Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kristina Popova, Founder of Meeko Athletics, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Meeko Athletics sells women's athleisure apparel while raising awareness for mental health. Our customers are women aged 14-60 who have an interest in personal growth.
Tell us about yourself
It has always been a deep passion of mine to make a difference in the mental health community. Growing up, I witnessed a lot of addiction, which initially sparked my interest. All I wanted to do was help, so I decided to major in neuroscience. In university, I got diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. After a series of panic attacks, it became apparent that I couldn't live like this and needed to create change. This experience was my inspiration for starting Meeko.
Meeko is more than just an apparel brand. My mission is to raise awareness, empower and educate. That keeps me motivated, experiencing the struggle, knowing others are also going through this, and knowing that my work is creating change and helping. Through this journey, my business and inner self are developing alongside each other, and it is really a beautiful thing to experience.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Having a business that I love and watching it grow from nothing to having its own #meekas community has been an accomplishment of its own. In the beginning, I was always scared about what I was doing, and it took a long time to feel like I was making an impact. I taught myself how to do most things. If I didn't know how, I would take a course and learn. Now, whenever I think about my business and the work it is creating, I feel empowered. I can't wait to see what it flourishes into over the next few years.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
There are many challenges in running a start-up business. The hardest thing was figuring out where to start and how to navigate each task. I came from a science background, so everything about business was new to me. Not to mention that I was learning all these things together and very quickly.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't worry about being "ready" or "learning everything", just start. You will never learn as much as you do when you're under that much pressure. Of course, you have to be determined.
- Create relationships with your customers, other business owners, and your community.
- Practice gratitude and patience. Nothing great is built quickly, and it is hard work, so thank everyone who takes the time to help you get there.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I think what really makes the brand special are the labels sewn onto each garment. Each label is carefully crafted to tell a story that raises mental health awareness or empowers you while you wear your apparel.
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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