Woman Secretly Built $47 Million Company After Quitting Her Job As An Accountant

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Woman Secretly Built $47 Million Company After Quitting Her Job As An Accountant – A savvy entrepreneur has revealed how she built a fashion company worth an incredible $47 million while concealing it from her parents for two years. Jane Lu, an Australian fashion expert, founded Showpo, formerly known as Showpony, in 2010, selling clothes online. However, her parents believed she was an accountant at a well-known company. Queenie, 61, and Frank Lu, 67, were Chinese immigrants who arrived in Australia when Jane was eight years old and worked as cleaners in Sydney.

But they had high hopes for their daughter who worked at Ernst & Young, a large and reputable Australian accounting firm, and Jane did not know how to tell them she disliked her job. When her company suddenly thrived, she surprised them by paying off their mortgage and even buying them a car. Before that, she would ride the bus with her mother every morning while pretending to go to her accounting job.

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“I would put on my suit every day. I would get the bus into the city with my mom. And I was carrying around the empty laptop bag. I was definitely questioning my life decisions a lot back then. But there was no going back,” Jane told the Australian Financial Review-produced podcast How I Made It. Realizing that she couldn’t “do this job for the rest of my life,” Jane jumped at the opportunity in 2010 when a friend suggested they start a business selling clothes from a pop-up stall. 

So she quit her job, maxed out her credit card in order to purchase stocks, and stuffed clothing into a garbage bag that she hid at her parents’ house. However, her partner soon left the business despite its rapid success, opting for a more secure full-time position. Jane, despite her devastation, persevered but chose to take the business online rather than attempt to manage a storefront.

“The online fashion thing was only starting out but it was quickly getting bigger,” she said. “At the time it just seemed like a really low-risk way of doing things. I didn’t have the confidence to go it alone in person, so this way I could hide behind the website.” After a slow few months, Jane had a lightbulb moment and decided to launch a Facebook campaign which instantly helped boost her reach. In the space of one month, Showpo reportedly shot from 3,000 to 20,000 followers, and by 2012 Jane moved out of her parents’ garage and into a warehouse.

She had not yet told her parents, but by this time she was earning enough money to support them as well. She was able to pay off their mortgage and buy them a car, thereby convincing them to accept her successful career path. The CEO acknowledged that her parents “were shocked” and they “just couldn’t believe how I had the balls.”  Today, Showpo has 1.8 million followers on Instagram, 1.3 million on Facebook and 95,700 on its newly launched TikTok page. Jane, who is now married with a child, is regarded as one of Australia’s most successful self-made businesswomen.

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The clothing website reportedly generated a staggering $63,853 million in revenue in 2019 alone, and she has appeared on the AFR’s Young Rich List every year since 2017. Jane remains modest despite her immense wealth and married the man of her dreams in a $222 dress from her Showpo wedding collection. She still pinches herself every day because of her accomplishments, but imposter syndrome is still very much alive. “You need to be able to stop pushing the goal posts every time you reach one,” she said. “You’ve got to tell yourself not to overthink it. That’s what I tell myself every day – stop thinking.”

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