Warren Buffett Influenced This Black Woman To Start A Million-Dollar Brand
The founder of Silver & Riley wanted to be the CEO of BMW before she met Warren Buffett, who inspired her to start her own enterprise.
Lola Banjo, the founder of the million-dollar fashion brand Silver & Riley, wanted to be CEO of BMW before she met Warren Buffett, who inspired her to start her own enterprise.
Banjo created the fashion brand that supplies travel bags for business people after her encounter with Buffett. It was part of a competition for approximately 60 Emory University students—and others from about a half dozen schools—to visit the “Oracle of Omaha” for a week and learn about him and his company, Markets Insider reported.
At the time, Banjo was studying for her master’s degree in business administration degree at Emory.
The business owner had set her sights high on becoming the CEO of German car company BMW while pursuing her degree from 2009 to 2011. That is until Buffett encouraged Banjo to think bigger. According to Markets Insider, Buffett told Banjo, “Instead of just aspiring to be CFO of BMW, from the little I know about you, why not aspire to own BMW?”
That got her mental gears going. “That was one of the most monumental things anyone has ever said to me,” Banjo said. “It’s hard to quantify what impact that whole conversation has had on my life.” But it apparently “put the battery in my back about wanting to create a global enterprise.”
The Silver & Riley owner described herself as the personification of the mind-blown emoji and said that before meeting Buffet—whom she now considers as a mentor—she “had never had that thought in [her] entire life.”
Prior to running her business full-time, Banjo was vice president at Salesforce and a strategy consultant at Accenture and Deloitte. She quit her job at Salesforce to run Silver & Riley in November 2023.