The founder and CEO of Olbali is now taking over the coffee industry with Cool Coffee Clique.

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Have you ever wondered how to turn your dreams of owning your own business into a reality? We can help. Each week, as part of our Self Made series, we showcase female entrepreneurs-as well as their quality, handmade goods-and share their best advice related to starting, maintaining, and growing your own business.

Courtney Adeleye is living proof that it's possible for a woman to be a brand builder and own multiple companies across various industries. After all, she is the founder and CEO of Olbali, a consumer goods company with numerous brands under its umbrella, but she recently charged into the world of gourmet coffee, launching Cool Coffee Clique.

Not wanting to be seen as the competition to other small business owners, Adeleye instead wants to be an inspiration for all women, to show them that they can achieve their goals and be where they want to be—in every industry, category, and store aisle.

courtney adeleye holding coffee mug
Credit: Courtesy of Courtney Adeleye / Instagram

Her Inspiration

Adeleye wasn't always a coffee drinker. She shares, "After running on no fuel in the mornings, I decided to try coffee, but couldn't find the right brand for me. My motto is if I cannot find what I'm looking for, I create it! I wanted a bold, tasty, and robust coffee, and then became obsessed with creating the perfect brew." When creating Cool Coffee Clique, Adeleye went straight to the source and tasted and tested coffee from all over the world. She adds, "I gathered enough research to analyze, and came up with the perfect blend that delivers flavor and strength."

Adeleye also realized that what was missing from the coffee industry was identity and a sense of community, so she decided to bridge that gap by creating a "coffee clique." Now, Adeleye hosts early morning IG Live chats where she has conversations about everything from business to everyday life with her followers. Adeleye also started her "Clique Chat" forum where strong, like-minded female entrepreneurs share ideas and the love of coffee.

Lessons Learned

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and a wife and mother of three, Adeleye is no stranger to hard work and commitment. Throughout her journey, she says she has learned many things. She shares, "When someone tells you no, it doesn't have anything to do with your ability as much as it does theirs." Adeleye also has some more practical advice. "Bookkeeping via an accounting software or a real person is vital when you first start a business," she urges. "Many entrepreneurs pay more attention to their financials much later in the business, which can cause unnecessary financial loss."

Where She Finds Inspiration

"When it comes to inspiration, I look from within," Adeleye shares. "Many days I will sit in a quiet room for hours so I can listen to my own thoughts. I don't think people, in general, allow themselves enough times to truly listen to their own thoughts. We keep our brains occupied with television or the radio and I believe that interferes with our ability to really innovate." And Adeleye is all about consistency, rather than rituals. "I'm consistent with direct communication with my consumers, I'm consistent with isolating myself at times to innovate, and I'm consistent with constantly researching new things on the internet such as new technology and business techniques. I do believe whatever you concentrate on grows."

Pay My Bill Program

Adeleye recently relaunched her "Pay My Bill" initiative where once a week she picks an Instagram follower's bill to pay. This free-to-enter and no obligation initiative is something Adeleye has always wanted to do. She explains, "When I was younger, I told myself that if I ever had the ability to give randomly on a larger scale, I would. It shows people that miracles still happen today, it encourages people to give on any level they can and it's my way of telling my supporters, 'Thank you!' You guys have my back and I have yours."

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