We had the good fortune of connecting with Barbara Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Barbara, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I’m a Serial entrepreneur and have been since my early 20’s. I was recruited, fresh out of college, by a very innovative startup in Austin, TX. I saw this company grow from 25 employees to over 200 and then get acquired by Oracle corporation. Therefore, I was bitten by the entrepreneur bug, very early in my career. I started Lillii RNB as a way to expand my one-woman consulting firm and wanted a way to get more women into the Retail Technology space. LILLII is an acronym that stands for Let’s Imagine Life w/Ladies In IT. We are an Enterprise Solutions company that is helping Retailers with their Point of Sale software and Store Returns Management.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a technical founder and I own one of the fastest growing Retail Technology startups in Atlanta, GA. It has not been easy, most people do not expect someone like me to own a company like this. I have had to get out of my comfort zone and learn how to do things that have stretched me. There were a lot of challenges including funding, building a team, Sales and Marketing, and then handling growth. I overcame these challenges by building an ecosystem of coaches, advisors, champions and team members who believe in me and my vision for the company. The most valuable lesson I learned was the value of my team. I tried for years to do way too much all by myself and did not use the expertise of the team and ecosystem I had around me. This caused me to become the bottleneck for the company. I had to learn to trust my team and when I did, we started to grow and scale. My company is solving an over $300B dollar issue for Retailers and we are creating technology that is very innovative and a game changer for the Retail industry. We have created a Store Returns Management platform named, Freeing ReturnsTM, which is the middleware between the Point of Sale and Store Returns Management applications.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love Atlanta and the surrounding cities like Stone Mountain, The Vinings, The West End and Marietta. When friends and family USED to visit us, pre-Covid, we always took them to The Coca Cola factory and The Aquarium. We also took them on a hike up Stone Mountain and once we were on top of the mountain, we did Pilates and Tai Chi. Then we would eat at Poor Calvin’s, have dessert and coffee at Cafe Intermezzo and then dance the night away at The Sanctuary! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to Shoutout Dr Roshawnna Novellus, the Founder of EnrichHER for believing in my business very early on and FUNDING us! A lot of people believe in me but Dr Roshawnna put her money into me and my company as well. Her business has taken off this year and she continues to celebrate me and my business. She funds women-owned and black-owned businesses and gives them the training, ecosystem and funding that we so desperately need!
Other: Company LinkTree: https://linktr.ee/lilliirnbinc