SC Top 20 Under 40

Raquel Michelle Richardson Thomas

MBA, CEO, LLC! Those are not acronyms many usually associate with a girl from the “wrong” side of the tracks! Still those challenges are exactly why Raquel Michelle Richardson Thomas is the CEO/Owner of six thriving businesses, all before her 35th birthday! The Columbia SC native decided while just a child that despite her circumstances, she would achieve her goals and change lives in the process. After receiving her BA in Business Administration and Marketing from Virginia State University and Graduating from the University of Maryland with an MBA, she quickly began crafting her action plan to make her entrepreneurial goals realities. Before her 28 th birthday this visionary was owner and CEO of two thriving companies, at 31 she notched two more successes on her business belt and today Raquel sits at the helm of several lucrative companies that include Children of Tomorrow Learning Center and Child Care, The Museum Shop; a High End Men’s Apparel Store in the nation’s capital, plus a Health Care Business and Cleaning Company. Her current business venture combines fashion with a positive message and movement. Definitive.Movement.Rebellion. (DMR) Fashion is more than a brand it’s a declaration of self-expression which encourages and promotes the freedom of being your truest self. Raquel moved the on-line business into a brick and mortar retail outlet in the Columbia Place Mall, Columbia, SC in less than a year and has established it not only as a retail outlet, but also an artist showcase. Each weekend the store hosts DMR Live featuring singers, spoken word artists, musicians and other live performances. Visual artists are also showcased with striking artwork on the walls of the store and in an innovative move; Raquel gave select on-line outlets the incredible opportunity to carry their line(s) at the Columbia SC location. Raquel says the goal for DMR Fashion is to create a welcoming space that melds commerce and community! Raquel is continuing that sentiment with her non-profit organization Dream Catchers which will utilize programs, workshops and mentoring sessions to help youth from impoverished neighborhoods and broken households, gain the skills and self-confidence needed to achieve their goals. Continuing her desire to encourage and motivate, Raquel recently turned a childhood passion for writing into her first book set to release in the summer of 2017. “What becomes of a Broken Soul” is a fictional story loosely based on the many challenges she faced, atrocities she witnessed and how perseverance, love and incredible drive can overcome even the most dysfunctional upbringing. This mother of two frequently advises young entrepreneurs to stay committed to their dreams and goals in spite of the often tedious and difficult work. She encourages enterprising men and women, reminding them that “Challenges will come, but it is those obstacles that make you stronger, wiser and confident that greater is coming”! Raquel counsels those perusing business ventures to become familiar with every aspect of their company and never get too big to roll up your sleeves and lend your employees a helping hand! Raquel clearly recognizes that everything she has been blessed to accomplish in her life is due to God’s love and favor. Even in the worst times her faith has allowed her to experience the Lord’s Presence in her personal and professional life! Raquel says “God has built a fence around me and proven countless times that Matthew 19:26 is true; With God All Things Are Possible”