Own business: 5 stories of successful women entrepreneurs
Deciding to create your own business is not easy, and even more difficult to keep it afloat. The writer Anna Litvinova learned the recipe for our heroines: to take a favorite hobby, add ideas and accurate calculations, a little courage and good luck - and here it is, success.
[PAGED_GALLERY] [GPAGE] The power of nature [/ GPAGE]
Olga Dumkina, beekeeping and natural cosmetics
My grandfather kept the apiary, then my dad began to deal with bees, and when I got married, my husband joined in with interest. Beekeeping requires year-round attention. In March, put the bees out of the winter hut, transplant them into clean hives, monitor the swarming for a month and constantly monitor the condition of the families, then pump honey, in October prepare the bees for winter and prepare hives and frames before spring. Each bee family is individual, each has its own character, its own characteristics, all of them are like children for the beekeeper. I really love the moment of transfer of honey from hand to hand to customers, I feel like a mediator between nature and man. After all, honey is something special, unique, living life force that nature shares with people. In the summer, I am absorbed in work in the apiary and in the garden, collect medicinal herbs, make oil extracts and tinctures, and winter is the time for the creation of cosmetics. Today, people began to pay more attention to their health, and natural cosmetics are created for each specific client, after a survey about his physiological condition, health, emotions. What could be better than a cream consisting only of skin-friendly natural vegetable oils and flower water, essential oils and active ingredients aimed strictly at solving the problem? And this knowledge is not a secret: you can get it at master classes in order to independently prepare safe and useful body care products for yourself. And then there will be more healthy and beautiful people! Olga's master classes look here.
[GPAGE] Cakes and gingerbread cookies [/ GPAGE]
Daria Sonkina, home baking
I bake pies all my life: this is my hobby, my work, my passion. I try equally well when I cook for friends or for a large corporate order. At first I worked in my own kitchen, the buyers were friends and acquaintances. Now I have a workshop in Moscow with an area of 130 square meters. m, five bakers, a mixer operator, a convection oven, and two couriers deliver orders, but I still stand by the stove myself.
Everywhere I look for recipes, write them in a special notebook, constantly try something new. I’m strict to myself, I don’t rely on my own opinion, and I’ll try out the new ones on my friends. If they praise together, it means you can put it into production. I don’t like anything banal: when everyone sells, for example, Christmas muffins, I bake New Year’s gingerbread. For the past New Year's holidays, we came up with a gift box: Italian cantucci with almonds, caramel cookies with sea salt ... Customers then complained: they bought as a gift, but could not resist, they ate themselves.
There are rumors: baking 1300 pies a day is not a joke. Sometimes, when I get completely tired of cooking, I change the field of activity, for example, I breed orders myself. I love to give master classes: people come who have never baked anything in their life and learn everything in three hours.
I really love my job, but the happiest moments in my life are still connected with my family - with my husband, with my daughter. Although I could never be an exclusively housewife, if I only sit at home for a week, I begin to yearn. But I can’t get bored with my work. For example, when my daughter turned a month old, we just moved to a new workshop together with all the equipment.
We learned a lot on the go, in the process. For example, the pies were initially packed in plastic bags, in foil, they stuck together, crumpled. Now we place them in craft boxes - they reach the client perfectly! People often ask me: why so delicious? In fact, everything is simple: quality products - premium flour, butter, not margarine. There should be a lot of fillings, much more than dough, then this is also useful for the figure. I’m here - for work, of course! - I constantly eat my pies, but not absolutely fatter.
[GPAGE] Box with happiness [/ GPAGE]
Natalya Podloznaya, Natalya Kovylina, Ekaterina Kiryukhina, development kits for children “Two hands”
Not so long ago, we all worked in serious positions in large financial institutions. But we always wanted to do something of our own - unusual, new, necessary for people. One fine day, we left our high posts and never regretted.
Our company is called “Two palms” and sells the so-called “boxes” - goods by subscription. And inside - a surprise, a whole world for mom and baby. Toys, books, crafts, albums, educational games - each time on a specific topic. For example, in the box “Birds” - coloring with stickers, a dictionary of birds, an article made by the wooden designer “Toucan”, a set for painting the stained glass window “Peacock and the parrot” and much more.
It would seem that toys, educational aids can be bought in the store. But how many working mothers have time to choose, check the quality of the goods? Moreover, there is always a risk of acquiring a toy or a book not of age, “loading” a child with an overly complicated or boring task. And in the box - everything is thought out, tested, verified, a psychologist, a methodologist are working on its contents. The kid will definitely learn and read, create and play, he will be able to do something himself, the help of elders will be needed in something. And this is so cool: when mom or dad does not need to think painfully than to interest your child, when two - a child and an adult - work together enthusiastically! And a fairy-tale character always accompanies the set - every time a new one. For example, the crocodile Crox, the gnome Pugovka or the Hati robot. The story about him is invented by our methodologist, the characters are drawn by professional artists, and they turn out to be surprisingly kind and charming, at least shoot a cartoon about everyone! Fairy-tale characters take part in all tasks and games, help the baby, become his friends.
We have already released 28 different boxes, we send them all over the country. About half of the buyers choose a specific set, the rest receive packages by subscription. They say that it is a special pleasure to anticipate what the topic of the next box will be. We really value customer feedback. Literally, tears come to my eyes when, for example, a woman calls a dentist by profession and thanks: “Thank you so much for persuading me to buy a set of the artist! My child and I learned so much! ”
Yes, there is also a routine in Two Palms: accept orders, arrange delivery. Sometimes there are problems with shipping, with payment. In the summer, when sales fall, it’s always a little sad. But then a letter arrives, and in it are photographs of children with crafts that they made with their own hands. You look at their happy faces and you understand: our good deed cannot be compared with a boring office service!
[GPAGE] Your own brand [/ GPAGE]
Daria Shcherbakova, Sewing School
I never understood why brands are treated as some kind of gigantic value. I have been to factories many times: there are ordinary workshops, ordinary sewing machines. According to experts, in Moscow, one and a half million people want to learn how to sew, so my school for sewing and modeling clothes is completely logical. We have two main areas: the first is for those who want to learn basic skills (patterns, fabrics - all ours). Women start with dresses, then get pulled in - and they change their wardrobe drastically, they just stop shopping for clothes, regardless of their social status - they all sew with pleasure. The situation is different for those who want to become a professional. For ten months we have been teaching people intensively how to create our own collection. Here the main audience is people who have already “gotten hold” of higher educations, earned money, and at 35 begin to think about whether they are doing it and go to study as a fashion designer. Studying is very difficult: 5 hours a day at school, plus you need to go to museums and to master classes. One of our teachers sometimes makes ten times to redo a thing - until it achieves perfection from its students.
Out of every ten people who have been trained, one or two become stars, win contests. And five or seven people then open a business - wedding salons, ateliers. I will say modestly: our school is transforming many. Very often such typical business women come to us - they have a great career, but they don’t have a family. But then they begin to engage in sewing - and in a year they have families, children. Manual labor at some subconscious level activates female nature - a woman rethinks her attitude to herself. Outwardly, everyone who comes to us is also radically transformed. When women sew on themselves, they begin to better understand their figure, learn how to combine things.
We have been working for six years, five thousand students passed through us, and there was only one refund for all this time. Over all these years, the cost of training, despite inflation, has not increased significantly. My philosophy is that a person with any income can learn from us.
[GPAGE] Just beauty! [/ GPAGE]
Natalya Alshanova, Mobile Beauty Salon
The concept of “Beauty Salon at Home” is not unique, but I added my “chips”. The main consumer of services “TheMoSt. The best mobile stylist ”- young mothers. It’s convenient for them to invite the master to the house, but only the children don’t go anywhere, mother is distracted, cannot relax. We offer babysitting services - she will come along with a hairdresser or manicurist. The second trump card is efficiency: visits of masters to a house are more often planned in two to three days, we can arrange everything faster. We also have excellent craftsmen, tested literally on ourselves. I really value our customers. Each positive review is a surge of energy, an occasion to try harder, come up with something new. Just recently we have a new master - image maker.
In the summer a son was born, and I slowed down. As practice has shown, you can’t keep the business on one shoulder and the baby on the other, I honestly tried. So franchising and development in social networks has been entrusted to professionals, I myself do business from home, and only when my son sleeps. I am heading a salon in Zelenograd and have no doubt: soon these will appear in all of Russia!