Episode 6- Lillie Williams- J Dog Hauling & Rags to Riches

Episode 6- Lillie Williams- J Dog Hauling & Rags to Riches

Podcast Summary: Cosmos and Commerce – Lillie Williams



Lillie Williams- J Dog Junk Removal

Lillie Williams’ Introduction:

  • Transitioned from military service to entrepreneurship.
  • Experienced injury during deployment, leading to time at Walter Reed.

Inspiration for J Dog Hauling:

  • Participated in Boots to Business, an organization aiding veterans’ transition into business.
  • Introduced to J Dog during a 12-week training, a veteran-established franchise.
  • J Dog’s mission: Reduce the unemployment rate for veterans.

Beginning of Rags to Riches:

  • J Dog’s operation led to the accumulation of items which spurred the idea for Rags to Riches.
  • Partnered with Goodwill and Veteran Volunteers of America to aid homeless veterans.
  • The name “Rags to Riches” was suggested by Lillie’s daughter, emphasizing the transformation of old items to new treasures.

Boots to Business Program:

  • A 12-week program through Mississippi State University.
  • Helps veterans formulate business plans and navigate the start-up process.
  • Certification leads to assistance in registration with the state and other key aspects of starting a business.

Background of J Dog Franchise:

  • Founded by Jerry Flanagan and Tracy Flanagan.
  • Originated from Jerry’s struggles post-military and his initiative to haul furniture.
  • Franchise concept focused on supporting and involving veterans.

Lillie’s Personal Background:

  • First job at 18 was a secretary for the American Red Cross.
  • Joined the military at 23 inspired by “Be All You Could Be” commercials.
  • Decision to become an officer after being presented with the opportunity by her new colonel.

Catalytic Converter Theft

  • Two vehicles targeted at Christmas
  • Resulted in $9,000 repair costs per truck
  • Led to the decision to install cameras at their warehouse

Learning from Theft

  • Realized the importance of warehouse security
  • Collaborated with other businesses for comprehensive coverage
  • Ensured safety for future storage of important tools and assets

Marketing Scam

  • Paid $3,000 to a marketing company, thinking they were partnering with a local school
  • Discovered deception when their promotional materials were nowhere to be found at an event
  • Only $75 of the $3,000 went to the school
  • Resolution: Always vet any company or individual before committing

Proudest Accomplishment

  • Establishing a store in Pickerington, a community that welcomed them warmly
  • Recounts their journey of trying multiple places before settling in Pickerington

Physical Demands of Junk Hauling

  • The job’s nature is often seen as brutal
  • Team views it as a “treasure hunt,” discovering interesting items

Fascinating Finds

  • Found a wire recorder from the 1920s or 1930s
  • Stumbled upon rare and valuable Beanie Babies

Resale Shop Origins

  • Encountered hoarder houses, often filled with new items with tags
  • Decided to venture into the resale business after talking to a counterpart in Maryland
  • Balances the junk hauling service by reselling valuable finds

Thrift Store Business Evolution

  • Turned challenges into opportunities by diversifying their services
  • Two businesses complement each other, allowing for a unique value proposition in the market.

Creating a Comfortable Atmosphere

  • Inviting space for people to just relax, no purchase pressure.
  • Couch for visitors to sit and hang out, even if just waiting for someone.
  • Comparison to hometown TV shows like “Sweet Magnolia” and “Gilmore Girls”.

Pricing Strategy

  • Pricing of items determined through eBay searches and Google Lens.
  • Items priced in the “sweet spot” between high and low price ranges found online.
  • Flexibility in prices, with sales like “Monday Madness” and “Thursday Thrifty”.
  • Willingness to negotiate prices down as most items were acquired for free.

Brand Building and Market Competition

  • Emphasis on fostering a community over competition.
  • Handwritten letters to 5,000 community members introducing their business.
  • A focus on the “hometown feel” where spending isn’t mandatory.
  • 30-day return deal: items are half price if they’re still there after 30 days.

Unique Marketing Approaches

  • Word of mouth as the primary marketing strategy.
  • Emphasis on being veterans and community-oriented.
  • Extra services for junk hauling, including cleaning and moving items in the house.
  • Building relationships, like visiting elderly customers and fostering a connection.
  • Potential customers may recognize their items in the resale shop.

Operational Efficiency

  • Regularly rotate items in the shop to keep displays fresh.
  • Seeking customer feedback on desired items and fulfilling their requests.
  • Examples of events like Fourth of July, where they provided light-up watches for kids.
  • Kids attract parents, who might become potential customers.

Community Engagement

  • Give out “PVA cards” with lists of local events and village members.
  • Provide maps of the community and other informative resources.
  • The primary focus is word of mouth, welcoming attitude, and no obligation for visitors to purchase.
  • Networking and fostering partnerships are seen as key to growing the business.

Leveraging Networking:

  • The guest emphasized the importance of networking as the basis of their business endeavors.
  • The guest approaches networking not as a selling opportunity but as a chance to learn about others’ businesses. By understanding their needs, it can create a mutual benefit for both parties.
  • The goal is to provide value and support to others which in turn, may help in expanding their business.


  • The guest believes in the importance of taking calculated risks in business.
  • An example given is sending out introduction letters to local residents without expecting immediate business returns. This risk paid off when a recipient contacted them after a year.
  • Another instance was the decision to open a store without prior inventory or equipment. By sheer coincidence or fate, they were provided everything they needed from a lady closing her storage units, indicating to the guest that their risk was validated.

Power of Manifestation:

  • The guest believes in the power of manifestation as a “living will”, indicating the willpower to continue pursuing goals regardless of current circumstances.
  • The story of being initially turned down for a shop location, only to have it become available again later, reinforced their belief in timing and manifestation.

Investing Time:

  • The most significant investment for the guest has been donating their time to various causes and projects.
  • The guest prefers to work in the background and sees value in contributing to successful endeavors without needing recognition.
  • Despite winning awards and receiving recognition, the guest remains humble and often feels uncomfortable being in the spotlight.

Community and Inclusivity:

  • The guest highlighted the importance of inclusivity, especially as an African American.
  • Being welcomed and involved in various community events is meaningful to them.
  • They emphasized the joy of giving back to the community and being part of something larger.
  • The guest also works as a therapist in a high school, further showcasing their commitment to community involvement and support. This creates a connection with the youth who later recognize and appreciate her contributions outside the therapy setting.

Quick Fire Round

  • Advice on Starting a Business: Gain expertise in your craft and try to understand others’ crafts too. Understand different industries and how they can relate to yours, even ones seemingly unrelated. Always be ready to help others using the resources you have, like providing essentials to families after a house fire.
  • Handling Recommendations: Lillie takes recommendations with a grain of salt. She believes there’s no failure when you’re optimistic. Always be prepared for both success and failure, pushing through regardless of the outcome.
  • Future Vision: Plans to expand “Racks of Riches” to have a location in every territory. Wants to leave a legacy for her children. Aims to work with the city to develop a youth business program to educate youngsters about various professions and encourage entrepreneurship.
  • Motivation: Fun is the primary motivator for Lillie Williams. She believes one should have passion and enjoy what they do to avoid feeling miserable. Having fun can sometimes be as simple as playing music and inviting people in.
  • Achieving Goals: For Lillie, the first step is to “actualize” the goal. Write it down, visualize it, and remind yourself of it daily.
  • Books & Impact: The most impactful book for Lillie is “Becoming” by Michelle Obama. It taught her about resilience and that it’s okay to be average.
  • Definition of Success: For Lillie, success isn’t about accolades but daily accomplishments like cooking, driving, and being present in the moment.
  • Recent Meaningful Purchase: A fitness journal to better structure her gym activities.
  • Contact Details: Business: R2R Ohio; Location: 24 West Columbus Street, Pickerington; Website: r2rohio.com; J Dog website: jdog.com

Closing: The host thanks Lillie Williams for joining and provides information for prospective guests and listeners who have questions.

Podcast Name: Cosmos and Commerce
Hosts: Janis Francis and Michele Cook


Lillie Williams
J Dog Junk Removal
Rags 2 Riches
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Boots to Business Program

Lillie Williams, J Dog Junk Removal

Lillie Williams’ Top 3 Takeaways

  1. The Value of Cross-industry Learning: Lillie emphasizes the importance of not only mastering one’s own craft but also understanding and learning from other industries. This comprehensive knowledge helps in strengthening one’s abilities, forging beneficial connections, and offering comprehensive services.
  2. Optimistic Approach to Challenges: Lillie’s outlook on facing challenges is refreshing. She views obstacles as opportunities for growth, believes that there’s no real failure if one learns from the experience, and underscores the importance of remaining optimistic no matter the scenario.
  3. Vision for the Future and Empowerment: Lillie has ambitious goals for her business’s expansion and is deeply invested in passing on knowledge. She values education and wants to help the youth see the potential of entrepreneurship. Her dedication to mentoring and supporting junior entrepreneurs is evident.

Transcript | Episode 6 | Lillie Williams

Hello and welcome to Cosmos and Commerce. Sip, savor, and succeed where business meets fun. I’m Janis with the Humble Crate Artisan Marketplace and Remax Connection. And I’m here with my co host, Michele Cook with Bodyache Escape Massage Center. And we are real excited to introduce you to our next guest, Lillie Williams with J Dog Hauling and Rags to Riches.

Lillie, welcome. Thank you. Thank you guys. I’m so excited to meet you guys. I don’t have a drink,, next time I will, I definitely will. Okay we’re got that covered for you.

Lillie. Can you tell us a little bit about your background? What inspired you to start the J Dog hauling business and eventually your resale shop, Rags to Riches? Absolutely. So I actually went to training and it’s called Boots to Business and Boots to Business is a organization that helps veterans who are transitioning from the military to start their own business.

So I was. Deployed to Africa and I was actually injured and I was sent to Walter Reed for a year for a traumatic brain injury And while I was there they were like, hey your job is to just get better. You don’t have to go to work You don’t have to do anything So they said these are some options that you have you can go to training and I said, you know I’ve always wanted to join the boots to business and get started on a business plan And while I was doing that 12 week training, they introduced me to J Dog.

They said, Hey, here’s a company that’s local that is looking for veterans. It’s a veteran established franchise, and you can only be a part of it if you are a veteran. And I said, Oh I will look into it. So , when I left Walter Reed. My husband and I, we decided, you know what, let’s go to their Discovery Day, which was a two day event up in PA.

 They flew us out there and we went out, spent two days with them. And we were completely sold on their concept of business is supporting veterans. And our primary goal is to lower the unemployment rate for veterans. So that was a complete sale for us. It’s getting veterans new jobs or helping them become entrepreneurs.

So we were definitely in.  We started out in September, 2000 and 21 and we opened up our doors. And after that, we started accumulating lots of stuff. We had multiple storage units . We’re like what are we going to do with all this stuff outside of donating? So we did team up with goodwill.

We teamed up with the veteran volunteers of America which actually rehomes. items for veterans who have either been homeless or they’re in a situation where they’re just getting an apartment. And so we would  take out dishes and pictures and furniture and we would actually set up an apartment for them, for veterans who are struggling.

So just to give them a sense of peace and a new beginning. And so we started doing that, but at the same time, we’re still doing these jobs. We’re still accumulating all of this stuff. And so one of my friends, she said, why don’t you have some wholesalers? Maybe if you reach out to some wholesalers, maybe you’ll be able to help sell some of this stuff and get onto some of these websites to do it.

We started doing that, but we were still accumulating a lot of stuff. So I’d reached out to a couple of organizations to say, Hey, do you guys know of any warehouses or storefronts, things like that. What can we do with all this stuff? If we can’t donate it, give it away, let’s try to resell it. At least we could take some of the funding.

Like we donate to the lion’s club. We donate to veterans. We actually create care packages and things like that and send it overseas. So we started packing up all this stuff. Still wasn’t moving as fast as we wanted to. And then I came upon a location out of Pickerington, which is where we started at the Cultivate, and we saw a location out there.

We inquired about it. We finally procured it after a year. And so we said what could we do as far as our name? What could we do that would be something that will be fun, but it will also bring in customers. And my daughter, she’s like rags to riches. And I say why rags to riches? She said, because we have old things, they have new things.

So our rags are their riches. And I said, you know what? That’s a great concept. And so that’s how Rags to Riches started. We opened up our doors, Rags to Riches on March 9th, which is my birthday. And we’ve been running ever since. Oh, I didn’t know that. Yeah. It was a very good.

Yes. I remember you were scrambling to get open on time and get it together. That’s awesome.  You mentioned you joined boots to business. Can you tell me more about that program? Yeah. So boots to business is a transition program. It’s through Mississippi state university.  What they do is they actually have a 12 week program, which helps you develop business plans.

It helps you look into the market, the Department of Labor for marketing for everything that you would need to establish a business plan and to get you started.  I had to go through that 12 week course to get certified. And once you’re certified, they actually submit that paperwork and help you register for Sam’s and Don’s numbers and get you registered with the state.

And. Get you all the process that you need to start your business. They help you. They make you work through every aspect of it, sitting down and writing the business plan, every part, summaries, everything. So it was a great program. I think they run it. I think one class starts every month for Boots to Business, but it’s definitely a great program.

I’m appreciative that I was able to go through it and it’s free for veterans. Oh, wow. That’s awesome. I love that. You told us a little bit about how you came up with the name Rags to Riches, but can you tell us how, why J Dawg is a franchise, right? Yes. So J Dawg, Jerry Flanagan and Tracy Flanagan, they actually started out.

the first J dog and he was transitioning from the military. He couldn’t find a job. Him and his family ended up filing for bankruptcy and he started with a jeep, like Wrangler, like Tony, he put a little  toe thing on the back and he started hauling furniture for people and. Eventually, he met up with an investor who had a shop down who always see him coming through the neighborhoods.

And the investor was like, Hey, have you ever thought about franchising  this particular business? And so they sat down and they came up with the concept of doing something for veterans because there’s no real veteran exclusive franchises. And so that was, I think that was the premise of this one is to be able to allow veterans to not spend astronomical prices to be franchise owners and to be able to help them to be inclusive with other veterans who are looking to either start a business and or just need some work because we have a group think, and it’s a family thing with the military.

There are concepts and there are strategies that we use in the military to gain our business success. And so utilizing veterans who I can tell someone to execute a mission, quasi, and they would know exactly what I mean. As opposed to, the civilian sector, we think totally different about civilian jobs than we do in the military.

Military is, if you don’t complete the mission, it could cost you your life. So when you bring that to a franchise or to you have like minded people, they’re like, she must be serious about it if she’s telling us to execute. It’s pretty cool. Yeah, it’s interesting. Very.

Yeah. My husband is military, so I understand only a tiny bit what you’re saying. Was the military your very first job or did you have a job before that? What was your first job?

My first job was actually with the American Red Cross. I was actually a secretary with the American Red Cross at 18.

And I joined the military when I turned 23. .

Okay. Nice. What made you join?  the funniest thing I always tell people is that I saw the Be All You Could Be commercials growing up and I always told my dad, I was like, Hey, I want to be in the military. I want to be all that I could be. And he would always laugh. When I was 23, I was married. With three kids and I was like, I just happened to be sitting at the television one day and I saw the commercial.

I was like, you know what? I bet I could still do that. I’m not that old. I could still do it. And I went down to meet with the recruiter and initially he laughed. He was like, Wait, you’re married and you want to go in the military. I’m like, I’m just going to reserve, it’ll be something fun. I can get a GI bill, as goals, like I have three kids, I need to go back to school.

And that was the option at that time. It was like, go to the military, do a, a tour and then, get out and go to college. That was the plan. And then after my first contract was up, we always call it the, they dangled the magic carrot and they were like, Hey, we’ll give you 20 grand. If you stay another six years.

Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. I’m staying another 20. And then after I did that, I was in 10 years and they were like if you’re in 10 years, you might as well stay the whole 20. And it was like, so I stayed another. Yeah, they gave me and they gave me another 20 grand and I was excited about that.

And then after that I was at 15 years and they were like I’d gone to college while I was in military during my deployments and things like that. And so I decided, I said, I’m going to apply. Actually. It’s a crazy story. I was sitting in my office. I was hired on as a government employee, and I was sitting in my office, and this gentleman comes into the office.

And he sits down and he puts his bare feet up on my desk. And as opposed to flipping out on exactly. So that’s what I said. I was like, he must have lost his dang old mind. He just sat his feet, internally I’m going, he must be crazy. So he sits there and he asked me what do I do?

And I told him like, a rundown of what I did. Never met this gentleman before. He’s what Do you do? I told him what I do at the office and I work with the soldiers and I help them get processed into the military, get their pay, things like that. He said, Oh, okay. So we had a conversation for about 40 minutes and he leaves.

The next day was our military drill weekend and my NCO comes into the office and he’s Hey, Sergeant Harrington, he said, the new Colonel wants to meet you. And I’m like, why does he want to meet me? What did I do? I’m thinking I’m in trouble. I’m like, what did I do? I don’t, I’ve never met the guy.

I don’t know him. This is his first day. I walk in. It’s the guy who had his feet up on my desk. Was my new colonel. That was the colonel, not therefore was the colonel. He was, he never told me. Oh my gosh. He was definitely testing. Was he testing you? But this was, I guess this was a test that I had. Yes. . He was testing you.

I said it was a crazy story because he came in and he said, I walked in his office and I was, and I, I jumped and I’m like, oh. I didn’t know that was you yesterday, sir. I would have introduced myself properly. He’s oh no. He’s I wanted to see you in true form. I’ve heard a lot of things about you.

And I said, okay, he says, so I want you to have a seat. And I said, am I in trouble? He’s no, he said, you are up for E seven for a promotion. And he was like, but he’s I also reviewed your, he’s our also your records. And so he said, I have two things here. He said, I have a packet for promotion to E seven.

Or you could become an officer in the military. And he’s and I reviewed your records last night and see that you have your bachelor’s degree already, which is one of the qualifications. He said, you have all your schools and everything. He’s I would like you to be an officer in. Our unit. And he’s you have 30 days because the boards are both at the same time.

You have 30 days to make a decision. So I went home that night and I sat and I called one of my friends who was a senior NCO. And she’s Listen, if you’re going to deal with the BS, you might as well get the money to go with it. Just go for it. And I’m like, I don’t know. I’m scared. I’m terrified. I don’t know what to do.

And so the next day I came in and he’s did you make a decision? I’d made it at 24 hours. I say, yep. I said, I’ll do the officer packet. So I went from an E6 staff sergeant one day and I went to a panel board of six officers, all males. And one female and out of 14 people that went before the board. I was the only female selected and I was in the top three that was selected.

And at the end I asked the question, I said out of all the people that you guys have interviewed, why did you pick me? And said, because you’re the only one who challenged everything that we said and ask questions. Everyone else.

So a month later I went from, yeah, so a month later I went to Lieutenant Harrington, an officer in the military and my career from there just, it just went. Forward, I went and got my master’s degree. I graduated from my officer’s course the day before I graduated my officer’s course. I graduated with a master’s degree.

And then a year and a half later, I graduated with my doctorate. I was just running. I was like, no, one’s going to stop me. No one’s going to stop me because I always tell people. So you retired as a major. Yep. The scariest thing I’ve ever done. Yeah. Such an accomplishment. Thank you.

Thank you so much for your service.

Wow. So Lillie, starting your businesses, it comes with so many challenges. What are some of the hurdles that you have faced and how did you overcome them?

 Finding employees. And I think that’s the biggest thing that’s happening right now is because everyone wants to work remote. And so it was really difficult finding employees initially. So we. We reached out to family and my daughter moved here from Georgia. My nephews moved here from Wisconsin, so we had people from all over who are willing to travel and come and help us help support us.

And they’ve definitely been great assets for our company. We’ve hired additional employees, so it is just catapulted from, a concept of what we wanted to do to us just moving forward and being able to foster growth in our industry. When we came to Ohio, there was four J dogs. In Ohio, there are now, I think, 12 J Dogs all over Ohio from Cleveland, yeah, from Cleveland all the way to Cincinnati.

We have them everywhere. 

Three. I own three J Dogs here. That is awesome. So we span from And then we have Center City Columbus.

Awesome. , that is terrific. So how has failure or an apparent failure set you up for a

later success? And do you have a favorite failure? Someone stole the catalytic converters off of both of our vehicles at the same time. At Christmas. It was horrible.  So we were set up to do some major construction jobs during the holiday season.

Because that’s when our construction work amps up and we came in and they stole and we had the cat clamp systems that protect the catalytic converters. Like it’s a steel system that you actually put around. They took their time. And sawed the systems off of the trucks and took the catalytic converters.

And each truck has two catalytic converters. It ended up costing us about 9, 000 per truck to have. Oh my God. That

sucks so bad. Wow. How did that set you up for success? Did you learn anything from that?

 We learned to put up cameras at our warehouse where our trucks were. Okay. Yeah To make sure that we have, you know Some type of security over there and we weren’t the only ones who were hit at that warehouse There were about my businesses hit the same night Yeah, we collaborated and everyone has their cameras on every part of it that whole site So there are cameras everywhere.

Wow, too bad you didn’t do it before then. Yeah they pushed the cat clamps and they’re indestructible and I ended up, having to have a conversation with the company because, there was a, thousand dollar investment and they were like, oh, you want to steal it off the, and I’m like, I have pictures where they saw it all.

They literally got it all. Oh, my gosh, but we, but we got to spend Christmas with our families. It didn’t really affect us because we did have, cause I do give out bonuses at Chris at the holiday. So it was like, Hey, this is this opportunity for you guys to spend more time with family.

They were, we were able to pay them throughout the holiday season. So it was still beneficial because we were still able to keep our employees working and, getting some work done. That’s good. 

 What is 1 thing that you’ll never do again? 1 thing that I won’t say that I won’t do it again. However, I will get marketing properly because I had to understand and something that I had to learn is that everybody is in business. So some people will sell you a dream as to, they can get you these great fortunes in this marketing and all these existential things and they’re in business to make money.

I have to properly vet. Organizations who I’m willing to work with. One was a school. I thought that I was working with the athletic director because I wanted to donate it to some of the schools in our local areas. And I was approached by a marketing company said, Hey, we were with the school.

We want you to put up some banners  with the school and you can come out to all the events for free,  so we wrote a check for three grand. And we went to the first event. We had our t shirts and everything that they sent us. We went out to the school.

And  we didn’t see any of our marketing material. And so we went, I went to the, I pulled the athletic director and I said, Hey, I’m from, J Dog, Junkermobile, Hauling. We pay money for your organization to, do t shirts for the kids and raise money for the team. And They were like well, we received a box a couple of months ago, but we didn’t know what it was.

And we didn’t know who it was from. And so I said you’re not working with this company, X, Y, Z. And they’re like, no, we don’t even know. And so I reached out to the company. I said, Hey, we paid you guys three grand. You were supposed to give that money to the school. And they were like we’re a marketing company.

And we did send stuff to the school and I said, okay how much of the three grand that we sent to you guys actually went to the school? 75.

Oh, I was livid. I said, you have 48 hours to send my money back or my lawyer. We’ll be giving you guys a call. Yeah, that I said, that was, I said, you guys told me you work directly with the school and you did not. You were a marketing firm. The school didn’t even know that you sent something to them and athletic director.

She’s like, well, we received a phone call from them about six months ago. Saying that they were sending us some stuff to the school. We didn’t know what it was. We didn’t know why. We got the box. We never opened it. They finally opened up the box in front of me and it was all of the marketing things that they were supposed to put and she’s like, we did not agree to this from them.

Oh my gosh. And they literally, and so now when I get those phone calls about supporting schools, it’s okay, are you directly with the school? Are you the athletic director? Are you the principal? Are you someone specifically affiliated that I can call the school and say, do you know this person?

Because that was,  disappointing and disheartening because we wanted the money to go to those kids. 

So that’s one of those things is like properly vetting who you deal with as far as marketing. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Great advice. Wow.  What would you say your proudest accomplishment is? My proudest accomplishment is getting to have our store and our start in Pickerington. And I say this all the time at every event that I go to, because that was life changing for us because we didn’t know where we were going.

We didn’t know where to start and we were welcomed with open arms. And it was like, this is the blessing that we needed because we didn’t know, I’m not from Columbus. I’m from Cleveland. I’ve been traveling all over the world and this is where we landed in Columbus. And the first place that we looked at for opening up a book.

A building or a business was Pickerington and it was the first place that welcomed us and we went to several other including Columbus and they were kind of, you know, we don’t have time, no one had time for us and it was very, it was getting to be disheartening. But when we got to Pickerington, it was just like, yeah, come on in.

The door is already open. Come on. What would you stand outside for? That’s awesome to hear. Yeah, I love that. I love that. And I I showed you that building that you’re in right now. And then somebody else went in there and then less than a year later, you got in. Oh, is that right? Is that where that candle place was?

Yes. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So I’m glad that you got in there. I love that location. He was just like, it’s yours. If you want it, it’s yours. And I was just like, I was like, Hey, a year ago about that place. And Yeah. One of them says it’s still available. He’s if you want it, it’s yours. And I was like, what do Jedis got to do

with that? That’s right. Hey, Lillie, like junk hauling and what you do with J Dog can be really physically demanding. How do you build a team that shares your passion and your work ethic for that line of work? You know what? It’s about fun. And it’s so weird to say, because people think of junk hauling, they’re thinking like, Oh my God, it’s a brutal job.

It’s. We are on a treasure hunt and it’s just to find the coolest stuff if it’s Vases that we haven’t seen in forever or if it’s just little trinkets or little things like until I started junk hauling I didn’t even know about Longburger baskets. I had no idea what that was until Yeah, I’m calling because my guys brought some to the warehouse And then a customer came into the store and she’s I’ll buy all your baskets.

It’s up that way. And I’m like what’s wrong with this one? It’s a gorgeous batch. She’s that’s a long burger. It’s expensive. And I’m like, wait, what? And I called my guys and they’re like, yeah, we have 40 of them over here. What? I didn’t know about the building that was made. So it’s like learning.

It’s awesome because. You find so many different things, vintage things, and  I’m one of the very eclectic people. So I collect things. I collect cameras and recorders and all kinds of things. So if you see our warehouse, there’s a whole wall of just like old Bell Howell cameras and recorders and old fashioned telephones and things that people, Betamax, like things that people don’t even have.

Or wouldn’t even know what they were and it’s just, do you have any old, like projectors, like that projected slides on the wall? I do. I absolutely have one. I have two of them and they’re on the top shelf of, I have one. I love those. And one is in a like blue shade and they brought it to me in the original boxes and everything.

Wow. Oh, wow. 

What would you say is the most interesting or valuable thing that you found in your hauls?  There are a few.  The most interesting thing I found was a wire recorder. I hadn’t had no idea what a wire recorder was. It is a huge machine.

It looks like it’s inside of a suitcase and it has spools of wire, but they’re recordings. And yeah, it looks like a, like one of those old projectors that you open up flat side and it has this little machine in it. Wire and you just you feed the wire into it and actually has recordings on there The gentleman we got it from his dad Pastor and so we actually turned it on and played and it was actually playing his recordings from church And I was like that is the coolest thing and I actually have one of the other guys who he has a warehouse across from Us and he’s hey, I want to see that recorder.

He’s don’t get rid of it I really want to see and it’s I think it’s like from the 20s or 30s And I was like, this is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. On the other side So that predated maybe, would that predated like the reel to reels? The big reel to reel tape players?

Yeah. Yeah. It’s one of those really cool ones. And then on the other side of that Beanie Babies. Those are… Beanie Babies! Beanie Babies, yes. We had a customer give us a container of Beanie Babies. And I actually have it. It’s in my closet and we were bored when this is after our catalytic converters were stolen and we happen to be sitting in the warehouse and I said, Hey, let’s start looking at these beanie babies to see what we have.

And so we started looking at any babies. We started finding some that were worth 200, 400 a piece. And it’s a huge basket. Then we came across one, it was a little red pig, , and we looked it up, and it was worth 28, 000. I was like, holy crap! What? And then, we’re like, you’re kidding!

We’re like, wait a minute! He’s like, yeah, my wife used to collect these things, and she left all of it in the storage unit, you guys can have it. So we started looking up all of them. So we found sticks of the rarest beanie babies. So we have one that’s worth 40, 000, one that’s worth 28, 000. I think two of them are worth like 15, 000 a piece.

And I’m like, I’m not selling these. I’m keeping them because. Oh, yeah, I was like, Oh crap. And they’re all with the new tech. Cause some of them have they’re rare because some of them have a misspelled name or the tag is put on upside down or they have something like on their cloth tag or something there or a specific color that they don’t, they only made one time and I was like, I cannot believe, and they’d been sitting in our warehouse.

But I said, I’m going to get these put in a cool containers and put them on display so that people can see that we actually have, they will actually see that we have these.

I was like, this is the craziest thing ever. Wow. Your next business is going to be like a museum. Wow. That’s what makes junk hauling so much fun is that you find things that you don’t expect and then you have these things sitting in your warehouse. And you just start exploring, it’s like a treasure hunt.

Wow.  Tell me more about how you morphed into the idea of the resale shop and like how they, those two businesses compliment each other. Go into more of that. Absolutely. So what we started running into is hoarder houses.

And we weren’t running into the hoarder houses where it was just overran with, the bad things. We were running into hoarders who were shopaholics. And everything has tags on it. And so we started getting back to the warehouse and we’re like what do we do with all these things that have tags on it?

So we reached out to one of our counterparts who also has a thrift store in Maryland. And  she made, I think, 50, 000 last month on resale. And she’s like, Lillie, you need to start doing resale.  We started and I said what websites do you use? And this is one of the great things about J Dog is that we get on calls, once a month and we talk about the things that we found and the things we’re exploring and how we, if we’ve had those ideas of doing additional businesses and stuff.

So she’s Hey, these are the websites I use. I use Macari, I use Poshmark, I use Facebook marketplace, I use Was offer up. . I use eBay. So she’s like, just get on each one of those platforms and start posting the things that you find that are new. Even the Beanie Babies. She told me, she’s put those Beanie Babies up there and get that money.

And I’m like, no, I’m going to hold on to them for a little while. The clothes, the things like I’m at three out of four days of the week. I’m at the post office shipping shoes and. Sweaters and cardigans and hats and jewelry and things like that from the store because I put it in the store, but I also posted online.

And so I always have someone making me an offer for things. And especially if they have the original tags, that’s the blessing with that is with these hoarder houses. Or the shopaholic quarters, which are my favorite, you could find things that someone somewhere overseas may want and you could sell it for a good profit.

I had some bases that I came across. There were cobalt blue. Don’t know very much about cobalt blue. It’s a really pretty blue. And a lady came in and her sister had saw them online and she happened to be in the area. She came in and bought all of the cobalt blue. Glasses, bases, plates, everything for her sister.

And she’s yeah, I’m just going to fly and take it to her this weekend. Holy wow. Okay so a lot of. That’s a pretty great business though. That’s pretty great. Like you’re, people are paying you to haul their junk away and then you’re selling their junk and making more money. That’s awesome.

Yes. Concept. And we actually had a gentleman who came in, his wife. Had passed away and she worked at the Lone Burger facility. She worked there for years, but I think she said 30 years, she worked there. And she had a collection of Lone Burger. Baskets. And before she passed, I think he said the year before she passed away, she gave them all away and sold everything.

And so after she passed away, his new hobby is trying to find all of the baskets that she has. So he comes into my store at least once a month to see if we have any new ones. He purchased one. Because they, they put their initials, they put their initials on the bottom, the ones that they made. And so he.

Yes, and every time he comes in, he’s what do you have? And I’ll show him all the baskets and he’ll look through. He’s no, I already have this one or I have that one. He’s but if you see any, make sure you call me and I every other week coming in there and he’s looking for those baskets.

So it’s really cool. And and we have. It’s a blessing just being there have some gentlemen like my husband, a lot of people know he’s diabetic and he’s been sick. And so there’s a gentleman who walks, he walks from the high school and he walks all the way to the library and back every other day.

And he comes into the store. He sits down on the couch and he, I give him a bottle of water. I check his blood, his his sugar level with him. I make sure it’s okay, I’ll see you in a couple of days. And he does it every day. And he knows I’m there. So he’ll come in and he’ll sit there. So that’s the blessing of where I am is that, not outside of the foot traffic.

It’s just the pleasantry of having people come in. And that’s the reason that couch. Is there’s just come in and sit out. You don’t have to buy anything. I’m my expectation is not that you come in And buy a bunch of things you can come in hang out with us Have a seat, maybe your wife is at the salon next door or, over at the other shops or walking around in downtown, just come in and hang out with us.

Have a bottle of water. It’s on us. Just come hang out with us. I love that. You’re making it like a TV show, like sweet Magnolia’s or a Gilmore girls or something with the hometown feel. And people love, they absolutely love it. I think that’s the. So people were like, how much is this cup a dollar?

You’re only selling this for, yes, a dollar. If you take it, cause we got paid to put it here, hang out with us. Speaking of that, like a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners are struggling with pricing of their products and your services. How do you determine the pricing structure?

Of your items in your shop, the will we do? We do search on eBay. We search the different websites. We go on Google. Google lens is one of those items where you just take a picture of the item and it’ll pull it up or a pool of similar items and it’ll give you the high and low price ranges of those items.

Usually. Market or price our products right in between that. And then, if we have Monday Madness or, Thursday thrifty, where you can get 20% or 30% or if you come in on Saturdays, it’s Bogo for different things. So we price it right in the middle, which we call the sweet spot, but we are always up to negotiate the price down because quite honestly, we got it for free.

We’re not trying to become billionaires off of a, thrift store, but we do want to rehome this stuff and not see it going the, the refuge site. We don’t want it to go there. So rather sell it for a dollar or 50 cent as opposed to throwing it in the garbage dump, going in the garbage. Yeah.

Yeah.  So building your brand is crucial for a business. How have you established your brand identity and how has it helped you stand out in a really. Maybe competitive market. Do you find the resale businesses competitive? I don’t find it to be competitive because I’m not trying to compete and that’s I think that’s the biggest thing about it We do handwritten letters to our customers So we typed up I think it was like 5, 000 letters Introducing ourselves to the community and we just went online and purchased the address list and we sent letters to everyone saying hey Come by, say Hi.

Hang out with us. You don’t have to purchase anything. You don’t have to because everything right now is. Spend money buy, and the economy is crazy and people, some people just want that hometown effect where , their pockets aren’t getting emptied out every time they go somewhere.

And if you come in one day and I tell people, if you come in and this is my mantra for shopping and to not buy. On the impulse. If I go in a store and it’s there, I wait 30 days. I come back at this deal. There’s meant for me to have. And so I tell customers, if you come in and you see something you like and you don’t feel like you can get it right now, if you come back in 30 days and it’s still here, I’ll cut the price in half for you.

So that you can have it. And we get a lot of families with a lot of kids and we have a lot of cool stuff in there. And so it’s just explore. It’s a treasure hunt for everybody. So we’re a true mercantile. We tell people that we’re a true mercantile. We have a little bit of everything. So you just have to find your sweet spot in our store.

I love it. And I love the Oh, like the hometown feel that you are promoting there. Because I have the same thing here at my shop at the humble crate where sometimes people just come in to chat. And I love that. And it’s the welcome, the welcoming feeling. And I do have a lot of people who will come down, they’ll look around and they’ll say, Oh, we’re going to be back.

Or I’m going to bring my wife back. Or I’m going to bring my kids back. Or I’m going to bring, my entire family back. I had a gentleman. Yeah, he’s my wife is going to kill me because she doesn’t know I’m here, but I’m going to bring her back today. Absolutely, I’ll put them behind the counter and they will be, I will act like it’s a surprise that I just put him out when you get here.

He’s cool.

That’s great.  So marketing plays a vital role in business success. What are some of the most effective marketing strategies you’ve used to attract Customers to both your junk hauling and your resale shop. Word of mouth. It’s, we’re not, we want people to know that we are veterans. We are community oriented and we go above and beyond, especially with the junk hauling to.

Sure, that are satisfied because a lot of the junk haulers they come in, say, for instance, you do a garage. They’ll come in. They’ll just take the items you want and they leave. So we go in. We take the items you want. We’re going to clean the area. We’re going to ask you. Hey, do you have something in the house that you want moved here?

Do you want us to move anything upstairs? We give a little bit of extra for us. to families because sometimes they don’t have, someone to do that stuff for them. We actually have a lot of elderly customers who, I have a young lady, Ms. Edna. I love her to death. Her husband passed away and we moved some furniture for her, but we call her once a month and I’ll send my guys up there in the area.

They’ll go out and visit with her. She just wants to talk. She doesn’t have anybody to talk to. So my guys will go out there, hang out with her, move stuff around in her house. And we don’t charge her because it’s more important that we foster relationships as opposed to, just trying to get a buck out of a person.

So this is how the word of mouth has spread our, the business mantra for J Dawg and for Rags to Riches around. It’s Oh you guys do J Dawg, right? Yeah. Oh, wow. You have a store. Oh we have to come over there and see what you have at the store because, maybe you’re selling some of my stuff.

I’ve had a customer say that. Maybe you’re going to sell some of my stuff out there. Maybe I’ll get to see someone buy some of my stuff. And it’s yeah, maybe you will. Or maybe I’ll buy it back. Yeah, it’ll be a price for you.

 As your businesses have grown, what systems or processes have you implemented to maintain efficiency and high quality service? We try to rotate the things that we have in the shop. We try to rotate at least once a week, moving things to the front, bringing in new products all the time.

And just asking customers, one thing that I do diligently is I ask the customers, Hey, is there something that you haven’t found in the store that you would like to see? Because you won’t know what a customer wants unless you ask them, right? And so they come in, they’re optimistic about what they’re shopping for, but at the same time, if we have, we, we can.

procure some things. Like I said, we have a wholesaler. So I used to go on my wholesale site and people were like we had, what was the event that we just had? I think it was the Fourth of July event or something. We had an evening. I think it was that combustion and people were Bringing all their kids out.

And so once it gets dark, it’s the kids are out there playing and stuff. So I bought a basket of little watches that light up for a dollar. They’re like 1 watches. And so it was at the table and I was selling to people for a dollar. And I said, if it’s lighting up at your kid it’s just being something that can be useful and people love the different oh, these are so cool.

Hey, they, the fidget spinners and the little watches, they light up and they have a little fidget spinner on top. I was like, it’ll keep them busy for hours and having a bubble machine out there, something that they can run through and play. And it, and I said, kids. Bring parents who bring money.

So I was like, kids bring parents, bring money. So I was like, I’m going to take out the things, the bubbles. I’m going to take out the cotton candy. I’m going to take out the little watches and the little toys and stickers and. As the kids come in, the parents are going to come in and then they’re going to start asking those questions about, J Dawg and they’re going to ask questions about Racks for Riches and we’re going to give them the information right there on the spot and say, Hey, we have a special going on next week or, the PVA, I always give out the PVA card.

I love that thing because people are like, Oh, these are all every customer that comes to the store gets a PVA card. Okay. I was like, what’s a PVA card? It’s just a list of events going on events that are going on in the village. Okay. We print this every year. And then the village PVA members are on the other side.

I give out awesome. I give out the maps of the community. I give out all kinds of stuff and people just love it. And I’m like, I’m eventually, I think I’m running out of the PVA card. So I’ll probably come and get some more, but customers love it. I’ve got like a few hundred here, so yeah they, that’s.

It’s just more to be in a community. So I just, the marketing is just word of mouth, being pleasant to people, being welcoming to people, inviting them into your space without obligation. And that’s the best part of having that business there. Yeah. Yeah.  Lillie networking and partnerships can open up new opportunities for a business.

How have you leveraged networking to expand your customer base and to find valuable partnerships? Oh, wow. So networking has just been the. Basis for pretty much everything I do because I learned. Years ago, then when you go into networking, you don’t go in, I’m not going in to sell you something I’m going in to purchase.

And that’s the concept that I go into. I want to learn about your business. I’m a yes, I run Rex, Richardson, J Dawg, but I want to know what you do. I want to know how I can promote your business. As a part of my business, what can I do to support what you’re doing that will help bring in more business to my company?

Because if you’re an attorney and you’re like, Hey, I deal with the stakes, estate sales. Hey, you know what areas do you work in? What’s your niche that you’re working in? How do facilitate your customer service? How do you do all these things? And then now I’m learning about you so that I can learn.

How it would one benefit my business, but how my business could benefit yours because everyone can’t afford an estate clean out. Everyone can’t afford, we have families that are coming in from all over the country because their aunt or uncle or mom or dad or someone passed away in their family and they have 24 hours to empty out a house.

And so you’re, you’re talking to people, you’re just learning about their businesses. Hey. I’m going to give you some cards, but I want your cards so that when I have customers who say I have X, Y, and Z going on in my life, I can say, Hey, here’s lawyer, here’s a good architect, here’s a good, doctor, here’s a good, anyone.

So I use it as a way of learning about other businesses, not necessarily promoting mine. Yeah, so owning a business and entrepreneurship often involves risk taking.  Can you share a moment where taking a calculated risk paid off and helped propel your business forward? Calculate a risk. I take risk all the time.

I I send it, I would say sending letters out to people because I didn’t know How that would formulate into business and how I had never knew the concept someone told me to say, Hey, send individual letters to the people in your area, introduce yourself, just tell them you’re a veteran, tell them, a little bit about what you’re trying to do without the expectation of them coming in to do business with you.

And the way I saw it pay off was a year after we sent out letters. We actually had a lady contact us like, Hey, I received this letter from you guys about a year ago and I wanted, and I was just like, wow. She must have kept the letter for a whole year before she called it. Yeah. Yes. It was just take the risk.

Go ahead and spend it. And I’m I won’t say I believe that the concept of fear. Is ingrained in everything you do, and you’ve already failed if you don’t try. And so I’ll question myself about something and I’ll go, you know what, I like opening up the store. I was like, yeah, he said I could have a store, but am I ready to do it?

And then, and that was a calculated risk because I had no furniture. I had inventory. I had no furniture. I had no racks. I had no shelves. I had nothing. The week after I. Talked to him about opening up the store. A lady called for three storage unit clean outs, and she was the owner of Mascots and More, which was based in Pickerington.

She Yes, that’s where I used to get my shirts printed. Yes. Yeah. She gave us all of our counters, all of the racks that are in our store, all of the furniture, everything that we put up in that store came from her storage units. That is awesome. That is awesome. I couldn’t believe it when my guys they were like, yeah There was a lady who she has a storage unit out in Pickerington And she used to own the store here and she said that they moved away to Florida and she just wants it all gone She doesn’t want any of it.

She doesn’t care what we do with it And when I got to the warehouse, I was like wait, this can’t be real that this cannot be real like I just It was just meant to be. It was meant to be. God is telling me that I needed to do this because I was terrified. I was like, I have no racks. I have nowhere to start.

I don’t know what to do. I have all this stuff and I don’t know where to put it. And she gives everything to open our doors. And I, it was a scrambling because that day we were scrambling what the day before is when they brought all the furniture in. And we just. Was that March 9th on your birthday before the shop is when they brought all that stuff into the store.

I had to put everything. Oh, my God there until I think about four in the morning, putting everything together and hanging clothes and stuff. And I was like, Oh, my gosh. This is happening. This is happening.  Do you believe in the power of manifestation?

 I believe in manifestation because. It’s a running, I call it a living will because it’s the will to continue to go whether or not things are going good for you or bad for you, your stress levels high, you’re panicking, all of these things, but you still have the drive to keep pushing through.

So you just manifest. It’s going to happen. It’s going to happen. I do the. It’s going to happen. So because like I said, when, I was turned down for that shop, I was just like, you know what? We’re just going to keep looking. We’re just good. It’s, one door closes another one. We’re just going to keep looking.

And then when that I was, yeah. And then it came right back to you the exact same place. The exact location at the chamber and I looked across just wait, it can’t be. And I was like, I’m going to call Janice really quick. And when I called you and you were like, yep, it is. And I was like, he should just gave it to me when I asked for it.

I said, but it’s time and place for everything. And that wasn’t our time. And now it is. Exactly. Lillie, what’s one of the best or the most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? One of the best the most worthwhile investments, honestly, is just donating my time. It’s because I love…

And if I can’t do anything else, I just want to be a part. , I tell people all the time, I’m background person. Just put me in the background and just tell me what you need and I’m going to execute. I don’t want to be in the forefront of anything, but I just want to be a part of seeing something progress.

And being in an Alliance club and being in a PBA, being all the different organizations that I’m in. I don’t do it because I want to be in the forefront because I will hide in the back. They tell me I’ll win awards and I’m like, so can you just send it to me in the mail? Do I have to? So when you won Pickerington chamber new business of the year, that made you pretty uncomfortable.

Yeah. Oh my gosh. And then I ended up getting one from. What is it? Not the secretary of state, the correct congressional, something from, for Ohio. They sent me a huge award in the mail last week and I was just like, wait, what, then they didn’t make you get up and talk about it. I was like, it’s scary.

It’s just if I can see something through fruitrition to be successful or be a part of something that’s successful or that’s going to be able to benefit someone else. I’ll be a part of it. I don’t need to be acknowledged for it. I just want to be a part of it. That’s kind of it. Your acceptance speech was very gracious and humble and I loved it.

Like I said. And it was very well deserved. If there’s anything that I’m truthful about, it’s that the support systems that are there, they make you want to be more involved. So if I could be involved in everything out there, I would just because it’s like you, and I, as a African American, we don’t get, invited to the party all the time.

But when you are invited to the party and they’re like, sit down, your plate’s been sitting here for an hour. What are you waiting on? And you’re just like.

Why aren’t you a part of this? Why? If you, especially when you have something to bring to the table to be able to support and give back to the community and not be, have these expectations. Like I do therapy at the high school. A lot of people don’t know. Some people do know that I do therapy over there, but those kids come in my store all the time.

Yeah. And hi, Ms. Lillie. And as when you’re a therapist they’re ethical things. You can’t acknowledge students. You can’t acknowledge your client public. If they acknowledge you first, then you can speak to them. But other than that, you’re, you are cut off from saying anything to them.

So when they come in the store and they bring the crowd of friends and their families and they’re like, Hey, this is my therapist. And I’m like, You’re comfortable. I’m okay with that and knowing the principals, knowing the counselors at the school, being a part of something and just being able to make a difference and making people smile and work through the, the life, because, that’s just what we’re here for.

It’s just to be a part of that.

 With the experience you’ve gained along the way, what advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business? Like yours or otherwise for any business, learn your craft, and then try to learn everyone else’s craft because there’s always a benefit to knowing what someone else and being able to utilize it to strengthen your knowledge and your abilities.

Because even opening up a store, I go down to the humble crate to look around like, Oh, she’s got these kinds of things. We’re going over to, look at the realtor’s office or, talking to realtors about things that their customers want and things that their customers need or talking to the insurance companies.

And these are what we dealing with house fires and this is what we’re dealing with. So you learn your craft by understanding and learning the craft of others. And that way you ingrain yourself into developing yours to a better standard. So not only, you, if. Insurance company calls me and say, Hey, we had a customer who has a fire.

They don’t have anything. Okay, I can go over to my warehouse and what sizes are you looking for? Do you need kids clothes? Do you need toys? Do you need, back stuff? Do you need, pictures? Whatever, what do you need where I can help this family start over and it not be so rough? It’s just learning your craft.

That’s great advice. I love that. I love that. Do you ever hear any bad recommendations in your profession? I take everything with a grain of salt. I’ll say that. Is that I don’t think I’ve gotten any bad recommendations because I am that optimistic person. You know what’s the worst that could happen?

I’m going to be told no, or I’m going to fail. I’m going to try it anyway, because either way I learned something, right? So there’s no way to fail when you’re optimistic about it. It’s like you can’t expect to have the best case scenario for everything that you do. You have to go into it with an open thought of this might turn into a crap show, but I’m going to, I’m going to push all the way through to the end, and it’s going to be the happiest crap show I go through.

I love it. What do you envision the future for your business? Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years, I’m actually looking to possibly open up more racks of riches locations, and just have them in at least one in each one of our territories as a starting point. And then. To be able to pass it off for my children, to have, to give them something where, they can learn.

They love learning from me. They’re just, they tell me all the time mom, we love learning from you because even when we’re having the bad times or we’re doing something that we shouldn’t be doing, you always, give us the best case scenario. And being able to just grow in the process, being able to teach and train others to do the same thing that you do.

And so that’s one of the things that I’m, I want to work with the city on. And I talked to him last week about is helping develop a youth business program to where, for summer jobs, instead of the kids going out and just working and, doing a summer job, they’re different concepts, put them in some lawyer offices, put them in some accounting offices, put them offices, let them learn that there are technical jobs and there are things out there that they can do to launch their careers if they want to start a business, I want to be able to be, and I think I talked to President of the chamber.

And I talked to her about being an angel investor and maybe doing some scholarships, during, throughout the year, doing some business, some having a competition for students who want to be entrepreneurs that, to help them launch there. It’s funny that you, yeah, it’s funny that you said that because that I’m going to be the chair for the chamber next year, and that is one of my.

visions is to explore promoting junior entrepreneurs. So we’ll have to hook up on that. Oh, absolutely. I know. Manifestation. Karma. All that stuff. Yeah. I love that idea. As soon as you said that, I was like, yeah, that’s in my head too. I’ve got junior entrepreneurs here in my shop. Lillie, what motivates you to work hard?

Having fun. And that’s, that, I think that’s a big motivation is being able to have fun at something. Do because you always hear about a person having a passion, you have a passion for what you do. You have to have a passion. You have to have fun. I don’t ever want to get up a day and go to my shop or go to any business that I have and be miserable in it and be, in dread getting up and going to work with my employees and things like that.

It’s just finding a way to have fun. Even if. I turn on the music and sit the music outside of the door and, invite people in to just Hang out or not necessarily, doing something that will promote the business, but just being a part of something. It’s just fun It’s the just the concept of fun just leads me everywhere.

I love that. What’s the first step that you take to achieve a goal? Actualizing it. I have to actualize the goal because if it’s not real to me, then I’m not gonna pursue it I’m not gonna wholeheartedly do it. I’m gonna Procrastinate. I’m gonna, so I have to actually write it down. You have to write it down and visualize it, put it up on a board, put it up on the wall, put it up on the mirror and see it every day.

Even if you’re not ready for it, keep looking at it, keep looking at it and keep saying it. It’s going to happen. It’s going to happen. It’s going to happen. I said for years, I’m going to have a business. I don’t know what it’s going to be. I’m going to have a business. And that was one of the things that when I went to school, I initially went for psychology, then I went for nursing.

And then I got bored with everything. And I was like, you know what? I’m going to get a business degree. And my mom was like why business? I said, because you could do any business. And if you had a business degree, it doesn’t matter what you write. And so she’s makes sense. So the business degree was what I went for first.

And. After that, I was like, I can do pretty much any business I want, so I started, Oh, mom knows best. Mom knows best, the rags to riches and the J dog. They weren’t something that I was looking for. It was placed in front of me and it was, you know what, this is. When it called me, I was like, this is what’s calling me.

This is what I want to do. I didn’t want to have a boutique or anything like that. I was just like, I just want to have something that’s fun. It’s cool. I’m a thrifty person. I grew up with my dad taking me to have day Mondays at the thrift store every, every week. And so I always grew up with going to thrift stores.

So it was like, Hey, why wouldn’t you have a thrift store? I love it. I love that.  What? Is the book or books that you’ve given most as a gift or the book that has impacted you most in your life? The book that has impacted me the most is Becoming Michelle Obama. And it’s the funniest thing is that her book is awesome because she talks about her failures. And how she just definitively said, yeah, this is a hurdle, but I’m going to push through it.

And it’s just progressing through things and not, like I said, I have the expectation that, you can’t always win. But you have to keep going. And so reading that book made me understand that, I don’t have to always be the best at everything. I don’t always have to, meet these specific standards or these high standards and everything.

You can be average. It’s okay to be average. And you’re still going to get, and in college, they say what is it? C’s get degrees. And so I use that as, it’s you don’t have to be the best. You don’t have to be 100% every day in every way to be successful. Your success is determined by you.

What do you deem as your successful my successfulness? Hey, I get up every day and I go to work, you know I can drive I you know have you know, the ability to cook I have that’s my success I don’t have to you know when that’s why I say I hide when it’s you know, People are trying to give me awards and things like that because I’m like, I don’t need those things I’m successful in just being who I am and having that happy spirit and just being able to be there in the moment so

Yeah, I wish everyone felt like that, right? Yeah. Yeah., Lillie, do you have a purchase of 100 or less? That has most positively impacted your life in the last six months or recent  memory.

Yes. I purchased. A purchase of a hundred dollars. I purchased.

It is a journal for fitness, a fitness journal, because I do, I go to the gym every day, but I don’t have a rhyme or reason for what I do at the gym. And I said, Oh, for me to start actualizing what I do, start thinking about it in more of a concept of gains. And I try to keep myself busy. 

 Lillie, before you leave, tell us how we. Get ahold of you or how we can find you. Sure. So you can reach us at r2rohio.

com. And we also are located at 24 West.

2400 West. No. 24 West Columbus Street, Pickering in Pickerington and r two r Ohio com. Okay, so r two r ohio.com. R two r ohio.com, and 24 West Columbus Street in Pickerington. Yes. And J Dog, J Dog is www.jdog.com.

 Thank you so much, Lillie Williams for joining us. It was so great to learn more about you. And thank you for listening to Cosmos and Commerce. If you would like to be a guest, you can email Janice and I at guest at Cosmos and Commerce.

Or if you have any questions, you can also email us there. And we would love to hear from you.   📍  📍 Have a great day. See you next time. 

Lillie Williams, veteran

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