Hey, I'm Yvonne Ivanescu, and I started Now in Rio Swim based out of Lisbon, Portugal.
Tell us all about your business...
Now in Rio Swim was born in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, a city so magical, we’ve decided to encapsulate that Rio feeling in everything that we do. Sustainability is our core value. But we also believe in ethical manufacturing. This means that all of our production is done in Portugal. Our fabric is from Italy. Our packaging is from Europe (but mostly Portugal). Our swimwear is made of Econyl which is made of recycled nylon. We make swimwear that embraces women's curves and is made to move.
What's your background and motivation to get into the solopreneur life?
I have a Ph.D. in sustainable tourism and marketing. I've always wanted to create a social enterprise because I believe in the power of business to do good. Passion is what keeps me motivated every day because I wholeheartedly believe in our mission and our values.
As a small business owner, what does success ultimately mean to you?
Success means the three Ps: people, profit, and planet. Yes as a business you need to have profits to keep going, but not at the expense of the planet or the people that manufacture our bikinis.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Everything! aha. Being a small business owner everything starts out small and slow, especially since it's really just me running the business. It's hard to scale quickly when you don't have outside investment, as well.
What are the top 3 tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a business today?
Well, I created a podcast episode about this very topic! But I think my tips have changed since I have launched my business, so here they are:
1. First and foremost, resist the urge to be a perfectionist. Yes, your first launch will not be the best or your first product won't be perfect. But that's ok, just launch anyway and then perfect it along the way.
2. Give yourself enough time. We were supposed to do our photoshoot in November, but we ended up doing it at the end of February. There are so many things that come up unexpectedly, give yourself time and also room to change directions or paths. Also KNOW that this will happen and don't be too hard on yourself if it does happen
3. MARKETING. Your first sales will probably be your friends or family, but then it's all marketing baby. So do you have a strong marketing launch plan? Do it! I can also give tips on what I think a good marketing launch plan looks like: social media, email marketing etc. etc.
If there was one thing you could do repeatedly to help grow your business, what would it be?
Just be consistent. Success is on the other side of consistency.
What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance and to keep it all together?
Still working on that. But I work out. I also outsourced my food, so I get my food delivered so I can still eat healthy but I don't need to cook (as I don't enjoy doing it). And I try to take weekends off (or at least Saturday).
Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs and best business resources/books?
I'll be honest, I really like to follow entrepreneurs that do what they teach. A lot of entrepreneurs are out there "teaching" how to do things without having actually launched a successful business. So for me, for example, I really like Kristi Soomer from Encircled. I interviewed her for my podcast and she has her own podcast and she really gives valuable advice.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I am a marketer and I have my own podcast called the Branding Lab so I can chat also about branding or give really step-by-step points to marketing (or setting up your marketing before you launch).
Where can people find you online?
If you like what you've read here and have your own #GoSoloStories that you'd like to share then email firstname.lastname@example.org, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.