The fascinating story about Richard Harary, a Brazilian in the USA
The amazing path traveled by a Brazilian who created successful businesses in Orlando and made the slogan "The Baby Store with a Heart" famous in the baby and child industry around the country.
Richard Harary's path in the United States is not anything like the story of thousands of other immigrants in search of a better life in the "land of opportunity." What led him to conquer his dream of becoming a successful businessman in the United States was, most importantly, a deep admiration for american history and culture, which values principles like meritocracy, independence, freedom, justice, opportunity, pragmatism, and leadership. When Richard was still living in Brazil, he would travel to the United States at least two times per year.
With a strong admiration and a will for contributing and being part of American society (without losing ties to Brazil), Richard, at only 18 years of age, left behind the choice of growing with his father's business, a well-established Brazilian company.
Such boldness came from his father, Samy Harary, an Egyptian immigrant who went to Brazil in the mid 50's. He worked for Ford for a few years, saved some money, and decided to invest in a machine to manufacture socks. The socks were produced at night and sold during the day at Bras, a famous Brazilian neighborhood known for its commerce in Sao Paulo. His business grew and he expanded to the production of men's underwear. Samy's companies currently have more than 1,000 employees, and they now manufacture products for Speedo and Mizuno brands.
Since he was young, Richard accompanied his father in the manufacturing business. Recognizing that education was a priority for the family, Samy, and Richard's mother Rachel, invested in high quality schools for their four children, Richard being the youngest.
With all the support of his family, Richard decided to go to Orlando - FL when he was 18 years old, a city that he loved and admired since he was a child. Despite the financial and emotional support by his family, the early years were difficult and often lonely, requiring a lot of dedication and determination.
Richard started studying Psychology full time at the University of Central Florida. His father suggested that he should buy a franchise, but Richard identified another good business opportunity: a luggage store, called Macro Luggage, worth $20,000.
The store earned $500 a day, $15,000 a month. During that time, Richard studied at night and worked during the day. He then decided to go to the airport and offer a luggage delivery service to one of the airlines. The deal went so well that he started doing it for all airlines. Richard became to be known as the "King of the Bags" at the Orlando International Airport. His creativity allowed him to quadruple his revenue, increasing to $70,000 per month.
Another big jump happened in 1999, when the native Brazilian had the idea of selling his products through eBay, a small e-commerce company at the time - that later would become the biggest website in the world for selling and buying products - and also creating his own website.
Richard graduated and started his master's degree in Psychology at the University of Central Florida (UCF). His business was growing through the e-commerce and started to sell more brands and other products, reaching a profit of $7 million per year. He then purchased a 3,000 square-foot warehouse to boost sales and started investing in real estate. In 2000, at age 23, Richard owned 25 houses.
His life was going well, and in 2007, the Brazilian entrepreneur noticed the scarce supply of baby and children products in the market. Identifying a potential business, he decided to invest through e-commerce. He opened the doors of baby product factories, establishing exclusivity with most of them, and the sales started to happen. At that time, Richard completed his MBA at the University of Phoenix, following his master's degree in Psychology. In partnership with investors, he created what was to become, in the future, the Marco Corporation Group, a holding company of MacroBaby and other companies.
At a business dinner with Stokke's CEO, a Norwegian brand of strollers, Richard saw another opportunity to expand his business with the stroller brand. The Brazilian entrepreneur rolled up his sleeves and in the same night, he joined his team to create a logo for what would turn into the largest baby store, MacroBaby.
At the same time, two significant things happened in his life: the baby store next to his business went bankrupt, and his daughter Gabriella, was born. Excited by paternity, he went to a well-known store to buy his daughter's layette. However, he came across a market without a variety of options, and a service that did not meet his expectations. Richard even drove to Tampa, Fl. and found the same thing.
When Gabriella was born, MacroBaby was already the largest online baby company in Orlando. Richard was finishing his PhD when his second children were born, twins Alexander and Rebecca.
The business emerged from his experience as a father, inspired by his love and and affection. Today, MacroBaby is the leading retailer of baby products in the US, with customers all around the world. The Brazilian entrepreneur, with his visionary spirit, anticipated mega trends, such as the omni-channel experience, which allows the integration of consumer information and interaction with the brand.
There are more than 40,000 products from 900 brands available - some exclusive - gathered into 64,583.46 sq ft, located across from the Florida Mall. The megastore offers thousands of items that are conveniently presented within reach for customers, as well as trained experts ready to give customers all the attention and knowledge available. The baby products business is part of a holding company, Marco Corporation, where Richard is CEO, and have more than 300 employees. In 2016 the holding company entered into a partnership with Astro Toys (located in the industrial hub of Manaus), and became a distributor of Mattel.
One of the greatest joys of being a successful businessman is living in a society that values equal rights and opportunities. In Richard's list of friends are a collection of collaborators, suppliers, colleagues, and American officials, such as Orlando sheriff Jerry Demings and US Representative Val Demings.
Richard spends at least three hours a day in the company, travels frequently for business, and participates in weekly meetings with the airline company ViaAir, for which he was invited to be chairman in 2017. He always saves time to cherish those moments with his children. At least four times a week, Richard commits to picking up his children from school. He tries to instill in his three children what his father Samy taught him at an early age, that real happiness can't be bought with money.
In 2017, Richard Harary was recognized with the Orlando Business Award - given by Focus-Brazil/International Congress of Culture, Media, and the Brazilian Community Expansion of Plans.
To share his learning with young entrepreneurs, Richard Harary has been giving lectures about leadership since 2012. Richard also engages in philanthropic actions in Brazil and the United States. He collaborates annually with entities and financially helps people in need. He is fulfilled with every gesture of gratitude that he receives for his actions, proving that being helpful and supportive is essential for the pursuit of happiness.
In 2012, Richard Harary helped with the construction of an Orlando Synagogue, Chabad of South Orlando, and in 2017, was invited by Florida Governor Rick Scott to light the Hanukkah candle, which marks the Jews' fight against their oppressors for the right to practice their religion freely.
With an eye on a market "hungry" for new experiences and different products and services, Richard, now with twenty years of experience, is keeping an eye on the future. In 2014 the group bought Italian baby brand, PrimoPassi. In 2015, Marco Corporation bought part of the French baby brand, Baby Jolie, created in partnership with one of the best laboratories in the world. The brand, whose main commitment is to ensure high performance for mothers & baby products, has its products for sale in more than one hundred stores in the United States. Another company in the group is Vitamin Planet, which has its own stores and franchises and also its own brand of supplements - VSP.
In the future, Richard is prepared for new challenges. The next, expanding his business around the world.