In 2007, Rosie Villa was rear-ended by a driver who failed to see the red traffic light. The accident left her with whiplash as well as knee and lower back injuries, which were significant enough that the corporate job she had relied on to support herself and her teenage daughter was no longer sufficient to make ends meet.
That was when she came across a commercial for eBay on TV.
“Is this destiny?” Rosie remembered thinking. “You can take your stuff from home, upload it to eBay, sell it and ship it, all without leaving your house? This is something I can do right now while I’m recovering from my injuries.”
Rosie in her 1800-square-foot warehouse, out of which she currently operates her eBay business.
Rosie’s eBay store Rosiev2007 specializes in the resale of UGG, an American fashion brand best known for their wool-lined sheepskin boots. In addition to UGG apparel, which she sources from her local outlet store, Rosie also resells home goods and women’s, men’s and children’s fashion from local thrift shops. While UGG products remain her most popular items, some of her treasured memories as an eBay seller are tied to her thrifted finds — like a bucket of cheap plastic dolls she’d bought on a whim.
Rosie’s rare find: Galoob Baby Face dolls, including So Sorry Sarah, which is considered to be the rarest of all Baby Face dolls.
As it turned out, Rosie had stumbled upon an assortment of highly valued, collectible Galoob Baby Face dolls that were in great condition. Nine of the 10 dolls she’d bought sold quickly, and as she was going through offers for the final one, Rosie received a message from a doll collector.
In her message, the collector acknowledged that the doll’s listed price was accurate to its value — it was an extremely rare doll, one of perhaps 50 ever produced — and shared that it was the last one she needed to complete her collection. However, she could only pay a fraction of the listed price.
Naturally, Rosie needed some time to consider. Soon afterwards, the buyer sent a follow-up message, which included a photograph of her nearly completed doll collection and a plea to Rosie: hold onto the doll for a few more weeks while the buyer saved up enough for the full amount. Moved by the collector’s determination and passion, Rosie reached out and accepted the initial, underpriced offer.
“The buyer replied and said, ‘If you could see my face right now, you would know that I am crying tears of happiness,’” Rosie recalled. “She told me that she had been searching high and low for this doll; she could not find it anywhere, and I just made her collection complete. It was really heartwarming for me to be able to complete her collection and make her day.”
Rosie in her home.
From the beginning, Rosie’s eBay store has been shaped by people — especially her daughter, whose request for a pair of UGG boots for Christmas inspired Rosie’s focus on UGG resale. The two of them would often visit their local thrift stores and outlets together in search of new inventory, mother and daughter working side-by-side to sort and ship products.
“It created a very special bond between us,” said Rosie. “The most beautiful thing about selling on eBay while raising a daughter as a single mom is that not only am I making income, but my daughter gets to join the process as well. Hopefully, she will one day start her own business and be a leader in her own right.”
Rosie’s daughter (left) and mother (right), who passed away in 2017 and was the one to introduce Rosie to thrifting.
As the first female entrepreneur in her family, Rosie is passionate about mentoring other young women in her family and introducing them to the world of business. Her goddaughter and her niece currently help support Ugg Queen’s daily operations. After school, they categorize inventory at the warehouse, take item photos and draft new listings for Rosie to review and post.
“I feel that as a single mom and a female entrepreneur, I can impact a lot of women,” Rosie said. “I want to help them believe in themselves so that they, too, can make that leap into building their businesses. I won’t deny that there are times when I am frustrated or overwhelmed and end up in tears, but learning to stay consistent, praise yourself and give yourself grace is so important for moving forward on the path to success.”
By taking advantage of eBay’s seller tools, learning resources and data analytics, Rosie has the freedom to do business at her own pace and spend more time with her family. When her mother fell ill in 2016, selling on eBay full-time gave her the financial stability to quit her corporate job and be with her mom during the last year of her life. And now, Rosie is realizing her dream of leading her own business and working for herself.
“I’m inspiring myself to do better, to be a better person and a better businesswoman,” she said. “I’m setting the tone for other women, especially in my family, and I couldn’t be more proud.”