– «I welcome you to the Vinnytsia Business Hub project. This is a joint project started by Glyanec. Website development and hosting company provides hosting platforms. On the other hand, it's KvitenProduction. And Vinnytsia Business Hub are interesting and interesting stories on business development among Vinnitsa entrepreneurs. Why Vinnytsia? Because the company Glyanec – Vinnitsa. And KvitenProduction also has Vinnitsa origin. This is a joint project, which is addressed primarily to Vinnitsa entrepreneurs for the development of local entrepreneurship. But in the end, I think it will be interesting to all those who want to build their own business, their business. Frankly, as a man, I have never divided things into men and women. It is not difficult for me to stand at the plate and cook dinner. It is not difficult for me to help my wife in a particular case. That's how my mom used to teach me. As a kid, I even learned to embroider. But even then, I couldn't tell myself that knowing that there was such a thing as embroidery, that today embroidery is an entire industry. As there are many people who are fond of embroidery, well, from the point of view of art, in terms of sublimation of their inner self, in terms of creativity. It was founded, so it was itself founded. Often this is the case, if there is demand, there is a supply, an entire industry of what works for the embroidery industry today. Our meeting today is dedicated to this very topic - embroidery. But embroidery in a business context. We are meeting you today with Victoria Popovich. Co-owner of MilleFleur Online Store r. Victoria, hello.
– Good day.
– I intentionally made such a long enough preface to prepare people. Well, you know: the bigger and more interesting a book is, the greater the preface. Victoria, I know that you first came to your business because you embroidered yourself and were passionate about this business. At what stage did you get involved? Who taught you this? Where did this desire to embroider come from?
– In front of me, it seems to me, it was grafted back in school. At work lessons we were shown, demonstrated embroidery and we studied some such stitches very simple. Some ornaments were embroidered. I have preserved some of the embroidery.
– Well, the famous cross stitch.
– A cross, yes. Traditional, Ukrainian. Ornaments. I have a small towel since then. Here. But over time, it is forgotten. You are going to study further. And most of them, including myself, embroiderers, are starting to embroider again somewhere on maternity leave. Well, more free time when the baby is sleeping. And you need to do something, and the housework is already ideally done. And so, somewhere near the baby, you pick up nails, cloth, and start embroidering. And so I remembered that I used to embroider at school. And I think, "I'll try." It's like a bike. Do not forget how the cross is made. But I reminded myself of some specific rules in embroidery. I restored these rules to memory. And started embroidery.
– What is called "embroidery technology".
– Technology, yes. But, you know, there are so many technologies, I tried to remind elementary at least. But we embroider for ourselves. It calms, relieves stress. A lot of embroiderers do have some kind of stressful job. And that's why they're so relaxing. Let's just say it.
– Yes Yes. Psychologists say that if there is some tension, these tactile things that the person does, it is not that it is discharged, it will calm down, counterbalance.
– And around this time I dreamed of having my own business. I was working at a bank then. And this is also a stressful job. But then, I probably did not identify my hobby and my dream of my own business. Only eventually did the idea come to me. And she was kind of spontaneous. The fact is that I went on my second maternity leave and then I had a very long break in embroidery. And it takes inspiration. This is such creativity. Therefore, I am inspired by….
– And in the process when I had free time, I would try to run so in front of you, you sorted through some things, put in order and "Ah - my embroidery. That's what I did! " So?
– And here, opa! Why not?
– But it was a little more interesting. Because, I came across hand-dyed threads popular overseas. I did not tell you about it)))
– Very interesting.
– And they were so popular! It surprised me. Why exactly? Because, at any given length, they contain many shades of the same color, or even several colors. And so a certain pattern is created.
– That is to say – one strand of filaments can also change in some small shades of color. So?
– Shades from darker to light or the colors have one color in common. That is not contrasting colors.
– And when you understood that, you felt the taste… The aroma of creativity)))
– I found out how much they cost. I thought maybe I could do it. This is the same person who paints with his own hands. So I think I have my hands too. I can still do it. So I tried to dye the threads and I got it!
– He's like.
– So. I thought that we need to analyze whether there is demand in the Ukrainian market for such threads. Yes, he was. But the girls had to buy these threads abroad and pay for the delivery. And so it was very expensive and hardly accessible to the majority of the population, for most embroiderers. I tried to paint some such small party and then started to think where to implement. There was to be a playground. Then social media became the focus of embroidery. They were supplanting the dying, for a while, forums. And I decided that I would try to do it through social networks. And I got it again! Then the name "MilleFleur" appeared. Because "MilleFleur" is translated from French – a million colors. But it can be interpreted as a million colors. I chose this name. It is a bit complicated, I think, for our embroiderers, but they are used to it. Here.
– Sounds beautiful.
– This is how my hobby has become my business. At that time, very small and very creative.
– I introduced you as a co-owner of an online store right away. Well, it's no secret that a significant number of entrepreneurs or people are attracted to traditional businesses. That is, a shop. And yet, you practically started a business right online. Practically. Here you said – spreading on social networks. And now the site. That is, the MilleFleur site, which is your online store. Why so? Why is there no traditional cell: a shop, a department?
– I worked at a bank that is famous for its technologically advanced technology throughout. It was all accessible to me. By that time, around 2010, I was already trying to shop overseas in online stores. At that time, it was only emerging – internet commerce. And so for some reason I dreamed of an online store. Because this is some such new technology. Already in 2014, when I dreamed of an online store, I first started on social networks. Because, online store, it seemed to me that it is very expensive and I will not be able to do it; But over time, I became tight on social networks, more goods. To the threads I painted were ordinary, then cloth, accessories, tools. The assortment became large and it became not convenient for me or the buyers to do it on social networks. I then thought that I needed an online store.
– Some kind of platform.
– The platform itself. And plus, you know, I also understand why the store is not traditional. He, well, imagine you would have done it on Tyazhilov, on Cherry. As a result, it would have a regional character. That is, mostly those who would live in Cherry would go there. From time to time they bought something. And it is doubtful that the inhabitants of Tyazhilov, or some craftsmen would go here for the sake of a thread of thread. And online store - it has a wide geography. If you position this store correctly, your customer's geography will grow. It is practically growing, it can be the whole world. Given the modern logistics capabilities. Good. When designing the site, I understand that you have chosen a partner to create the site. You chose Gloss. What is the story?
– Not at first. Who was the first?
– First there was Prom. Because, at that moment, it seemed to me the easiest. There is already a platform. There are already templates. It's easier to understand a person who is not a programmer. And quickly fill the site. By the way, I filled the site in 3 days, it seems. What surprised the staff of Prom. And I could do it myself. Since I see it. At the moment it was not expensive, fast and at that time I was running out of features that were on Prom. But over time, it got me cramped.
– Well, because it was a simple site builder that was limited in functionality. It is clear that business development needed a site with more functionality and you found "Glyanec".
– How did that happen? How did you find it? He found you, did you find him?
– Like everything on the Internet you can find. And it didn't take a long time to find the applicants themselves. I spent more time analyzing their proposals. Usually, everything is equal somewhere in terms of tariffs, the additional services they provide. But it was still important for me to look at their portfolio. What kind of sites they create. And don't just look visually at what they look like. These are important but important features of the site.
– Because there is a very big difference between a website and an online store.
– The online store is much more functional. And so I went to the sites that offered to see these developers. And I pressed the buttons, went over, checked how it works. I didn't order anything. Although some sites interested me. Then I turned my attention to the developer site itself. It's their face. Correctly, it must be good and function well. It should have no errors. And for me it was important communication, individual approach. What was missing in Prom. Because there was more mass there, and I needed such features, I very much wanted the system where the developers worked to be flexible enough to handle all my whims. You won't even call it a wish. And so, probably, I chose some leaders that I liked. The decisive factor, above all, was the location of the company, which was among the leaders. This is my hometown, so I chose Glyanec.
– Once again I will remind our viewers that we are talking to Victoria Popovich. She is the co-owner of the MilleFleur online store. This is a shop for accessories and goods for embroidery. We do not focus our attention today on the work of Victoria, although she is an embroidery artist herself. And here behind our backs, or near us, you see the works that Victoria did herself. So she is a high-class craftsman and she conducts workshops online, among other things. Communicates with its viewers, partners, clients. But today, we emphasize exactly the business model chosen by Victoria. And this is an online store. So, has Glossy upgraded your existing site or developed a brand new site?
– Oh no. There is no question of improvement at all. It seems to me that if you have a partnership with a developer or stay with him or go to another site, if you go to another site. It is very difficult to process. It's easier to do something new. And, moreover, the Prom platform is specific, if you go – it's gone forever. I think it's hard to get back there. And so we decided to make a brand new site. We have saved the domain millefleur.in.ua. It was very important. I very much wanted him to be in.ua.
– The colors of the site are yes. There, any ferocity was performed. In terms of design, in general.
– So, you have a domain name?
– millefleur.in.ua. In Ukraine.
– Yes, it was designed right away when I first bought the domain, I had the choice.
– By the way, I wanted to ask. You have selected the name "MilleFleur". I understand that this is a very common French word, as you said there: MilleFleur chicken, a type of fabric. I think that the French still have something called the millennium. And so when choosing a domain, it could be busy, or just in.ua was free?
– It seems I was only busy with millefleur.com. The others were free. But somehow it was native to call in.ua.
– Somehow it was very close to me and I extended it for 5 years now so that no one would pick it up.
– No no. I think it's cool. You see, even the French there: “MilleFleur. In.ua. Aha! What is it that millennials are doing in Ukraine? ”
– Just a moment like this. Even the domain name itself has some such easy provocation.
– Such a hook, a hook, as the British say. Tell me today. I understand that a site is a living being online. Business is developing. New needs are emerging. How satisfied are you with today the functionality and what created "Gloss"? Here they have created an initial version of the site with some functionality. How satisfied are you with how the site works?
– I will go back a bit and since we might be watched by someone who wants to open a site. And importantly, in order to open a site as you see it, you must first imagine that it must contain what it must perform the functions. And since I already had some experience, I knew what the disadvantages of these systems were, and I knew what I wanted. I set out in detail all these wishes in the questionnaire that precedes the technical assignment. And we are still finalizing the site a year, probably. Constantly adding something. The revisions were monthly, probably. At the moment, the revision is once every six months. That year it was once every 3 months. We consolidate all our wishes, observations. If there is some critical error that interferes with the operation of the site, then we resolve it immediately. We do not put it in a long drawer. We immediately report that there is such a mistake. And usually within a few hours this error is fixed.
– So, I understand that Glyanec created the site and he maintains it.
– I mean, it's clear - you fill the content. This is purely your business. Namely, the functionality of the site is taken care of by your partner "Glyanec".
– That is, there is no person in your state who does this. She probably doesn't need one. Because you go to Glyanec from time to time to fulfill some of your new ideas. What was, among other things, the latest gloss to Glyanec?
– The last 30))) I'll tell you better, probably, just how these pranks appear.
– Yes, this is very interesting.
– It seems to me that this will help those who have a site and wants to develop it. First, I always buy online: myself, my family, my business. I keep trying to buy online.
– Since you are already used to selling online, you are already used to buying online.
– So. And I'm already doing it professionally. I do it in Ukraine and abroad. It is important to see other sites from the middle as a customer, to see the features they offer. I can not say that we are in Ukraine, our industry is something worse. No. I can say now that we are developing very fast. Because there are sites overseas that are inferior to several steps. But there are such sites advanced, I always buy something there to see some new things. What they have come up with for their customers. And I certainly implement it on our site. Of course, I need professional help in this. I can't do it myself. But I keep generating these ideas. I, the staff. I listen to clients. They are often advised. Because, too, they buy from us and abroad. And we consolidate it all, make it out, shape it with these refinements so that they can understand us. Here. And we direct, prioritize.
– Victoria, one of the dangers of online shopping, is not when you buy some gadgets, in principle, you know almost 100% that you will come. And in your case there is some difficulty.
– When a person buys something, they see. I understand that you are trying to take a subject shot by displaying your products on the site. But you know, everyone's gadgets are different, set up differently. The same thread may, unexpectedly, have different colored colors. How do you resolve these issues? Why? Because a person buys, and here is not quite that.
– I'll give you an example.
– There is such a danger.
– So. This is 100%. There is also a problem in the perception of color and in how a person positions the crimson or whether it is pink. So? And that is why it is difficult to explain verbally. For example, there is a fabric of permine. It has chocolate colors: dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate and cherry chocolate.
– How did you joke before the meeting: "And I'm a chocolate bar."
– And what is "chocolate chocolate"?
– I think it's dark chocolate. Therefore, we are addressing these issues gradually. For example, there is a popular DMC that is made in France and it is such a constant palette. You can buy a color map of this thread and we, for example, have a fabric that is related to that thread. For example, here is a color similar to 938. Which one? Chocolate, by the way. Here. And we prescribe this ratio on the product page so the customer can find out if he has a color map.
– So you give some resemblance and a person can already compare.
– Yes, but there is no 100% match. But even a roll from a roll to a fabric can be different. Not much. So here is an option. We make fabric samples of our own. The embroider can buy them and have, in fact, all shades of fabric, and we can communicate: "- And this is similar to the one 513 Belfast I have?
– Yes, but it is a little lighter, darker, or warmer in color, cooler in color. ”
So we find some solutions. And as to why I gave the example of fabric, the last such refinement was an expanded search for fabric. This idea has been ripe for a long time. Because, I didn't know how we could do it.
– Stop. Very interesting. Which means "advanced fabric search". How is it implemented on the site?
– Fabric has a certain edge – this is the dimension of the fabric. It depends on what size the cross will be. There is color. Well, let's put it this way: blue, red, blue. And there is also the composition of the fabric. Is it linen, is it cotton, or is it mixed fabric. Here are three characteristics, usually chosen by the embroidery fabric.
– And this advanced search for a specific name gives a person in this category, studying these categories….
– Gives a choice.
– The choice, yes. And a person can already choose.
– Somehow narrow down this great choice, because,….
– More than 500 fabric names.
– So functional is Glyanec. Of course. But now you have given so many examples of how this functionality, in turn, is filled with certain content, as it is fashionable to say today. So? And let's say the Ukrainian word – meaning. Because the site is filled with content: new products, new offers, communication with customers, communication with partners, well, etc. Everything an online store does. Who does this? There is a specific person who is responsible for communicating with clients, processing letters and offering them to someone. There is another person who deals with new positions, removes old positions. That is how it happens in the technique of working with the site. Who is doing this for you?
– You said correctly earlier that it is an organism. And it needs just one person. Content should now be informative. Informative enough for a customer to be able to select one product or another and have complete information on that product. So there must be a photograph. I usually take pictures. If this product can be photographed. Or, if a good photo is from the manufacturer, we take the photo from the manufacturer. Typically, text is creativity. It must contain some specific characteristics of the product. But if you wish, you can add something of your own. This should be a must-have price. And this is usually what the content manager does. Also, such a modern profession, which, incidentally, is not among the professions of Ukraine approved. Therefore, he is called a merchant. Here.
– Your online store)
– So. There is a person who deals with this. She is looking for material to add to the product page. I engage customers to create product pages. How exactly? These are product reviews. And, if we are talking about embroidery, and we are talking about it too, there are embroidered paintings. And, usually, a preview of a picture before it's embroidered is not informative. But when embroidered, decorated work, well photographed, can always decorate the pages of the site.
– And this is another kind of art – subject photography.
– When it comes to communicating with clients, then there is a manager who communicates with clients. They should be professional. They need to understand both the embroidery and the business process in the online store. So learning is very difficult. 3 to 6 months required.
– One other question about this is: what about marketing chips? It's one thing that people visit the site from time to time, get acquainted with the updates. But, most likely, there are some favorite clients, some interesting partners, in which you are interested in so much that they would be glad to inform them of any updates. Whether the client, for example, ordered something. You didn't have it and you finally brought it. Some special thread from Japan. Any special fresh fabric color from the US or China. What marketing moves do you use in this communication? What do you say? What do you use?
– We tried….
– Email, sms ..
– But I understood what you were talking about. Communication with the client is extremely important. We have creative clients, which is why they usually like to talk on the phone.
– To be heard.
– Yes, to communicate, discuss new products, get advice. Professional, by the way. All the girls who work - all embroider. Therefore, clients have the opportunity to get professional advice.
– This, by the way, is a very, very important accent. Note, almost all the staff, and we discussed it before our meeting with Victoria, all who work are embroiderers. That is, they are specialists. They will be able to advise professionally, by touch, by look, by taste, by smell.
– So. And therefore, communication is very important in telephone mode, it is e-mail. Because this is a business correspondence. And this is important when it comes to payment, order delivery. It is important that there is some kind of confirmation. So there are automatic emails. Often, we correspond with clients, which somehow agree the question: add to order, subtract. We need to have some confirmation. Documentary is desirable. Especially with regard to payment for orders. Also social networks. Let's return to that question.
– You've left a niche on social media.
– So. There's a cell of communication. And so the embroiderers are all there, and the hashtags are all special embroidery there.
– Because creativity is communication, where without social networks.
– For example, #embroidery Ukraine, #embroidery Vinitsa. You can see the works of Vinnytsia that embroider. Here. That is why we communicate on social networks. It is very important. Communication itself before. We ask customers if they like the site, what they would like to change about the site they don't like. And of course, the best options we realize.
– I draw your attention again. Most likely, and perhaps we are also now looking, perhaps in the record, respectively, those who are fond of embroidery. And for you the opening of the MilleFleur online store is a real revelation and discovery. So remember these hashtags where you can find MilleFleur. Besides, just typing millefleur.in.ua, it is # embroideryUkraine, # embroideryVinitsa. There you will be able to talk directly with specialist Victoria Popovich, who co-founded the online store "MilleFleur". Victoria, we will conclude our meeting. Let's try to finish it with something very useful. Now we will try to give some tips, but tips, maybe not so much tips for success, as tips that would save people some mistakes. And we do not focus on those who may have wanted to associate their lives and their creative work with embroidery, namely those who set up their online business to create an online store. That is, are there any common factors for everyone? What would be the three major mistakes you would recommend not to make to your own online store?
– First, a tip: It seems to me that for those who create, for those who have already created and want to develop, first, you need to be able to imagine the online store now, how it looks for the customer, for the employee, for themselves.
– General idea, concept.
– So. What he will look like in a year to himself, employee, client. After 3, 5, etc. And so you have to have some idea of the end goal and you need to constantly work on the site.
– Remember that perfection is not the goal, but the process.
– So. Collect some know-how, new technical, organizational, perhaps. Talk to other online store owners. Very useful. If they are in another area, they are indifferent. Some technical possibilities can be realized. It doesn't matter what you are actually selling.
– First tip?
– The first tip is to always submit your site.
– See it. The second tip is to always use it as a client if you already have a site. Daily. Make an order for yourself. It is very important. Make out for different goods, if there is any specificity in the goods. To find bugs. To understand whether the customer is comfortable. And then develop. And if you are just creating one, look like your favorite sites. See that they have interesting things that are useful and convenient for you in the first place. Write it down. This will help you a lot when you submit a questionnaire for the Terms of Reference. Make sure you have 10 sites you like and visit them constantly to see how they are constantly evolving.
– Try to formulate this. That is to say, make no mistake or suck everything out of your finger. And if there is any doubt that you don't know how, look at what others have done and already have a platform, then get rid of the mistake you can make. Finally the third.
– And third, you should always trust the professionals in this work. How to find a professional - I told you already. It seems to me that you can do something on your own, but you need to find communication with the developer and keep in touch. It is important not just to say that you want something. Explain why you want it. Then it will be easier for the developers to do it and they will present with you what kind of shop it is now, in a year, 3, 5. And it will always be with you as your partner.
– Super. Such is the axiom of life: "Everyone must know something about everything and everything about something." Realizing that you can't know everything when you create a site - trust the experts. Make no mistake and don't think you can do anything. I think life will put you right in the right direction. Victoria, thank you. It was a meaningful, cool, interesting conversation. I hope that those who are going to create their own online store will pay attention to these really useful and practical points that we discussed with Victoria about her experience. I want to say a successful experience. And working with a company that maintains its sites. Thanks to which Victoria actually runs her own business. There is an idea, but there is a technical side. I will remind our listeners that in the project "Vinnytsia Business Hub", which was started jointly by the company "Glyanec". This is a company that provides creation, maintenance of sites, hosting platform. And the creative studio KvitenProduction. This is the Vinnytsia Business Hub and we had a conversation with the co-owner of the site and, at the same time, the online store millefleur.in.ua Victoria Popovich. Thanks.
– And I thank you.»
The interview was conducted by Yuri Kviten'.