Meet Penny Clarke, Founder of Millie’s international creations, an online fashion store that sells high-end handcrafted African-themed jewelry, handbags, and homewear. She started the business six years ago when she became a furloughed government employee working in Washington, DC. Since then, after partnering with local artisans in Ghana, she has grown the business from around $5,000 in monthly sales to over $50,000 a month.
Penny, who was born and raised in Monrovia, Liberia, says it was while visiting South Africa that she decided to bring her passion and desire to help women around the world to realize their dreams. Now she works with a team of designers who are all located on the African continent to help her with her line of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, scarves, handbags, and more.
How she grew her business
His business, like many other black-owned businesses, really took off after the pandemic hit in 2020. This was partly linked to the powerful global movement in support of black entrepreneurs after the brutal murder of George Floyd. However, most of its continued sales growth is related to 7th professional solutions, a digital marketing agency she hired to help her optimize her website and run highly profitable Facebook ad campaigns.
Penny comments, “When I first started working with Edwin Jardin (founder of 7th Pro Solutions) he really helped me create a sales funnel for my website that literally increased my revenue by 500%. My business now makes sales every day, and it’s a challenge to maintain inventory – which is a big deal to have.
Make your mom proud
Penny, who is the youngest of her mother’s 8 children, says she named the business after her mother who was a schoolteacher and principal in Liberia but also made and sold maize bread as a entrepreneur. She says her mother taught her and her siblings the importance of having multiple sources of income.
Sadly, her mother passed away from breast cancer and congestive heart failure in 2014, but her legacy of entrepreneurship and education lives on through Penny and her other siblings. As part of Penny’s commitment to women and the African continent, proceeds from every sale generated on her website are donated to various non-profit organizations she supports in the United States and around the world.
For more details and/or to make a purchase, visit MilliesInt.com
This article was originally published by BlackBusiness.com.