She’s A Student At UCT And The Founder Of Shop Chic Clique

Shop Chic Clique.

Never heard of it? That’s okay because you are about to learn something about this online accessory store and the girl behind it. 

Lailah Yon is her name and from my interview with her you are going to get a closer look at her journey into entrepreneurship and the effort that she invests, daily, into the growth and success of her business.

Instagram: @lailahyon

Who Is Lailah Yon?

Now, who says it’s impossible to juggle a 9 to 5 with being a full-time student and running a business? Certainly not Ms Lailah Yon.

She is an Organizational Psychology student at the University of Cape Town  who does everything for her business. Shop Chic Clique is not her first taste at entrepreneurship.

In 2018 she was a freelance makeup artist and in 2019, she began doing gel manicures. Both of these ventures had two things in common: they were service-based and required her having physical contact with her clients. Fast forward to 2020 – the year that had the whole world on its toes – Lailah realized that she needed a new game plan. She needed a business that would allow her to continue to nourish her entrepreneurial desires without her having to have physical contact with her clients due to the regulations that the pandemic brought about.

Being product-based and worth a try, Shop Chic Clique was born!

Shop Chic Clique

This online accessory store rose from humble beginnings. It was launched with only five necklace designs in her inventory. This was in August 2020. Visit her store today and you will find a variety of chic designs that are worth checking out.

This is one of the signs of growth for her business. You should know that growth, for any entrepreneur, fuels hope. It is a form of reassurance that they are at least doing something right.

Instagram: @shopchicclique
Instagram: @shopchicclique
Instagram: @shopchicclique

Lailah's Entrepreneurial Journey

Her first sale came two weeks after launching! This is amazing because there are a ton of founders who had to wait much longer before receiving that sale. Lailah describes that day as the most exciting day of her life.

Speaking of launching, she turned to YouTube to gain inspiration so that she could “correctly” launch her business. For her, the days leading up to her launch were both “exciting” and “nerve-wrecking.” She was super fixated on making sales, which is probably what many entrepreneurs fixate on the moment that they launch.

The Challenges She Faced And Still Faces

You know that every business owner has their time in the sun and their time in the rain. In Lailah’s words: “Running a business […] is tough!” Slow sales, finding reliable suppliers and the imposter syndrome are just a fraction of the challenges that she has faced and, in some instances, still continues to face.

She – as I’m sure many of you entrepreneurs have – worried that she would not get any sales. She couldn’t help but wonder why on earth people would buy from her instead of all the other accessory shops out there who are already established and well-known. Does this sound familiar?

On her second month of running Shop Chic Clique, Lailah almost quit. She felt that she was investing a lot of time and energy into her business and had nothing to show for it.

Challenges And All - She Keeps On Going

Instead of allowing her frustrations to weigh her down, she chose to be strategic and deal with them like a boss. How did she do it?

Well, she got in touch with other small business owners who could relate to her struggles. They offered her advice and showered her with support. I am relieved she kept on going instead of giving up on her hustle.

She Is Not On A Race

Lailah looks up to Rabia Ghoor, the owner of Swiitch Beauty and the ‘new order’ notification proves to be her most satisfying moment in business. 

She is working on many projects for Shop Chic Clique and “new additions that will drive growth within [her] business.” She is working on new marketing strategies, all the while keeping in mind that running a business is not a race – something she learnt from observing Rabia.

Some Words Of Encouragement from Lailah

She leaves you, the aspiring entrepreneur, startup business owner with the following:

“Prepare yourself because having a business is a serious commitment.” She advises you to do plenty of research. You need to know “exactly what you are getting into for each department of your business and along the way, you will learn the rest.”

She says that having a business is the most rewarding and that for females, especially, having the opportunity to say that ‘I own a business’ is “the best thing!”

What To Take From Her Experiences

There are some valuable lessons that you can learn from Lailah Yon. 

– Learn to reach out to fellow entrepreneurs. They can teach you a thing or two or motivate you when you feel like you are at the end of the road.

– YouTube can be your best friend when it comes to gaining some visual inspiration.

– Do plenty of research so that you at least have a clue on what you are doing.

– Do not give up!

Read Lailah’s full interview here. It will be worth your time.

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