Hawa launched her eBay career shortly after she graduated high school in 2013. Fascinated by the thrill of treasure hunting, she opted to spend her summer before college learning the ropes of selling young contemporary clothing on eBay instead of getting a job. Fast forward five years, Hawa has successfully put herself through college with her store earnings, giving her the freedom to grow the business and manage her own schedule.
Q: Why did you first start selling on eBay?
A: 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.
Q: Can you share a fun fact about yourself/your business?
A: I won most likely to be a reality TV star in the high school yearbook and my parents are from Sierra Leone, West Africa.
Q: How has selling on eBay contributed to your success?
A: 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.
Q: What was the most memorable item you’ve sold on eBay?
A: 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.
Q: How has selling on eBay impacted your life?
A: 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.