Interview With Stela Handlovska By Jac Bowie

Posted on 09 January 2017

Australia's own Jac Bowie, a radio presenter, producer and podcaster based in Victoria, is the founder of Business in Heels and her business coaching is in high demand for businesses who want to power up online.

I had the pleasure to meet this wonderful person, a mother and a business woman, and chat about Boccai - the foundation of this business, what is happening at the moment and about our future plans.

Boccai Stela Handlovska

Profile: 'Stela Handlovska, owner of Boccai Earrings' by Jac Bowie.

1. Tell us about your background before Boccai.

I am a hands-on designer with a background in product design and brand management. I have a passion for beautiful products and designs, and I enjoy sharing my passion with other people. 

I have worked in broadcasting and other corporate environments for many years and I can appreciate the importance of dress for women who are trying to build careers. After I had my second child I was off from work for a while to spend some time with my daughter. I realised, I would like to be flexible for my children so I can be with them and at the same time pursue my passion. 

2. How did you come up with the idea?

I do a fair bit of online shopping myself and I noticed a gap for a specialised store that offers a wide range of the latest trends at lower prices. As most women, I like accessories and I had trouble finding quality earrings, that don't cost a fortune. Before Boccai, people had two options. Either buy designer brands with the high price tag or buy cheap alternatives which are poor in quality and material. That's when I thought of an e-shop focusing only on earrings, so I can offer a wide range, good quality, latest trend and reasonable price. 

Boccai Silver Stud Collection Earrings

3. What's a typical day look like for you in the business?

As a mum of two, I am balancing my family and work commitment. The key is organisation. My days are planned and I have to stick to the schedule. My family is all in Europe, so the only support I get is from my husband. That means, making some sacrifices and hard work; no TV as most of my work gets done in the evening after the kids are in bed. 

Not to put pressure on my family and for me to be able to move as fast as it needs to make this a success, I learned that nothing will ever be perfect. Each day is different. I do everything from talking to suppliers and making orders, organising photography, designing and updating the online store, packing orders and making sure customers are looked after. 

Providing a good customer service is very important to me. Again, this is based on my experience of what makes a difference when you are shopping online. You want to have the feeling that you are looked after by a person who cares and is there to listen. I like to interact with my customers and get feedback and suggestions for improvements. I am doing this for them, so the shop should have what they like and how they like it. 

4. What are your plans for the future with this business?

My vision is to become the online destination for earrings in Australia and then expand worldwide. I want to build a trusted brand, a destination where people get advice and best value for money. I want to incorporate more technology into the store, for example, Virtual Personal Stylist application, that will help the shoppers feel like they are in an actual store. Online shopping is the future. To succeed you have to make a difference. You have to be unique and you have to make the customer feel like they are able to try it on, see it up close, fall in love with it and buy it. Sort of a virtual reality. So real and easy to use that it's like bringing the shop to them.

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