When I was 5...
My life flipped upside down when my twin sisters, Clia and Clida, were born. I was ecstatic. My parents were overjoyed to be blessed with 2 additional family members. But, that happiness only lasted for a split second.
Clida had brain cancer...
She was just 2 years old.
Our family had to move from Jakarta to Singapore for her treatment. I was not with her in the hospital that often because I had school, but when I was, I could never bear the pain I saw in her eyes. She was brave. I knew she was in terrible pain after all her chemo therapies and radiation treatments.
In the midst of the pain, she still fought through.
She would smile to all the nurses and doctors, even after an injection. She loved being with my mom and dad. She loved singing and dancing. She was a bundle of joy. However, we all knew that she was overwhelmed with pain. There were times where she said, "I want to go home."
And on October 2009, she did.
She spread her wings and flew. I knew she was happy up there, however, my parents were grief-stricken. The pain they had to bear was oppressive.
But, my parents were warriors...
In an effort to cheer my mom up, my dad brought her to visit an orphanage, meet the children there, provide food and play with them. That did it for her. She absolutely loved it. She then started bringing my sister and I to help out. Frankly, it was extremely hot and dusty. The stink, in my opinion, was quite unbearable. At first, all I wanted to do was complain, but looking at the joy gleaming from the children's eyes made me understand why my mom loved doing this.
I always followed my parents whenever they visited orphanages, hospitals and the slum areas. I would normally bring food and clothes, teach the children English, and host free healthcare services. However, there was a void in my heart. Though I loved what I was doing, I wanted to help the orphanages and hospitals financially. I did not want to ask my parents for the money to donate, because I knew that money was not "mine".
I was an 11 year old with a mission.
I wanted to earn money to help those who need it. In 2012, the online business world started to grow in Indonesia. A lot of my older friends bought and sell online. Using the second-hand Blackberry phone I received for my birthday, I started my online business in September 2012.
I started it from scratch with no financial help from my parents.
My business started from the messaging application BBM. The first few months were not that successful. I lost $300 because someone cheated on me. At that moment, I wanted to give up. $300 was massive compared to my $20 profit. But at the brink of letting go, my mom came to me and told me to keep on going. She told me that so many children out there depended on this. So I got up and continued running.
My business launched when...
I started selling Bath and Body Works (BBW). At that time (2013), BBW was a booming brand in Indonesia. There were no BBW stores in here yet, so people had to buy them online. I was very lucky to have a friend that imported them to Indonesia, so I became her reseller. The price I sold the BBW products for was lower than competitors’ pricing. That, along with good marketing, launched my business to success.
After a year, sales decreased as there were a ton of others selling BBW. So I had to constantly change what I sold according to what is trending.
In 1.5 years, I earned a revenue of $60,000.
Every month, I would always donate 70% of my earnings to charities & orphanages.
In 2015, I published an autobiography.
My book, titled "DUNIA AJAIB CHLOE", brings you into the journey of my online business & how I achieved that revenue of $60,000. There are also tips & tricks about starting & operating an online business. My goal for that book was to inspire and motivate teenagers my age, and even adults, to step out of their comfort zones.
I faced a lot of obstacles & hardships throughout my journey, but I used them to strengthen me.
This story is always hard to tell for me, but I hope it can tell you that age is just a number.