Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fragrance but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Georgiana Stefanoaei, Co-Founder of MATCA, located in Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
MATCA is a natural perfumery brand that was launched in 2020. All our perfumes are artistic, created, and bottled in our lab in Sibiu, Romania. We use ingredients that come from a natural source, whether it is from flowers, roots, leaves, bark, or resin. Natural ingredients in perfumery, such as essential oils, CO2 extracts, absolutes, resins, and natural molecules, are complex, intense, and have a rich olfactory profile. That's why natural perfumes are beautiful, dynamic, and perfected by the skin of the wearer. We don't use synthetic ingredients, DPG, parabens, phthalates, denatured alcohol, paraffin, or dyes.
Our customers are people that stopped using commercial perfume before turning to MATCA perfumes or people that read labels and are very knowledgeable about what they put on their skin. And, of course, people that are passionate about perfume, connoisseurs with big collections on their shelves.
Tell us about yourself
Creating natural perfume started as a curiosity and necessity. I wanted to use natural perfume on my skin, also benefiting from the effects of natural ingredients. I couldn't find anything at that time; if it was, it was very out of reach (on another continent). So I decided to try without knowing that this decision would determine my future years and transform me into an entrepreneur. Creating perfume from natural ingredients is not easy, so long years of learning followed by lots of trials and errors. Luckily the smoke and mirrors, the hermeticism of the industry diminished in the last years and opened up more, with professionals offering training and respectable perfumery institutes offering the possibility to learn from a distance.
I was born in a communist country at that time, where everyone had to work for the greater good of the country and where the concept of entrepreneurship was non-existent. The mentality of our parents and the system teaches you that you have to get a good job and stick to it. So I had to re-wire my brain to have the courage to start a business. Luckily, I had good examples around me, women entrepreneurs that inspired me and, most importantly - a great partner on my side that is also the co-founder of Matca. What motivates me each day is my desire to create beautiful olfactive stories that make people happy but also the feedback received from people that use our perfumes. A sense of freedom and the feeling that I do what I love motivates me to want to succeed.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The biggest accomplishment is that we put the bases of a strong and healthy brand that has a great future ahead. People are already starting to assimilate it, and it has become a presence on the market.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As a small business owner, you end up wearing multiple hats and juggling many different tasks simultaneously. As an entrepreneur, you may be responsible for sales, marketing, finance, operations, and more. Managing all of these tasks effectively can be overwhelming, and it can be challenging to prioritize your time and energy effectively. The day-to-day decision-making, all the financial risks involved, the volatility of the market, and the unpredictable times we live in can take a toll on our mental and emotional well-being.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I don't think everyone is made to be an entrepreneur. Some people, rightly, need a sense of stability and a risk-free life. But for the ones that want to follow a different path, I would say:
- Be good and knowledgeable in your field of business. Learn the ins and outs of the industry. I saw and heard about small businesses that failed because the person that started the business lacked experience in that particular field.
- Be financially savvy. It's not enough to be good in your field. Learn how money and businesses work. For me, it's a work in progress.
- Create a business that looks appealing to people. Invest in your image, branding, and advertising, and most importantly, deliver what you promise. Word of mouth it's still the most powerful selling tool.
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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