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Can you tell me a little about yourself?
A little bit about myself…well, my name is Stefanija, I am an architecture student and I love creating handmade crafts, my hands are my weapon! …or..my equipment.
Why are you in business?
I started running my own little business because I want to spend my time efficiently-doing what I love and earn my own money.
Why are in this type of business?
I am in this type of business because I love arts and crafts, more like handmade stuff, and I love being the boss and the employee at the same time.
What is your background? (education, work experience etc.)
I am currently studying architecture at the Saint Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, so I don’t have any working experience from the past. Although, I have a three year volunteering experience at Makedox-festival for documentary movies, and also I have been an extra in a movie and TV series couple of times.
Can you provide me with a description of your business?
My business is more like a workshop..a pet friendly workshop. My main products are custom and unique “name tags” for the pets, and also I make badges, coasters, earrings, I draw on canvas…and it’s a never ending story, every day some new idea pops up.
How long have you been in business? In this business? In other businesses?
Well, almost a year. One more month and I will celebrate my 1st birthday of existence. I haven’t been in other types of businesses.
What type of business form do you have, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation?
At the moment it is a one-man-show ( me :)) with hope that it will grow into a corporation.
What are the advantages of this form of business ownership?
The advantages…well, there is nothing better than being your own boss. When you do whatever needs to be done for your business to bloom, you know that you run your business properly. No one will do that better than you, for your own business. Take the responsibility in your hands and enjoy the progress.
How did you get started in this business?
To be honest, I started making this handmade crafts to distract myself from the stress and hard time I had with the university work, aaand it somehow turned into business…
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
I have always been a creative person, I grew up in an artistic family, so I got the skills to create things with my hands, I draw from young age, especially I love painting on glass, so I thought, why not use my talent to present it to the public and if it comes with some earnings, even better.
How do the social, economic, environmental, technological, legal and political environments impact your business?
I don’t think that any of these impact on my business. Not yet.
Do you know who your competitors are?
Hmm..I choose not to see other business owners as my competitors. Everyone had their own style of work, their own aesthetic and that’s why I think that I do not have competitors. We all work hard to get somewhere, so the audience usually tells us whether we are on good path or not, not the “competitors”.
How do you market your business? How are people aware of your business?
I go online. In 21st century it will be a pity not to use the internet and social media for making money. It’s the “BOOM” nowadays. So, I promote myself on Instagram and Facebook, and sometimes I attend on bazaars and pop-up shops, where people can see my work live.
Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? The next ten years?
I can’t tell for ten years from now, because I don’t know how the technology will progress and whether and how the lifestyle and the human mentality will change till then, but next year? I see it blooming. I see all my ideas and plans getting real.
Do you plan to compete in the global market place? If yes, how? If no, why not?
I like taking challenges so, I guess I would want to compete in the global market place. How? I still don’t know. Maybe I will make something unique to get some more attention.
How has technology, such as computers and the internet, impacted on how you conduct business?
If you know how to use it properly, you can make a miracle out of the internet. Having the internet and computer, it helped me a lot with my business.
Whom do you seek advice from for your business?
I didn’t ask much for advice… I sometimes consult my mother-who I believe has more experience in certain domains, but most of all, I follow my audiences’ needs and it helps me figure out what’s attractive at the moment for the people.
What do you do with your profits?
I spend my profits for everyday life, so I don’t need to take money from my parents, and when I get the chance I save some money so I can collect and invest in my business.
Do you have a business plan to operate your business?
I’m more of a, “go with the flow” person :) I have some plans, but they are fluid.
Does your business have a stated mission statement, the reason that this business exists?
At the moment when I started it, I didn’t have a stated mission statement, I just wanted to do something creative.
Do you have employees? How many?
No, I don’t.
Do you do marketing for your business?
Can you describe your customers?
My customers are lovers of handmade stuff. People who appreciate art, artists, people with ideas and people who trust and appreciate my work.
Why do your customers select you over your competitors?
I am always open for work, for new ideas, and always willing to fulfill my customer’s needs. My workshop is kind of a “custom” work, so people always hit me up with interesting ideas. I have great interaction with my customers, and their feedback is my motivation and “food” to carry on and be even better.
Are there any ethical concerns that your type of business must deal with?
What is your management style?
As I said, it is a one-man-show at the moment and I am managing it the best way I know-and it seems its working for the time being.
What are the biggest issues for running this business?
At the moment there are no particular issues because I am learning the things as I go along.
What is the future for this type of business?
My audience will tell but I believe it has great potential in the future.
If something happens to you, what will happen to your business?
Let’s hope that nothing happens to both of us. :)