Katrina Borissova is the founder of a brand called Little Danube which she launched during the first lockdown after losing her job in a big corporation. We had the opportunity to catch up with her in our ‘Meet the Entrepreneur’ series and she shares her transitioning journey from work life to entrepreneurship.
What impact did losing your job have on your life and how did you over come that?
At the time the topic of discussion in the news was primarily Covid-19 and I came to realise that I won’t be finding a job anytime soon. Hence the stress, panic and anxiety kicked in even more. I also started doubting myself and regretted not accepting other roles sooner hence blaming myself for putting myself in this situation. At the time France was already in lockdown so I knew we were coming next. I will never forget the feeling going to bed that night.
After digesting the situation for at least two days and realising what the “new normal” will be like and how long it would last, It led me to start reflecting on how much I enjoyed making soaps. I had made the decision (at least in my head) to make it a business …sometime…one day. I thought this is now or never, if I don’t set up my beauty brand now it will be a never.
How did the idea of Little Danube come about?
I founded Little Danube during the first lockdown after losing my job with a big corporation. When the phone stopped ringing from the recruiters, it made me start thinking about doing something else. Having attended a soap class earlier in March I was ready to go, I knew about the compliance, legal, safety and technical stuff but where to start!
While reading an article in Forbes about “What Successful Beauty Startups Are Focusing On Now” it dawned upon me that there was a lack of vegan beauty products in clean beauty, and this was only being addressed by very few companies. I decided to become one of the niche players and founded Little Danube which was incorporated during the UK national lockdown and officially launched on the 1st of August.
Little did I know that from the day the decision was made months later I would be featured in Forbes. If there is anything on your bucket list that you think you’ll need to do it one day, do it now!
Could you tell us more about your brand Little Danube?
Little Danube is a vegan and natural soap brand with product designs that have an exciting signature look with quirky aesthetics that make self-care a unique experience.
SUSTAINABILITY is at the forefront of our design. We use eco-friendly tissue made from acid free paper and soy-based ink. Our soap boxes are recyclable, and our delivery bags are fully compostable.
One of our latest projects is with Treeapp we’ve committed to plant a tree each time you spend £10 or more on their website.
What does being a female entrepreneur mean to you?
Fewer women have become entrepreneurs, meaning their potential to contribute towards innovation, job creation and economic growth remains untapped. There is a massive potential but the limiting belief we carry is so intrinsic and anchored from society and other sources that there is a risk of not living up to your potential.
I’m very passionate and I usually bring people together alongside my creative journey and thought process. It’s never a 9 am to 5 pm with me and anything that I do, hence I’m not really good at balancing things as when I put my mind to something I go until the end.
What challenges or obstacles have you faced as a result of being an entrepreneur?
The lack of consistency – although the 9 to 5 model is less original it is secure and security provides you a sense of control and confidence. When you are in the field of entrepreneurship you are your own creator of your day or your opportunities and this gives you a sense of accountability but also makes your day a roller coaster.
I can have a very successful few days and then it goes in problem solving elements that went completely wrong. I struggled a lot at the beginning as I thought I was not equipped accordingly and maybe I should just quit. Today I say to myself that it’s a transitional journey that I’m stepping into the shoes of a new person with more experience and learning day after day.
What tips or advice would you give to any female considering becoming an entrepreneur?
My first learning is to start small. We’ve purposely launched with 6 products to get to know our customers and what the expectations are before expanding. Knowing your customers but also knowing yourself, what your branding is, where you are going next and your values.
My second learning is the value add, while is fun to be a creator and enjoy the process of ideation from thoughts to a physical product, there needs to be a value add. Any entrepreneur and business owner should be adding value to society with its products and values, talking about being inclusive is one thing but showing it and portraying it is another and this is where the element of authenticity comes along.
Exclusive offer to Untapped FR community
Little Danube is offering our community 20% discount. All you have to do is enter the code: FR20 when shopping with them.
To shop or to learn more about Little Danube and their amazing products head over to https://www.littledanube.co.uk/ or their Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/littledanubeshop/?igshid=re45161lm5si