Episode 127
October 11, 2022

From Cargo to Carry-on

with Richard Li, Co-Founder and CEO of July

About this episode

Richard Li joins the show today to chat about his journey to becoming the Co-Founder and CEO of July. This popular Australian DTC luggage brand is reimagining the travel experience for a new generation. Richard talks with Lee about being born in China, what it was like growing up on a cargo ship for five-six years of his childhood, how he started a furniture business, and why he decided to leave to start July.

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In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • (2:40) More about July, a next-generation, digital native travel brand. What started off with one perfect carry-on and luggage, now has a full range of travel accessories and goods that aim to elevate people's travel experience.
  • (10:00) The difference between being a solo founder and having a business partner
  • (11:10) What his childhood was like, from being born in China, to growing up on a cargo ship for the first six years of his life
  • (16:00) What he wanted to be growing up, that he never thought he’d be an entrepreneur 
  • (19:00) How he started his first business by selling products on eBay, to making the move and working with Groupon
  • (21:00) How he realized it was time to start his own business platform, and launched his first company, Brosa Furniture
  • (27:00) How the idea for July came around, for the desire to build something in a different category
  • (29:00) How he approached wanting to leave his furniture business to create something new
  • (36:00) How they successfully did a pre-launch, and gave the first customers a Founder Luggage Tag
  • (38:00) His advice to get people to buy into your business and your products, and how he began to market the business in the early days
  • (41:00) The hard lessons he’s learned along the way, and how to feel out if everyone working on your business with you have the same vision as you
  • (47:50) Where the name July came from, stemming from it being the best travel month
  • (49:17) His three pieces of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to take the next steps in launching their own business

To Find Out More:



“Whenever you come up with a product you need to be willing to pay for it and be willing to use it first before it hits the market.”

“Use everyone around you for beta testing.”

“Most startups fail not because they don't have money, but because they have too much money.”

“My heart was telling me that I needed to build something else in a completely different category.”

“It's important that whoever you’re working with, just be very transparent.”

“You can never rely on one supplier on a completely new project.”

“Make sure that you are working with the right investors and make sure that they share the same vision as you.”

“Try to find a Co-Founder that can complement each other with your skillset because building a business is a very tough journey. You want someone who can share the load with you.”

“There is no perfect timing in launching a business, the perfect time is now.”

Read the transcript

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