RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Ohio — When you hear the phrase ‘living rich’ you may think it means living large with lots of money. A mother-daughter duo is working to change that and transform how people feel about their lives and the money in their pockets with their clothing and lifestyle brand, Living Rich.
Sharia Livingston dreamed of fashion and fancy clothes as a young girl in East Cleveland. Then, at 16 she had her now 17-year-old daughter, Sha'Miah Richardson and her perspective began to change.
“I started to pour into her those same values that I had like let's appreciate what we have, to appreciate opportunities, let’s appreciate family, things like that. And I didn't even realize at that time I was Living Rich! Like that was rich for me,” said Livingston.
Livingston went to college, became a R.N. and finally in 2015 made her fashion dreams come true creating Living Rich with her daughter. It's a play on both of their last names, but it's also a lifestyle–valuing everything in life even without a lot of money.
“Once you can do that then you're living rich. It's not about money, you know, because you need money to be happy? You shouldn't need money to feel rich because there's so many other things in life to appreciate and value,” said Livingston.
Now, the two work side-by-side growing their business from pop-up shops, to a mall kiosk, and now their flagship location in Richmond Heights. The brand blends their unique styles and generational perspectives into one.
“It's just such a fulfilling experience to see how much somebody can grow from here to where we are now,” said Richardson. “Like it's just so crazy and the fact that she has brought me with her and instilled so much into me like I can see that it's paying off now.”
It’s paying off in a big way. Richardson is off to Spelman College in the fall and has her own business as a makeup artist which her mom helped her start. Their unique relationship is something neither takes for granted.
“I think it's because I had her so young. So it's like we grew up together. And for me to be able to run a business, you know, graduate from college, and for us to fulfill so many things together. And for me to be able to instill in her–you can't put a price on that,” said Livingston.
They're grateful for the brand which has grown along with their bond.
“We're building something together and we're building something else for others to share with the world, to share with other people. Through our brand we're sharing our story, we're sharing our journey,” said Richardson.
Livingston has also paid it forward by mentoring several young aspiring entrepreneurs. She has offered internships to 25 college students in several states and has created a program called Rich Scholars.
She plans to host one free class a month at Living Rich’s store. Each one will focus on a topic that entrepreneurs will encounter while starting a business.
“If I can be the resource for somebody–because I've already been through it–I would like to do that. So I'm going to be hosting one free class a month. The first free class is actually this Sunday on my birthday. I am teaching individuals how to build their own Shopify store, which usually could cost people thousands of dollars, but they can do it themselves. I know how hard it is when you are boots on the ground. You're putting money back into your own business and you really just need a resource,” said Livingston.
She also wants to launch an eight-week version of her intern program in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
“I'm trying to get into as many Cleveland public schools as I can right now to really help these young kids build their dream and build their business. And by the time they're seniors and they're ready to get out here in the world they've already established their own business,” said Livingston.
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