Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Before I had started making and selling bags I was a professional translator, journalist, public relations specialist, content writer, and editor. I was working on many projects some of them on a national and others on an international scale so my work was connected to meeting and working with a lot of different people every day. When going out for work or having a meeting I was always paying special attention not only to my outfit and dress code style but especially to the bag I was wearing since many times I had to take with me different project papers, portfolios, tablet, laptop, phone, books, catalogs, and so.on. and thus the bags I was wearing while working on different projects became like my best friends in the working process. Later on, when a friend of mine told me about Etsy I decided to give it a try just like a hobby but the more I was working on my first bags the more I got inspired by choosing and combining colors, shapes, designs, materials, and style to create a unique, stylish, comfortable and long-lasting final product and this is how it all began 🙂
What are your responsibilities as a business owner?
My business is like a one-man show and I am the kind of person who prefers making everything by myself so that I can be sure that all the things are done in accordance with my vision. As a shop owner, I do participate in all the processes: from the administrative work of opening and running a company, designing the products and producing them, to the customer relations, photos and photo editing of the products, marketing and CEO, listing products, expedition, and so.on. I want to know in every single moment the state of my business in details and this gives me calmness and satisfaction as well as the vision how to go ahead.
What are your best selling products, what type of materials are used in your creations, how do you design your products, what makes your products stand out?
My best selling products are the vegan leather tote bags in all their sizes-small, medium, and extra-large as well as the different color and material combo zippered clutch bags. I do get a lot of custom orders as well since I love teamwork together with my customers combining my experience and their vision and wishes to create a unique piece based on their preferences and personal style. Starting from what has inspired me in the very beginning – my life as working on many different projects professionally my bags are aimed at the same purposes – to provide a multifunctional, comfortable, stylish, practical, durable and long-lasting bag which can be your best friend and give you confidence and cheerful mood no matter what you are up to at this very moment – working, traveling, resting, studying, spending time with your family, loved ones and best friends, having fun, discovering and so.on. You can pack all you need in a bag, put it on your shoulder and go make your dreams come true – this is the idea behind every single bag I make and behind my brand as general.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
The thing I enjoy most about being an entrepreneur is being able to participate in a process of seeing how the vision becomes a reality. The process of the idea of becoming a material manifest. This is a process that requires a lot of learning and self-training and self-improvement all the time and this is a thing I do enjoy and appreciate a lot. I have a moto that I am following and it is that it doesn`t matter whether it is hard or easy what matters is that it is worthy.
Who do you sell to (and how do you get customers)? What marketing tools or strategies you use to boost your sales? Are you satisfied with the results?
I do want my products to talk about themselves so the most important thing for me is the QUALITY in each aspect of what I do – the quality of the product, the quality of the product descriptions, the quality of the communication with the customers and the customers services that I provide.
Do you believe there is a winning formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur? What is yours?
Loving what you do, enjoying each step of the process, working really hard and putting a lot of time, efforts, thought and passion in what you do as well as being able to learn and improve all the time.
What was the toughest moment you have experienced in your business practice? How did you succeed to get over it and move forward?
When it gets really tough which happens to each business from time to time I think I do have just only one formula of overcoming it – don`t stop no matter what and it always pays off.
What inspires you when you’re creating? How do you get ideas for new products? What are some methods or tools you use to get creative?
My biggest inspiration comes from everyday life, from ordinary and natural things, moments, places, etc. The problem with me is that I have too much designs and ideas in my head and not enough time and resources to make them all:)
Do you ship your product internationally? How do you handle postage pricing? What is the average time it takes from the order to the delivery? Do you use free shipping? If so, why? How do you package your products?
I do ship worldwide with Registered mail with tracking number and signature of the Recipient upon delivery. I do offer worldwide express shipping as well. My products travel in carton boxes or bubble envelopes. I do package my products in craft papers and ribbons as well and put a personal handwritten note to each order since I want when the customer opens the package to feel special since everyone is and to feel love and joy. The packages usually travel from 3 to 10 days in Europe and from 10 to 18 days outside Europe.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
The major key element of a successful online business is to offer a product or service for which there is a demand and finding the right niche. Once you find it you should do whatever you can to offer the highest quality possible at the most reasonable price. The quality of the customers` service is a great factor as well – being able to get along with people, to understand their needs and to try to correspond to them.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out?
When you are starting a very important thing is to take time and do as extensive as a possible preliminary study of every single aspect of the idea that you have to start from what you are going to sell, offer, from where you are going to buy it or how you are going to produce it, to whom you are going to address it, how you are going to deliver it, what are the most successful other examples in your niche, try to find out what are the things that make them so successful and so.on.
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
Success for me is doing what you love and being appreciated and making not only you but many other people happy with what you do.
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
I actually have no working time – I do work until the work gets done and then there is always something left to do but I do love to rotate the business work and the home work since the rotating of the different types of activities keeps me in shape.
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
I plan to make new lines of bags for different purposes and occasions like small cross body bags, make up and toiletry bags and so.on.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
The most important thing for success on Etsy in my opinion is being able to listen, hear and understand what your customers are searching for, what they love, enjoy and appreciate when it comes to the product that you are offering.