In just two years, Anima Iris has grossed more than $700,000 and is currently earning more than $100,000 per month.
While Tanjong has been growing and running her business, she’s also working on getting her M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. According to AfroTech, Tanjong got her entrepreneurial spirit from her parents, who moved from Cameroon to Maryland when she was two.
Tanjong spent her youth watching her parents and noting their entrepreneurial spirit. Her parents owned and operated a laundromat, her dad flipped houses, and her mom owned a small cosmetology studio while working as a nurse.
“I really hated it at the time,” Tanjong told the outlet. “But that’s clearly where [my] motivation comes from.”
However, things weren’t always exciting for Tanjong, who saw her mother suffer from breast cancer when she was eight and her parents divorce when she was 14. Tanjong eventually earned a free ride to Stanford University, where she graduated, dealing with her mother’s death in her senior year.
After she graduated, Tanjong relocated to Atlanta to work at a manufacturing and supply company. Tanjong was unhappy despite making good money and having an inheritance her mother left her. After taking some time to herself, including a trip back to Africa, Tanjong was inspired to start Anima Iris.
″[Anima Iris] was a therapeutic project that was just making me happy,” Tanjong told CNBC’s Make It. “I’ve always been a very fashionable person. People always ask me, ‘Where’d you get this? Where’d you get that?’ And then I realized, ‘Hey, maybe people will just buy [products] from me.’”
Tanjong plans to finish her M.B.A. this spring and will use it to continue growing her handbag business and brand which is on pace to make more than $5 million next year.