on. And obviously Beyonce was on that list. And she got in contact with Beyonce solace Zarina at the time, and Serena was like, oh, yeah, let's get some of her bags. And so we shipped out bags to Beyonce. And I remember like wish we should multiple beds. And there was the one bag one that Beyonce ended up wearing. There was this the one bag that Chef actually had to like make because we didn't have it ready to ship. And I told Chuck Hi, Sasha this bag is for me. He was like, Are you for real? Girl? He's like, are you serious? I was like, Beyonce. My word is back. I'm so serious. He was like, Oh my god. So here I am. And at this point, I'm still fulfilling my own orders. Like I have my own center still. I pack it up. I write a little note. I don't think Beyonce ever saw the note to be honest. But you know I was like Beyonce like You're like such an inspiration love you girl. And and I prayed over it. And I remember I'll never forget I prayed over and I said God, if this is your will let your will be done. And I shipped it. And that was shipped alone. And then I remember months months pass. You don't say where to pass. I said Beyonce hates me Mars. Oh my god like she guys are wack. She doesn't warn us. You know I just shipped it in April. So by the time August rolls around, I'm like, oh, it's slow. I'm not looking to see if she's gonna wear it at all, you know, not realizing that Beyonce has like warehouses of like stuff that people have sent her. So you got to make it past the warehouse they shot is actually a long process to get into Beyonce. But then, one day, I had my fulfillment orders, steal my home fulfillment center, and I did a end of summer sale. So we were getting a lot orders. And then I remember, I woke up that day, I was like, I had so many orders to panic and actually recorded myself. And that's why I have this video where I talked to I tell the story. And there's a video with because I recorded myself fulfilling orders that day. And I was so tired. By the end of the day. I remember I drove I put all my stuff in my little Honda Accord, all the bags and all the boxes in there drove it to the UPS. I was complaining to the UPS guy, I was like, I'm sweating. I'm tired. I'm over it. You know, like I'm waiting for my big break. I'm like, Lord. And he was like, no, like, look at all these orders. Like you have customers. You're doing it like keep going. I would love to be your physician. I'm like, Yeah, I guess. And so I get home. And it's another day and I'm my RM article shower, but you know, because I can't help but go on social media one more time. So I get on Instagram one more time. And the very first post is a post from Beyonce. And I'm like, What is my queen up to today? I mean, she. But you know, I'm still a big I swiped so in the video, she's walking with like one of the babies. And I think it's roomy and she's walking with the baby. And they're heading towards the helicopter, you know, just rich people things. Transportation, you know, she's probably just going down the street, honestly. And I you know, so I swipe and I'm like, Oh my God. My armpits start itchy. Oh, like, I'm liking those Nigerian movies. Oh my god, like, oh my god, I just and I'm just like, Oh, my God, I just started seeing messages that you're back on to finish. I was like I get on Instagram. I was like, Y'all commented, and people were commenting and tagging it us like, that was one of the best days of my life. And it was I know it was I know it was it was it wasn't even like I was really down. But I was really complaining two hours ago like I was over it. And little did I know Beyonce had worn my bag like earlier that day or something you

Nicaila Matthews Okome 53:15

know what I mean? Are you about to get more orders to ship out

Wilglory Tanjong 53:19

here sold on my whole world not really bought to be friends but oh my gosh, I will never forget that and I'm so thankful to my friends who took the time to celebrate with me. And you know, then we had a Beyonce approved party and you had like a cut out

Nicaila Matthews Okome 53:49

pictures of that. Okay, yeah, we'll try to insert pictures y'all Watch the YouTube version. That is so cool. Oh my god, I would have had a heart attack. So shout out to you for not fainting that. I don't know what I would do like so did you see like lasting increase after that? Or is it one of those things where it does spike but then it kind of resumes a normal pace.

Wilglory Tanjong 54:14

So there was definitely a spike. That month. I believe we hit 100k for like the first time right so it was like we had the sale. So you know we were already like doing really well that month. And then Beyonce came on through and just put up and put a little you know, B bow on it and it was right. And so I think what I did is less about whether that like I was sustained and more about what it does to a brand when a person like Beyonce wears it right. But you don't say don't have to worry about that she don't want to where she's not gonna want to wear so be honest is where anything you know, she went away. And that means that like and that's saying something with that Having to ever actually say anything? Yes, yes. What that did was provide a lot of validation for us like, here we are. The small new to the scene, made in Africa company. And on her waist is not, you know, a bag from these traditional European fashion houses. It's from an artisan in Senegal named chef alongside with glory who, you know, made this back for her. And that is so incredibly important. Especially because, you know, Beyonce is a celebrity of all celebrities. And so that also gave my business validation. But that gave me a lot of confidence. Because I think as a black woman, a black person, a woman, a black woman, entrepreneur, a person who is not a fashion designer who doesn't come from money, I mean, so many different things that so many forces are working against me, you know, to not necessarily make me feel confident, but like, by the time Beyonce put on my bag, it was like, you could not tell me nothing. Don't nobody's rejections going.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 56:11

Yeah. And it's so funny that you say so many forces can be seen as working against you. But so many forces are working for

Wilglory Tanjong 56:18

you. They're working for you. Yeah. Because it turns out and I spoke to KJ moody about it Beyonce Stalin's who stopped her with the bag, Shadow kJ. He's literally the most amazing. Oh, my God, he is incredible personality. We randomly had breakfast together in Paris, we're finally able to meet like, look at that, like, I was in Paris for you know? Yeah. And and he was there last week. And anyway, so we had breakfast in Paris. And he told me about the Beyonce moment. Now what happened? Is first time styling her and actually, so that was a big week for him to do so. So it was one of those moments where he's waiting to see if people are gonna like the work that he's done. And he told me, he was like, Yeah, you know, like, he was like, we had a whole different outfit plant. And the Alpha just wasn't coming together. But he had my bag in there as part of, you know, the options for Beyonce to choose through. And he was like, Beyonce picked up your bag and said, I really liked this bag. And so they pre constructed the whole outfit around the bow, they pick the skirt, they pick the top, you know, and then she was like, she wanted to wear it around her waist. So then they, you know, he put the he put made the crossbody strap, a little waist bag. And, and that moment happened. So I'm sitting here first I said, Oh, so you mean to tell me it's not just like, Beyonce won my bag. It's like Beyonce, Charles my bag. Your bag like, I'm listening. I'm telling you. I tweeted the other day, I was like, I cannot wait for the day I get my own. Like, I'm so proud of you. That should be flowers. Because I feel like that's my life right now is

Nicaila Matthews Okome 58:10

that you know this, and I'm glad that you're claiming it. And you already know. So I just love that you share these stories with us.

Wilglory Tanjong 58:18

I mean, the fact of the matter is like, it's like, you know, she knows the brand is by home she likes that wants to support black owned brands. And so here it is where you can see, you know, perhaps my blackness is working against me, right? And that kind of force. But then there are forces working for me where there are very powerful people who want to support black businesses, and who was intentional about doing so. Our support changed the trajectory of my company truly forever. So I'm so grateful to be on say I'm so grateful to KJ moody. It has meant everything to me.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 58:53

So what does it look like in terms of staff now? How big is your team? And how big do you you know, see yourself growing your team to be able to handle your current workload?

Wilglory Tanjong 59:05

Yeah, we definitely need more team members. I think people think my business is a lot bigger than it actually is. We have about seven artisans. Okay. And we have McCurtain operational manager here. Then we have two other people who do marketing and socials and truly just kind of like everything there might go to people like everything else. And then there's me and who handles fulfillment. Oh, so now fulfillment is no longer being handled in the homework book or it's now. It's now being handled by a fulfillment center that fulfills for a whole lot of other brands and they're wonderful, you know, they've been very helpful. So yeah, so getting that off the plane goof off. That was a great day too. Yeah, take all my choices. And I think

Nicaila Matthews Okome 1:00:02

you held on to it a little longer than you needed to like what what made you decide to finally outsource that?

Wilglory Tanjong 1:00:10

Absolutely. I remember somebody telling me that the faster you can get a fulfillment center to start, you know, fulfilling your stuff, the better. Because like, when does when Beyonce moments and things like these viral moments happen, it becomes very, very difficult on your business. So I definitely, definitely wish I had done it a lot sooner. And the process of onboarding, and everything is so much we have so many different kinds of bags and things like that. But we're finally in a very comfortable place where we're able to easily fulfill. But yes, I absolutely recommend that entrepreneurs, I always say like, get your product out there as soon as possible. It doesn't need to be perfect. Your audience or customers will let you know what they need from you to make it perfect. And then also, you know, try and work with a fulfillment center as soon as possible as soon as you can.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 1:01:08

Man, I could talk to you all day, we do have to jump to the lightning round. One last thing before we head to the lightning round. So how did you approach finding a fulfillment center? How do you do that Google search? What? What do you look for?

Wilglory Tanjong 1:01:21

Yeah, so that's something that someone else on my team did. But I think like, if you like Google, you'll find like one of the really popular ones. And I used to just have to have conversations with them, right? Like some of the younger growing and are willing to grow with you. Some are like a you are not bringing in enough orders each month for us to like kind of take you seriously because you know, at that point, their fitness centers are running like Amazon, you know. So, yeah, it's one of those things that took us some time. And we have to have meetings with different fulfillment centers, for sure. But personalities, everything you know, I think, like, this business is so heavy on personality actually, like, and I say this all the time. Like, I'm actually not great at math grants. I did graduate from a school of financial that was crazy, but so I mean, now I can do some math. But, you know, I have a lot of shortcomings. I'm not perfect, you know, I made mistakes. But one thing you know, I do really well, it's I trust my gut, my instincts, and whether you want to call that intuition, or vibes, it's like I built this company straight on the vibes. Not on Excel sheets, not off, you know, data, but bla bla, right. I thought I thought this I thought it all vibes, right. It's like, you know, you're just good vibes with the people you're working with. It's like that first artists in the Bible is off, the second one vibe was on, you know, and you start working with people, you feel the vibe, and you're like, you see whether or not they are gonna be there for you. And the vibe of the fulfillment center, we're currently working with the owner, the vibes are so on.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 1:03:12

Thank you for that encouragement, because we need that encouragement. I'll share with you, too, that, you know, just like yesterday, I was getting ready to sign a big contract. And I was just nervous. I was talking to my brand manager about it my brand partnerships manager. And he was like, you know, here's the exit clause in the contract. If you don't like it, you do have a way to exit. I was like, that's true. That's true. I was like, you have to take a chance. And if things don't work out, you can move on. All right, it won't be the end of the world.

Wilglory Tanjong 1:03:43

We didn't even get to that part of you know, the things I love to tell people, which is like, there's great importance in just starting and going and pursuing. Because if things like one of the worst things that could have happened for me would be like, okay, my business fails. People laugh. All right, bounce back, I can still dress so what like and, you know, and it's like, you know, just get a job somewhere else like you. Yeah, we kind of think like, the worst thing that can happen is like catastrophic, and it really kind of isn't, yes, set yourself up to succeed, but always have an exit clause. I had to cause that was my Princeton degree. And the fact that I also had a really good you know, savings account by 2020 Granya. I believe spent about 20 grand 20 grand is is a lot of money for someone who's just kind of like doing whatever, you know, and then I was like, saving all my other money. So, so yeah, it's, you know, I always have an exit cause but recognize like, the worst thing that can happen is probably also like not that deep at the end of the day. Yes, yes. Yeah. Like life is not that serious.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 1:04:56

It might be over for you know what, so please just go after it. We got to do the lightning round y'all y'all gonna have to hit up all glory on social. Want to continue this conversation. So really quick lightning round. All right, first of all, number one, what is a resource like the top resource that you can think of when you think of something that's helped you in your business that you can share with the side hustle pro audience,

Wilglory Tanjong 1:05:22

first thing that is coming to mind is Canada. Shout out to the founder of Canva. I remember seeing that, you know, canvas like a billion multibillion dollar corporation, I was like that girl that founded that company deserves every dollar, because she has fully changed and altered the ability for businesses to actually you know, visually create in a world where the visuals matter so much Canva it's an incredible resource that allows you to make your business look so professional. And it's like something you worked online and like three seconds. So Canva is amazing that that little 1214 hour subscription is worth every penny each month.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 1:06:04

Love Canva number two, who is a black woman entrepreneur that you admire and why like someone realistic that you would trade places with

Wilglory Tanjong 1:06:15

that, oh, that I would trade places with? Yeah, I was gonna say I really admired my homegirl AMI day from topicals. She has an incredible business, that she's building with great products and a great community. And I'm just so inspired by her. We launched our companies around the same time. And she she's doing amazing. So I always, you know, shout her out every opportunity that I can, in terms of trading lives. I'm trying, I'm trying to live and be honest life actually.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 1:06:43

Alright, number three, what is a non negotiable part of your day?

Wilglory Tanjong 1:06:47

Um, that's such an interesting question. Because I don't think I have like anything that's non negotiable. Yeah, and I, you know, I'm just like, I'm just, I'm very real, like, you know, I don't have the best, the best the healthiest practices, like I don't get up every day. And I'm like, Oh, I have to do my stretches. I don't get up every day. I have to work out. I'm not getting up every day. Like, I have to, like, eat my breakfast. Sometimes. I don't eat my breakfast. You know, like, some days I you know, sleep sleep later. Like, I just I am so committed to doing what I'm doing that truly everything actually is negotiable. But I'm hoping to get business to a place. Yeah, want me to get my business to a place where, you know, once we have a lot more capital inserted into the business, hopefully through investments, I'll be able to hire more help. And then maybe I won't be able to get up every day and be like, No, I got to do this little stretch moment. That's not

Nicaila Matthews Okome 1:07:47

for me before. So what would you say is a personal habit, though, that has helped you in your business? Oh, you

Wilglory Tanjong 1:07:55

know what it is? I like always try to make people laugh. Yeah, I feel like I think I'm a very funny person. And I have a pretty good sense of humor. I'm not like, you know, stand up comedy funny, but witty things that'll make people laugh. And I realized that my personality was such a big factor in my success. When I went to Italy recently, and I met up with some of my leather suppliers. And they had like a team dinner at the end of the day with their entire team. And they invited me they invited me and my buyer to attend alongside Kendall from Kendall miles shoes, who I was there with and I was sitting there you know, and I was like, Oh, this isn't you don't have like your other customers here. Yeah. It was like because they really liked me. You know, they actually really just like working with me and that's when I was like, wow, you know, they follow me on socials too. And then there's another supplier that I work with and I remember going there two trips ago. The guy who like oversees the leather production, I do not know whether I don't know how he found like our account or whatever he was just like making these particular leathers for and then he found us. He is such a I remember walking in he was like oh my god she's here he like brought a piece of paper and asked me to sign it people

Nicaila Matthews Okome 1:09:35

love to work with people that it matters.

Wilglory Tanjong 1:09:38

That is so important. That cannot be you know understated the best math person the most organized, best ideas the most creative. If you are not pursuing folks like to work with they are not going to work with you or if they or like the best thing is when they do work with you Do they kind of like go above and beyond, you know, like, they really like go do their best. They're happy to be working. Yeah, working with you. And so I'm so thankful for all of our different partners and all the different people I get to meet and work with. Relationships really are important. You know, of course, I'm not perfect. And I have taken those moments where I have failed in relationships with other people to learn to grow and make sure it doesn't happen again, because everything is a learning lesson. Yes.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 1:10:28

And then finally, what would you say is your parting advice for fellow women side hustlers, who want to be their own boss start their own business one day, but I kind of scared of losing that steady paycheck.

Wilglory Tanjong 1:10:41

I mean, listen, for me, I sat back, and I had to think like, Alright, I'm at this company, I'm making good money, the company is not like overwhelming or anything good work life balance. I in 10 years, I'll have this position. This is how much this position is making. You know, this is probably what my house will look like, like, life will look like. And I was like, I don't really like that, like that, that that life I painted of what it would look like in 10 years. If I stayed with that company, any company was not exciting for me, it. For me, it was like, I always felt like I had so much more to contribute to this world. And if you feel like you have a calling, which we all do, we all have a purpose in this life, then pursue that. Not every Angeles and entrepreneurship is not for everybody. It is very hard. side hustles should can be for everybody. And even side hustles don't always have to be something you're making money off of. It can also be something you just love. But in this life, make sure you do something that you love and you care about that's going to drive you every single day. So I always tell people go and try to find out. Like we talked about have an exit cause have some backup, right? Don't listen, do not listen to this podcast interview tomorrow. To quit your job, listen, write a plan. All right. And either Yes.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 1:12:16

That is what we emphasize here in side hustle pro world. All right.

Wilglory Tanjong 1:12:22

Savings. Absolutely. I was literally living with a friend saving 70% of my paycheck. Like that was like I was committed to leaving my job, you know? And so it's like you really have to commit yourself to saving at least people usually say at least six months I live in expression lifestyle. So for girl like me, it's like

Nicaila Matthews Okome 1:12:49

you're my kind of people. You are my kind of baby. That is why I started side hustling. I knew exactly my lifestyle needed to be maintained.

Wilglory Tanjong 1:13:03

Yeah, do this entrepreneur thing. Yeah. All right. One way somehow. someway somehow go find our way. Yeah, this has been so

Nicaila Matthews Okome 1:13:13

much fun. So much fun. So before you leave, please let everyone know where they can connect with you and shopping NEMA Iris after this episode.

Wilglory Tanjong 1:13:23

Yes, our shopping a NEMA Iris you can find us on our website. A NEMA a Nima IRIS i r i s.com. You can also find us at Saks Fifth Avenue in stores online. You can find us at Nordstrom, you can find us at Bloomingdale's. You can find us at Amazon luxury stores. And terms of connecting with us online we are on Instagram at a NEMA dot iris we are on Twitter. A NEMA underscore Iris Marie are on Iris my personal Instagram and Tiktok is with Laurie with two eyes wi l GL o ry why I love connecting with people. I love talking to people via DM so feel free to reach out to me. And yeah, and hopefully I'm actually working on a masterclass as well. That will help a lot of people as in stages of starting a business so ciao to edit it, I'll get it out there because

Nicaila Matthews Okome 1:14:27

I'm here for that all about the master classes you guys I'm all about going to the people who aren't doing what I want to be doing and learning from them I will pay you whatever I need to pay you. But you know give me the straight shot to the information. So I'm not over here googling So yes, we will look out for that. Thank you so so much for being here. As you can see guys there's a lot we didn't even get to touch on but that's why we're gonna need a part two let me know if you want to part two but thank you again. Congrats on all your success. And when you As there you have it. Hey guys, thanks for listening to side hustle Pro. If you like the show, be sure to subscribe rate and review on Apple podcasts. It helps other side hustlers just like you to find the show. And if you want to hear more from me, you can follow me on Instagram as a side hustle Pro. Plus sign up for my six bullet Saturday newsletter at side hustle Pro, that CO slash newsletter. When you sign up, you will receive weekly nuggets from me, including what I'm up to personal lessons and my business tip of the week. Again, that side hustle pro.co/newsletter to sign up, talk to you soon

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Meet the host:

Nicaila Matthews-Okome

Hi! I’m Nicaila, the Creator and Host of the Side Hustle Pro Podcast. I started Side Hustle Pro when I was a side hustler myself. I was a digital marketer at NPR by day, side hustler by night. Through the powerful stories shared on this show and the courage to launch my own initiatives, I was able to quit my own job and go full time with Side Hustle Pro.

201: I QUIT my Job! (REWIND)

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