by Melissa Stewart
I recently got the chance to interview Hadari Oshri, the entrepreneur behind Hadari Online. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of Hadari until I became part of the Staples’ #MoreSmallBiz Squad. Her story is inspiring and it’s hard to believe this mogul in the making has been flying under the radar!
Here are a few of her business highlights so far:
- Grew from modest beginnings in a small apartment to a company generating half a million dollars in merchandise.
- Used her contacts and know-how to launch a wholesale company and sold online ‘events’ at Zulily.
- Became Zulily’s top selling apparel merchandiser in only 3 months.
- Launched Hadari Online in 2015 and became the number one apparel company on Overstock.com.
- Opened a flagship store in heart of the famed Downtown Los Angeles Fashion District.
- Lives her motto: Dream it! Believe it! Work for it!
So, if you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting or reading about Hadari Oshri, we are thrilled to introduce you to the self described “natural born entrepreneur” and the woman behind Hadari Online!
How would you describe your small business, HadariOnline.com?
Hadari Online is an e-commerce fashion company – it is a place where mothers and daughters can both shop together and find stylish clothing. Our price point typically ranges from $10-$49. We have sizes for all body shapes and styles appropriate for all ages. Our goal is to build confidence through fashion. I feel very strongly that every woman, regardless of where she’s from or how much money she makes, should be able to look good and feel good about herself.
How long have you been in business?
Our brick and mortar business started a year ago. We started out buying merchandise and ended up with too much inventory so we started selling to Amazon and Overstock and became the #1 seller on Overstock. At that point we knew it was about time to build our own brand. So in September of 2015 we launched Hadari Online.
Do you have a team of employees or is your small business a one-woman show?
We have a team of 5 people, all employees of Hadari Online.
As a small business owner, what are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
There are a lot of them! Too much inventory, no inventory system in place so we could catalog and locate our products, finding a good storefront (location is key), finding employees, cash flow, etc. We experienced evolving changes throughout the year!
To counter that, what have been some of your most rewarding experiences?
I love to see the results on the other side of the challenges! I knew I had too much inventory and needed to sell it, so I came up with the idea of the retail store to move product and bring in cash daily. Seeing the end result is really rewarding.
What inspired you to start HaradiOnline.com?
I felt the need inside to make something happen. I had two previous companies that failed and I had a drive to fix that. I didn’t want to stop at failures. To start something from scratch isn’t easy, but I have a drive to succeed that pushed me through. I love to inspire people and mentor them, and I believe I can do that by sharing my story.
Who are some of your small business heroes that you look to for advice and inspiration? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
- Surround yourself with incredibly successful and inspiring people. I have one friend that owns a children’s clothing boutique and another friend that owns a jewelry line. I’m always inspired by them and want to keep up with their successes. I try to learn from the people I meet. I ask questions! If you don’t ask, it’s impossible to learn. It’s also important to not be shy. Ask successful people for help. Find a good mentor to help you. I believe you should have 2 mentors, 1 business and 1 personal.
- Be confident! It’s very hard to be confident in yourself and your business. But, you need to find that confidence and go for it! We have a poster in the warehouse that reiterates our mantra: “We got this!”
- Be strong. Some people stay and some leave. The people who believe will stand by you.
Do you have any goals set for your small business as we’ve just kicked off the New Year?
My goal for this year is to increase overall awareness of Hadari Online. We are looking to showcase our first runway show in New York City and are aiming to create big buzz around our brand prior to doing so. Unlike other fashion brands, whatever you see on the runway will be available immediately on our website. We hope this will be the kick start for our holiday season sales, and ideally, Hadari Online will be a household name by the end of the year.
What recommendations or tips do you have for readers who are in the beginning stages of opening their own small business?
Again, be confident. Don’t be scared, just do it. You need to start small. Don’t listen to excuses that you may create for yourself. You need to start somewhere. Push yourself to go farther every day.
How has Staples helped you get to where you are today?
Staples has been so crucial in the success of my company. I knew I needed a loan and I went to so many banks! My credit wasn’t great, so I was turned down numerous times. Then I found Staples Small Business Loan program online and had a loan within a week!
Staples didn’t just look at the numbers, they interviewed me. Staples went online to find out about me and my company. They looked more at me as a person and what they knew I could accomplish.
The Staples loan saved my business.
Would you recommend Staples’ loan program to other small business owners?
Yes, definitely, 100%
Where do you see your business in five years?
My desire is to establish a fashion empire. I want to help build confidence in women and young adults through fashion, and inspire others to pursue their dreams.
Melissa Stewart is a purveyor of possibility, community builder, entrepreneur advocate and coffee enabler. She’s had a “home office” since age 5 (just ask her) and one of her first magazine subscriptions (paid from her piggy bank) was Entrepreneur Magazine. She is passionate about business, addicted to coffee and eternally optimistic. She Owns It is her passion project, dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs through resources, support and inspiration. Do you tweet? She does (a lot!). Follow her at @melissaonline.