Running your own business is no easy feat. It takes a healthy dose of passion, discipline, and commitment. Ever wondered what a day in the life of a business owner and founder is like? We’re here to give you a glimpse! In honor of International Women’s Day (March 8), we will feature a female entrepreneur every week for the entire month — giving you an exclusive, first-hand look into 24 hours of their day.
This week, we shine the spotlight on entrepreneur Natacha Seroussi. She is the founder, creator, and designer of bobobark, a line of beautifully-crafted, sustainable vegan bags that are now available on Indiegogo. Infused with Parisian chic aesthetic, these bags are pretty versatile — designed for work, travel, and everyday life. Read on to see how she spends a full day in Paris, running her business LaFlore. Then scroll down for a brief Q&A to get to know her better and get inspired!
7 A.M. I wake up, get dressed, and literally leave the house in 15 minutes on an empty stomach. I head to the barn where I do my morning training. Before bobobark became a big business, I worked as a horse trainer for almost 10 years. To this day, I keep 2 horses under training that I take care of every morning. I typically get to the barn around 7:45 A.M.
8 A.M. I get the horses ready for their training. I brush them and put the saddle on. Then I start riding — usually I spend 40 minutes with each horse.
9 A.M. I am done with riding. Now I do my daily care routine for the horses. They both have specific products that need to be applied. Then I release them into the paddock, so they can enjoy some fresh air and morning sun. Or I take them for a short in-hand grazing session around the barn.
10 A.M. I head back home for a quick hot shower, and prepare green tea on the go.
11 A.M. I usually get to the office around 10:45 A.M. I start the day by answering my emails. This can take a few hours, because I want to answer all of our backers personally. Sometimes I literally get 300 emails in one day!
12 P.M. This is the moment where I lose my focus. I get lost in Facebook, or chat with people in the office, but this usually never lasts more than 20 minutes. After I am done with email, I sit on what needs to be done. I set up meetings for the next few days.
1 P.M. I grab a quick lunch, and head to the workshop. I go over the samples and decide what changes need to be made. I always have at least two designs going on at the same time. It is a constant back and forth with the workshop, in order for me to obtain the perfect sample and perfect quality.
2 P.M. Still at the workshop. I usually check new colors for the collections, and fabric and cork texture for new designs. I also do the sourcing with my father and business partner Elie — we constantly try to improve our product both in quality and sustainability. Sourcing the best material and most eco-friendly on the market is a big and important part of our job.
3 P.M. This is the time I head back to the office. I sit with the team to go over everything. With Elie, we talk about the production process. We go over the details and retro planning. Then, I meet with the marketing team to see how they’re doing, such as talk about the social media direction of the brand.
4 P.M. I have a couple of meetings with a supplier and a client. I always try to walk, or take the bike instead of the Metro! I just love strolling the streets of Paris during the day. It feels like all of time stops, and I am in an old movie!
5 P.M. At this time, everyone starts to leave the office. This is my favorite time of the day. I get to be alone, and focus on the more creative part of the job. I do research about the next design. I look at inspiring designers, colors, and trends. I create a mood board. I also go over the dozens of vintage bags and material swatches that I’ve accumulated in my studio. This is how I find inspiration in my design process.
6 P.M. I start to go into the technical drawing of the bag. It needs to be precise enough for the workshop to be able to understand perfectly, but also leave them some room for interpretation. It is a teamwork effort, as they manage the technical side. Sometimes, I stay in my studio all night, working on a specific design.
7 P.M. Still drawing!
8 P.M. I usually get home at this hour. The horses take a lot of my time, and I don’t want it to be on the expense of my work for bobobark, which is the reason I stay late in the office.
9 P.M. Finally home! If I’m in a healthy mood, I cook and do yoga. But lots of times, I just go out to eat with friends or meet them for drinks. I love going out — Paris has so much to offer, and I make sure to enjoy every part of the city!
11 P.M. I am heading home and going to get ready to sleep! I usually never sleeps more than 6 or 7 hours max.
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of what her day is like, get more inspiration in our exclusive Q&A with her below!
INDIEGOGO: How did you become an entrepreneur?
NATACHA SEROUSSI: I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Even as a little girl, I started several “businesses.” I was trading all kinds of objects I was making for cards or candies! I would sell my drawings to adults around me! I was always both creative and a business enthusiast, as I was growing up. Everyone was amused about it!
IGG: What makes your business unique?
NATACHA: I think what is unique about Laflore is the combination of Parisian chic, craftsmanship, and our eco-friendly, sustainable, and ethical philosophy. Above everything else, we are a Parisian brand. Our focus is on style, quality, and comfort, but we also decided that we can be all that while being ethical and eco-friendly.
IGG: What’s your biggest piece of advice for women entrepreneurs?
NATACHA: One of the important things is to trust your instinct and be yourself. Know your strengths and your weaknesses. Ask for help where you need it, and be confident enough to impose your ideas when you need to. Know the right balance between having self-reflection and when to impose yourself when needed.
IGG: What tools would you recommend to anyone starting their own business?
NATACHA: I think it really depends on what business and industry you’re working in. Mostly, I would recommend investigating what has been done before, and be patient. Research and perseverance are the best tool to success.
IGG: What’s your favorite Indiegogo campaign?
NATACHA: The Micro Wallet by Elad Burko!
To support and back bobobark, check out their Indiegogo campaign page.