[email protected] Interview
Interview with Alina Anghel
“Validate your idea as fast as possible through research and putting a MVP out there to gain insights and feedback which will allow you to then keep refining your offering...” – Alina Anghel
Today we feature Alina Anghel, the founder at Ecoeri. We hear their story in their own words, their successes, their challenges and their insights.
Let’s start by getting to know you. Can you please tell us a little bit about you and what you do?
My name is Alina Anghel and I’m the Founder of Ecoeri, an online marketplace for sustainable and ethical products.
We work with small independent brands that create innovative and beautifully designed conscious products for home & living, fashion, beauty, gifting, and more.
A great introduction and start to this interview. Can you please tell us, how did you start, from what age, and what made you decide to change direction and start?
Prior to Ecoeri I have spent 10+ years working in Digital Marketing, SEO, and Product Management both agency and client side which has provided me with the opportunity to learn about e-commerce, technology, analytics, and how to drive growth.
I’ve always wanted to start my own business one day and throughout the years I’ve become more and more interested in sustainability and reading more about it and trying to understand how I can improve my lifestyle to become more conscious.
During my last role as a Digital Product Manager at a fashion brand I have stumbled upon a research article that mentioned that while there was a growing interest in sustainable shopping consumers often are put off by the price or availability.
This sparked the idea of creating a one-stop destination where consumers can discover and shop easily sustainable and ethical products and soon after I left my corporate role and ventured into the startup world.
Thank you for that insight. So can you tell us…What does your business do and where is your company based?
Ecoeri is an online marketplace for beautifully designed sustainable and ethical products.
We are based in UK, in London however we work with innovative brands from all over the world that create high quality and stylish conscious products across home & living, fashion, beauty, gifting and more.
Our aim is to provide consumers with a one-stop destination where they can easily discover and shop eco-friendly alternatives while providing them with transparent brand information.
What’s the story behind your success? What led to your aha moment? how did you get to where you are now?
Once the idea of Ecoeri came about I decided to run a survey to better understand what type of products customers will be most interested in and what they found challenging when shopping for eco-friendly products. This alongside with a lot of other market and brands research provided me with a good basis for the launch of the website.
While working on the technology side of things I have also focused on building our social channels and an email capture landing page which meant at launch we already had an initial customer based interested in our products.
Doing the research beforehand and prepping for launch have definitely been two key areas that allowed us to achieve success early-on.
Thank you for sharing that. What’s been your life’s biggest lesson so far?
Some of the early on challenges have been more around raising awareness of the brand during a pandemic and without having the large marketing budgets large corporations have.
However this allowed us to be more creative in terms of our marketing using social media, building our email database and collaborating with influencers and media. It’s definitely a lot more manual work and you have to be very proactive however it’s a great way to get the word out there as a small business.
That being a business owner is a rollercoaster of emotions; you go from feeling like you can take over the world to stress, doubt to back to feeling great again all in one day! As a solo founder it can also be quite lonely so you need to have a good deal of focus to stay on track and be able to motivate yourself even when it gets tough as there won’t be anyone else there to pull you back up.
If you were to go back in time, what piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
I knew from a young age that I wanted to have my own business one day however as I’ve started taking on different roles throughout my career I was becoming more and more impatient that my dream to have a business will only remain a dream. My advice to my younger self would be to have faith (and patience!) that things will come at the right time.
We’re nearly halfway through our interview so it’s a great time to ask how does your business run. What three tools make your business run better?
As a startup majority of our tools are aimed at improving efficiency or driving growth while being savvy about costs.
My three most used tools at the moment would have to be Google Analytics, Canva and Instagram.
Google Analytics is fantastic for all the great insights available that you can use to improve your marketing activities and website while Canva is perfect for easily creating social media posts, banners and campaign assets that look great when you don’t have someone in-house that can produce them.
Instagram has always been a great tool for us to not only to reach new customers but also to connect with influencers and collaborate on campaigns.
I am constantly looking for new tools and services and we’ve started experimenting more with Pinterest and showcasing our products there which has been great so far in terms of driving traffic.
What do you know now that you wished you had known before?
That being a business owner is a rollercoaster of emotions; you go from feeling like you can take over the world to stress, doubt to back to feeling great again all in one day!
As a solo founder it can also be quite lonely so you need to have a good deal of focus to stay on track and be able to motivate yourself even when it gets tough as there won’t be anyone else there to pull you back up.
What has been your greatest or proudest achievement or moment?
Seeing the growth after just one month post launch even during lockdown was definitely the greatest achievement moment so far as I knew we’re onto something great and gave me the confidence to keep going!
What future life goals do you want to achieve and why?
Future goals will be to continue to expand Ecoeri into more product categories, more markets and on-board even a larger number of fantastic environmental-friendly brands for our customers.
To finish our inspire questions…”We believe that sharing inspiring words can inspire others.” If there was one positive thing you would say to someone to inspire and empower them what would it be and why?
My advice would be to try to validate your idea as fast as possible through research and putting a MVP out there to gain insights and feedback which will allow you to then keep refining your offering.
It can be easy as an entrepreneur to spend too much time overthinking and trying to get everything perfect before launch however it can be risky investing too much time and resources just to find out the solution is not quite right and gaining customers insights early on can be a powerful tool for driving success.
“Thank you it has been great learning more about your founder story and Ecoeri”
To learn more about Ecoeri Visit ecoeri.com
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