Congratulations to our Young Entrepreneur Category Winner

Hawa Lukulay

Messie's Closet

West Columbia, SC

4 Years Selling on eBay

1 Employee

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Here's My eBay Small Business Success Story

A love for fashion and a quest for extra income in college turned into a full-time business for Hawa who has built relationships with retailers near her to find the best fashions for her customers. Hawa's success online inspired her to change career paths and continue building her clothing store.

Why did you first start selling on eBay?

I have never had a "real job." I started selling on eBay my freshman year of college for spending money. I loved the flexibility of selling on eBay; I could work wherever and whenever I wanted. I went to college out of state, so it was nice to able to take my job with me when necessary.

Why should we vote for you OR Why do you deserve this award?

I want people to see that you do not have to be perfect to succeed. You can start a business with just a cellphone and a little bit of free time. I am far from perfect, and eBay allowed me to gain confidence in myself. If I win this award, then my message would reach a greater audience. Many people around my age have a defeated attitude: they didn't get into their dream school or find the perfect job, but there is always a way that you can SHINE.

Share a fun fact about yourself/your business.

I won most likely to be a reality TV star in the high school yearbook and my parents are from Sierra Leone, West Africa.

How has selling on eBay contributed to your success?

Selling on eBay helped me gain self-confidence. Without eBay I would have never been able to scale my business to the level that it is now. You can ask my parents; before I started selling on eBay I was rebellious and negative. Selling on eBay gave me a passion and living life with a passion is so much more fulfilling.

eBay allows me to connect with the world, not just my community. The ability to connect with millions of people through a mobile device is incredible. People where I am from think I sell "weird" clothing, but someone in Oregon may think it's an ethereal beauty. Ultimately, I know that my business would not be where it is now if it wasn't for eBay, and I am extremely grateful for it.

What was the most memorable item you've sold on eBay?

Surprisingly, the most memorable item is not clothing. I found a vintage snowboard for $20 and sold it within three hours for $300. I did some research a little too late and found out it came from a very prominent snowboarder.

How has selling on eBay impacted your life?

eBay has impacted my life in many ways. It allowed me to regain my confidence after a very shaky high school career. If I put in the hard work with eBay, I saw a direct result. That result allowed me to regain my motivation, which ultimately lead me to have a successful college career. Without eBay, I am not sure I would've been able to complete college. I am proud to say that I was able to graduate college a semester early. Thanks to the flexibility eBay provided me, I was able to take extra credits.