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Love Luxury boss Emily Abraham explains how she went from sofa surfing to CEO

The founder of Love Luxury experienced homelessness in her youth and is now using her platform to educate and give advice

A woman in a black turban

Emily Abraham

Emily Abraham is co-founder of Love Luxury, which has become one of the most trusted names in the UK ‘pre-loved’ luxury market.

But the self-made entrepreneur, known as the Billionaire’s Wife online, is using her social media popularity to speak openly about her own hardships and turbulent upbringing, while giving a platform to others trying to help those in need.

“I love talking to people and hearing their stories,” Abraham says. “There were a lot of people I was desperate to meet and bring attention to. When you’ve been through harder life experiences than most it’s good to highlight other people who are helping those in need and educating the public about different walks of life and the issues people face. I’m lucky I have a platform to be able to do that.”

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Launching earlier this year, The Love Luxury Podcast has welcomed a range of guests, from experts linked to her previous career in the beauty industry discussing concerns around aesthetics courses and safety issues, to Love & Hip Hop’s Chrissy Monroe, who set up the charity Survive to Thrive Global for women experiencing domestic violence.

Abraham also knows what it’s like to experience the crueller side of social media. She says: “You have to have a thick skin to be on social media sometimes and negative comments are an inevitable part of having a large following. The opinions of people I don’t know do not bother me.”

The podcast has explored topics ranging from inequality in the housing system to the importance of having a support network when struggling, as well as highlighting those helping fight food poverty in the UK. She also discusses her own experience of homelessness.

“I was very young when I found myself homeless,” says Abraham, who left home at 15. “I wasn’t on the streets, I was between different places and sofa hopping. There probably isn’t the stigma associated with this level of homelessness as there is for those that have had to live on the street.”

The reality of this kind of ‘hidden’ homelessness in the UK is stark. Homelessness charity Crisis has estimated that as many as 62% of single homeless people do not show up on official figures and run the risk of slipping through the cracks.

In another episode featuring her foster mum Elaine, Abraham spoke about the death of her biological mother at a very young age and the worsening alcohol addiction within her family in response, crediting Elaine and her husband for their love and hospitality. “Had I not been with you guys it would have been a very different story for me,” she told them.

Love Luxury boss Abraham believes resilience and being able to put things into perspective was essential in her ability to work her way out of hardship.

“It was the acceptance that life is full of lessons and bad things are sometimes inevitable,” Abraham explains. “It’s about how you deal with the tragic events and knock-backs that really shape your life. If you can see the lesson in everything that happens and grow wiser and more resilient from them then you can carry on, and life will get easier.”

It’s a self-belief that has always driven Abraham forward, even when she was experiencing difficult times.

“I was always confident I was going to have a good life,” she says. “Even when I was in some very hard situations, I always had belief that the bad times wouldn’t last and eventually I would find happiness and success. I wouldn’t say I predicted my life as it is now, but I envisioned and hoped.”

Emma Carys is a member of The Big Issue’s Breakthrough programme.

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