Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Viola Sutanto, Founder and CEO of MAIKA, located in Oakland, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At MAIKA, we create thoughtfully-designed, sustainably-made bags and accessories for multi-tasking women to stay organized and stylish while on-the-go. That’s how MAIKA serves our customers: we provide the tools women need for a joyful, portable lifestyle.
Tell us about yourself
I come from a family with over 4 decades of experience in the luxury bags business, so I have a lifelong appreciation of the beauty and quality of high-end craftsmanship and materials. But the price points felt elusive to me and many other working women. I saw a need for beautifully designed, well-made everyday bags from sustainable materials and sought to fill that gap in the market with the launch of MAIKA.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being attuned to the economic climate, listening to the customer, and pivoting the business model quickly during the global pandemic while maintaining our growth and profit.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
There are many, but one that immediately comes to mind is learning to accept that there will be ebbs and flows between work and personal life balance. (If such a thing even exists.) It’s about recognizing when one aspect of your life might dominate at times while others have to take a temporary backseat and being ok with that.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Know your product and your ideal audience. Surround yourself with good people to work with and learn from. Always stay curious!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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