Founding a startup: “social media makes it look so easy”
When we talk about startups, the tendency is to talk about successes, investment rounds and unicorns. But what is the day-to-day of an entrepreneur at the beginning of founding a startup? What are the challenges? What are the difficulties?To better understand, we spoke with Yvonne Ivanescu, founder of Now in Rio Swim, a sustainable bikini brand that is, for now, just a side project.
Content available in Portuguese.
Subscribe our newsletter to keep updated on this and other content.
When we talk about startups, the tendency is to talk about successes, investment rounds and unicorns. But what is the day-to-day of an entrepreneur at the beginning of a startup? What are the challenges? What are the difficulties?
To better understand, we spoke with Yvonne Ivanescu, founder of Now in Rio Swim, a sustainable bikini brand that is, for now, just a side project.
Yvonne is from Canada, works remotely and full-time for a Canadian podcast platform and has her own podcast, Branding Lab Podcast. Additionally, every day she dedicates around 2 to 3 hours to the bikini brand she launched in February this year.
The idea of creating a bikini brand came from the lack of options the entrepreneur felt when looking for beachwear suitable for the common woman, that would also allow her to move freely. Yvonne also wanted to make sure of not being part of a problem, such as sustainability, so she found in social entrepreneurship a way to be part of the solution. And that’s how the Now in Rio Swim brand was born. a line of bikinis and swimsuits designed for the average woman’s body and made from recycled nylon (Econyl), which donates a percentage of sales to an association supporting favelas in Brazil. Coming to Portugal, more specifically to Costa da Caparica, came naturally after realizing the size and quality of the textile industry in the country, a very relevant sector for the chosen business area.
One of the main difficulties of launching this brand was the time it takes. “On social media, everything seems so easy, I never imagined it would take so long”. It took Yvonne two years to prepare for the launch of her brand. And even when the time came, the entrepreneur still felt could have put it off even longer, but decided to follow the advice of several other entrepreneurs: “it’s better to launch it and figure it out ”, otherwise, perfection is never found and the ideal moment is never reached. After all, it is also important to test the market to better fine-tune the product and its strategy.
In this case, this delay was mainly related to the difficulty felt with the factories that could make this production. On the one hand, the language barrier sometimes made negotiation difficult, and on the other, there was some reluctancy with such a small order, when compared to those made by big brands. Once this hurdle was overcome, Yvonne shares that she thought that sales would explode on lauching day, but this is something that is also taking its time.. Still, she remains optimistic and considers herself a successful story: the product sells and she feels that her brand allows her to be a woman who empowers other women, one of her biggest goals.
The podcaster would like to expand the collection in terms of patterns and colours, increase production quantities and expand the team, which currently only has her and her husband, but for that, she would need investors. The search for investment is another process that proves to be time-consuming. When moving to another country during a pandemic, creating a network of contacts proved more difficult than expected, so knocking on doors to find the right investor is a difficult process.
For those who want to take a similar path, Yvonne leaves an important advice: be kind to yourselves and look for something that you are truly passionate about. A startup goes far beyond an innovative idea. It takes time, dedication and, of course, funding.
Other blog posts