We had the good fortune of connecting with OCTAVIA HOLDER and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi OCTAVIA, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I was determined to accomplish financial freedom in order to build generational wealth and break the cycle of living “hand-to-mouth” as my fellow Jamaicans would say. I saw that being an employee was not going to allow me to achieve this goal. At the age of 19, I started my first business by doing door-to-door jewelry sales. Going into business definitely was rough and I knew it would have been from the get go. However, the alternative was not appealing. The first step I did was to write a solid business plan and do a SWOT analysis, giving me a strong foundation to build from. Working full time, I never had the money,

expertise nor the time it took to run a business. However, I was adamant to do this, so I maintained my 9-5 by day and became a business woman at night.

Eventually, I realized that my time was more valuable than my paychecks and what I needed to do was pay others for their time, so I can use my time to make the income I deserved. I finally decided to quit my full-time job at age 29 to focus on building my brand and my legacy. I am nowhere near where I aspire to be but I am happy I took this leap of faith as it has taught me and continues to teach me so much more than a job ever could.

What should our readers know about your business?
To me, VIAPLUSH is an artistic expression of hand crafted jewelry and T shirts with inspirational quotes. My authenticity sets me apart from other jewelry and T-Shirt brands. To expound on how unique we are, my aim is to deliver every piece of jewelry and clothing with a message of inspiration along with it. The aim is not to only make money and share my art, this platform is dedicated to inspire and motivate others each time they support us. Talk about being different!

My proudest moment was my first photo shoot back in 2020. It was a very humbling experience to see the models come out to wear and represent my pieces. In that moment, I felt a bliss like never before. That experience was one of the many confirmation moments that fashion is one of my ultimate passions and sharing it with the world makes it surreal.

I got to where I am today by taking risk; which is my middle name. I say this because all of my most rewarding accomplishments began with me taking a risk. I believe that, if a person wishes to grow or be anything other than what they are now, they have to take chances. And I knew this in my soul. You cannot remain in your comfort zone and grow. That has never worked for me and it will never work for you. I took a major risk when I left my full time job to start VIAPLUSH. What also contributes to my business growth is perseverance and daring to be different along with my willingness to adapt to any situation.

Doing business with limited resources was never easy! A matter of fact, it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my entire life. I overcame my challenges in business by staying motivated, driven and not taking no for an answer. I was able to make the necessary sacrifices for the success of VIAPLUSH. I even cut back on my personal spending and invested as much as possible in my business. Finally, I had to get comfortable with failure and sleepless nights. It wasn’t easy, but I did it.

The major lessons I learnt was how to become more of a creator and not an over consumer. I learnt how to invest my limited resources as intelligently as possible. I also learnt that people are the greatest resource to a successful business while being one of the most difficult resource to manage. These are only a few of the great lessons I learnt so far during this amazing experience.

I want to be known for my resilience as an individual, and as a brand, our contribution to society which gives back through motivational messages and charity donations. I would like the world to take the benefit of risk taking from my story and apply it to their lives in whichever area that needs it. I believe that the greatest thing you can leave in this world is your legacy.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would begin by taking my friend to the spa, specifically Magnolia Nails Solon Suits then to lunch at the Windward Tavern in Alpharetta GA. Next is wine tasting at the Chateau Elan Winery & Resort then to the shooting range at the John’s Creek Shooting Range. I would also take them on an educational journey about the importance of sleep by doing a quick stop in at the local sleep shop Bed Valley Mattress in Alpharetta. We would definitely visit The Royal Peacock Lounge so we can dance the night away to Jamaican music. And so much more!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to acknowledge Steaffon Livingston, my mentor. He has been a great support in my career and have shared a-lot with me about doing business in America. I also want to acknowledge my sisters, for their love and support in anything I do. Having family support is one of the best support I could ask for. Finally, thank you to Eric Thompson and Les Brown for their ever motivating and inspiring videos. When I think I want to give up, all these guys keeps me going!

Website: viaplush.com

Instagram: fashion.viaplush

Linkedin: Octavia Holder

Facebook: @viaplush

Other: contact: 678.543.3552 email: fashion@viaplush.com

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