Give a good example of your entrepreneurship
As I have always been making hand made designs, I turned to handmade crafts. My creations are inspired from nature. I mainly use raw materials found in nature, not only natural (driftwood, seashels and stones) but also thrown away materials like plastic boxes, metals and wood. Through the re-use of those materials and recycling I give life to new creations. Initially the sales of my designs were through flea markets and bazaars. The estate that accommodates my workshop became gradually visitable so now part of my sales are taking place there. Another part is carried out through my e-shop while I also now, organize workshops and seminars at my estate.
How old were you when you started as entrepreneur?
My previous work experience in the banking sector was the result of my studies in economics. However that was not satisfying in full my creative spirit. So at the age of 40, I decided to make a U-turn to more fulfilling activities.
What support did you have when you became an entrepreneur?
I didn’t had any support.
What problem are you trying to solve and why?
Cheap and reduced quality mass production products have taken up most of the markets. These products very soon become rubbish. I have always maintained that this approach constitutes a useless waste of resources. Therefore the idea I am based on, is to make art as well as useful objects using raw materials that initially appear useless. My concept is to make a sustainable business with a minimum of investment. The approval of my designs by the clients is the risk I am taking on a daily basis. Fortunately the acceptance of my crafts becomes higher year by year.
What is your target group? Level of impact (concentrated to the specific group, local, regional, wider…)
I do not specify my target group. I believe all ages and different koind of people who appreciate art belongs to my target group.
Is social enterprise the best way they can help?
I believe yes.
Why this industry/area/topic, and why now?
A hand made creation is always unique. It involves inspiration, care and the love of the designer. Using inexpensive and often useless materials the value of the end product is multiplied as it shows clearly that there are ways and solutions beyond industrialized products.
KEY CHALLENGES AND SUCCESS FACTORS
What drives your motivation?
I believe what makes a successful entrepreneur is the love and dedication to whatever he is involved with.
Does your job make you compromise with something or make sacrifices?
To have your own business is demanding as it absorbs a lot of time and energy. However if you love what you are doing the commitments, and sacrifices do not play a vital role.
What does it take to be successful?
In my business the creativity and inspiration.
What are the benefits, both personal and social?
The challenge and the sweet agony for the end result make my daily routine different, diverse and exciting. The seminar part of my business is also interesting. Workshops are taking place in the estate by myself as well as other artists. The exchange of knowledge, ideas and the interaction with other people is my permanent reward.
SKILLS AND COMPETENCES
The most relevant skills and competence to perform your initiative/business successfully
As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. This is my moto, and my patience verifies this. The difficulties are a daily routine since running a business demands expertise from many areas.
I have to collect raw materials. I design and make products (jewelry, decorative items, lamp stands, clocks, frames etc). I knit, paint, handle various tools for wooden and electrical constructions. I take the product pictures, process them, I update my e-shop, and manage the orders. I market my business in social media. I have also to take care of the financial aspects and other responsibilities. On top of the previous, I have to take care of my estate and workshop as I need my visitors to have a creative and relaxing time.
So, all processes have to be carried out by myself as is the case of most small businesses. The result however justifies the effort.
Patience, persistence and organizational skills are required.
My previous work experience in the banking sector and my studies in economics helped a lot.