Running your own business is no easy feat. It takes a healthy dose of passion, discipline, and commitment. Ever wondered what a day in the life of a small business owner and founder is like? We’re here to give you a glimpse!
This week in honor of Earth Day, we’re shining the spotlight on Barcelona-based entrepreneur Mariana Feged, founder and CEO of emerging sustainable fashion brand, L’Autre Sac. Recently, she launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring her vision of the ROSA Bag to life. This stylish, versatile bag may feel and look like leather, but each vegan bag is actually made of salvaged, recycled car glass that would’ve otherwise ended up in a landfill. If shrinking your carbon footprint is just as important to you as having a timeless go-to accessory that will last a lifetime, then the ROSA Bag is a must-have staple to add to your wardrobe.
Read on to see how she spends her day as she juggles, leading the team at L’Autre Sac, running her current crowdfunding campaign, and being a mom. Then scroll down for a brief Q&A to get to know her better and get inspired!
5 A.M. In deep sleep.
6 A.M. Thinking about falling out of deep sleep.
7 A.M. My watch lets me know it’s time to wake up. I toss in bed an extra 5 minutes. Then, I jump out of bed, get breakfast ready for my 8 and 5 year old kids. I go get them out of bed, and get them ready for school.
8 A.M. My husband leaves with my kids. I pour myself my first coffee of the day. I have to confess coffee is one of my weak points. I just love the smell, the taste, and the caffeine! Recently, I have begun to take a blend of coffee with mushrooms, which has a lighter effect, but still helps me wake up.
9 A.M. After an energizing shower, I sit down in my home office, and go through my priorities for the day.
10 A.M. I touch base with our logistics team. I make sure all e-commerce orders are on their way, and try to solve any issues we may have. Customer service is very important to us, so I stay on top of these issues, and try to communicate personally with our customers whenever there is an issue.
11 A.M. I am hungry, and wondering how to have a healthy breakfast without pausing work for too long. I normally go for something quick and have it on my desk while I enjoy my second coffee of the day.
12 P.M. My days are normally packed with calls and iteration with my business partner Mila, our marketing manager Ella, the people from our workshop in Spain, and our other suppliers.
1 P.M. At this point of the day, my planning for the day has probably been interrupted several times. I am most likely holding three different conversations at the same time on various digital tools.
2 P.M. I realize I haven’t had lunch, and I grab a quick bite.
3 P.M. I juggle between product, marketing, and technical issues related to our e-commerce; plus, all other aspects of managing a business with a very lean team.
5 P.M. I go pick up my kids at their school bus stop. We come back home and chat for a bit, while they have a snack and tell me about their day.
6 P.M. I prepare dinner. Then, I spend some heartwarming quality time with my little ones, most likely painting superheroes and unicorns.
7 P.M. We all have dinner together.
8 P.M. The kids go to bed, and I am back to work for a couple of hours. I will finish unanswered emails and open conversations, especially with suppliers and clients from the U.S. and Canada, and other time zones.
11 P.M. I call my mother who lives in Colombia. Then I do some stretching for my back and neck. I meditate for a bit with a super cool new app called FitMind. This really helps my mental sanity!
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of what her day is like, get more inspiration in our exclusive Q&A with her below!
INDIEGOGO: How did you become an entrepreneur?
MARIANA FEGED: I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and grew up surrounded by people with an entrepreneurial spirit. However, I spent 15 years employed in a multinational, and as I progressed in the corporate world, I felt that the next step in my career should be to build my own business. I was ready for the challenge and was eager to put all my experience and skills to work in a project of my own!
INDIEGOGO: What makes your Indiegogo project unique?
MARIANA: This is the first time that recycled car glass is used in fashion. Although this material has been used in carpets and other items, our campaign is the first time that this unique material comes to life in a fashion accessory. It is pretty groundbreaking for the world of vegan bags! It’s a real, sustainable alternative to animal leather.
INDIEGOGO: What’s your biggest piece of advice for women who want to start their own business?
MARIANA: It has never been easier to create a business. There are endless tools on hand and the barriers to entry are low. However, it has never been more difficult to stand out and compete, precisely because those barriers are so low. I would advise women entrepreneurs to make sure they have a solid product, a powerful story, a healthy marketing budget, and a lot of patience.
INDIEGOGO: What tools would you recommend to anyone starting their own business, crowdfunding campaign, or project?
MARIANA: As a business owner, the book, “Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine” was very relevant and insightful for me. I would recommend it to any entrepreneur! On a personal level, as I mentioned above, I have found a method for meditating that has helped me a lot to stay focused. The app is called FitMind, and it’s different from all the other apps out there because it is very hands-on and practical. I love it!
INDIEGOGO: What’s your favorite Indiegogo campaign, or a sustainable campaign you’ve recently supported?
MARIANA: There’s a campaign called Soapbottle, which I find pretty amazing. They are soap products that come in bottles made from soap. So they’re totally biodegradable. I think this is an amazing concept, and very useful for our planet!
To support ROSA, check out their Indiegogo campaign page.
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