From refugee camp to New York City: An entrepreneur’s tale

Fashion entrepreneur Monica Phromsavanh, born a Laotian refugee, worked hard to succeed. (© Grant Friedman)

For fashion entrepreneur Monica Phromsavanh, the pathway to success started in the camp for Laotian refugees in Argentina where she was born and spent her first years.

She was a hard charger even as a child, never letting poverty or family difficulties discourage her. She came to the United States at 17, worked for upscale clothing retailers and rose rapidly up the management ladder, helped by mentors impressed by her keen sense of style and business acumen.

She launched a successful bricks-and-mortar clothes shop of her own in New York and then came up with the idea for ModaBox, an e-commerce enterprise offering personal styling advice and shipping stylish garments to customers to try on before purchasing.

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