Behind every venture is a business owner with a unique story. For Dese Enterprise CEO Yang Yang, she was born and raised in Bejing, China and her mix of international and domestic experience has given her a unique experience which has contributed to her success. Starting as a one-woman show, we were able to ask Yang about her story, her business and advice she would give to fellow aspiring millennial entrepreneurs. We had the opportunity to speak with the Boss in White.
Tell us your background and what led you to start your business?
I was working a second job as a waitress and a customer came in wearing a pair of white fur boots and I fell in love with them. I had to have them but I could only find them for sale from the wholesale that made them, so I had to buy 12 pairs. I ended up selling the other 11 pairs on eBay to get rid of them. I sold out in a few days and made more money than I was making at my full-time jobs.
What does your business do? (Products & Services)
I sell women's clothing online, everything from high heels and thigh high boots to sexy dresses and casual outfits perfect for work. We always have over 7000 shoes in stock, 3000 dresses and 5000 swimsuits most of them for sale for under $30.
What does it mean to you to build a business from the ground up?
For me, it meant staying up until 3 am to pack and ship all of that days eBay orders while working two full-time jobs to get by.
Take us through the early days of starting your business?
I literally had nothing. I had just moved to America from Cambridge and my parents cut me off after I got my master degree to try and force me to move back to China. I was living in a one bedroom apartment driving a Mercedes that I could barely afford to put gas in. I worked full-time in customer service/marketing department for an online computer parts company during the day and 5 days a week as a waitress in a tea house. After making some money selling those first 11 pairs of boots I decided I couldn’t go on working two full-time jobs and decided I would take a chance on my Ebay store. I had to max out the one credit card I had to buy the first 8 or 9 cases of inventory. I stayed up the entire night taking pictures and list all the shoes to get my store up and running before I went to bed. That first week was crazy. I started getting a dozen orders a day right away. I would be up after midnight packing orders every day and taking them to the UPS store at 6 am before work. I also had to go back and get more shoes after 3 or 4 days because I was selling out of everything.
What advice would you give to Millennial entrepreneurs and CEOs?
It's ok to be afraid, the fear is what keeps you down to earth and will motivate you to succeed. If you are fearless you can make bad decisions without taking the proper time to think about what you're actually doing. Everyone has to take a chance if they want to succeed so don’t let the fear keep you from your dream instead use it as motivation to work hard and put in the long hours.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Don’t think of yourself as a woman, this is a business you are the company. I never thought about being a woman when it came to my company. I always looked at it as I am the business owner this is my company that happens to do business with other companies.
Where do you see your business in the next 3-5 years?
Unlike most of my competitors that are fleeing from California as fast as they can to avoid the $15 minimum wage that is coming, we are going to be here forever. Most of my employees already make more than this so the raise will not affect us like it will these other companies. Even American Apparel is rumored to be leaving California when their lease is up. Currently, we are in the process of negotiating a deal with the biggest manufacturer in California for all of our AMIClubwear brand dresses and swimsuits. In 3 or 5 years we might be the only retailer in the fast fashion industry making 100% of our items in the USA.
Anything else you would like to tell our readers?
Looking for sexy celebrity styles but don’t want to pay the ridicules designer cost then check us out at www.amiclubwear.com we sell the exact same styles for under $30