Today’s Interview is with camera bag designer and founder of Pompidoo
Learn more about Irina Kuzmina and her fabulous Pompidoo camera bags
Female Entrepreneur: Irina Kuzmina
Company: POMPIDOO is a brand for stylish and functional camera bags
Website: www.pompidoo.com and www.irinakuzmina.com
Follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pompidoo.camera.bags
Follow on Twitter: www.twitter.com/pompidoobags
Tell us about your business
I am a big fan of fashion and style. But just an aesthetically nice thing is not enough – it should be also a well-thought functional product to enjoy it fully for a long time. With this approach in mind we developed POMPIDOO – a brand for stylish camera bags. These modern and functional bags are made from natural leather and can become a key accessory in the wardrobe of any stylish photographer!
What inspired you to start your business?
At one point of time I clearly felt I want something my own – think myself, do myself, create myself. Especially the moment of creation inspired me! Only a person with unlimited imagination can call banking and finance a creative field. So I’ve changed my career to 180 degrees to be able to create. Moreover, create something original and unconventional.
How long have you been in business?
Officially this business has been founded in June 2010. A POMPIDOO Team has been formed – young and energetic as its founder! And the work began – preparations for production, marketing and sales, thinking through the growth strategy and future plans. The time flies so quickly! It feels like we’ve founded the company only yesterday, however, so much has been already done!
What did you do in your past work life?
As I briefly mentioned, my background is banking and finance. Relationship building and management used to be an exciting part of my previous occupation – now I successfully translate this experience into POMPIDOO related activities: communication with various partners and suppliers.
Photography has also become an integral part of my life since 2005. Without this serious passion I probably wouldn’t come to an idea of camera bags’ production!
Describe your ideal workday
An ideal day comes together with the satisfaction: when the tasks I aimed to complete are fulfilled, it means the day was perfect! Normally I wake up at 8am and check my diary – meetings with suppliers, strategic planning, calls with the Team, definitely some time for design and inspiration, visiting production, I am used to this high tempo and always delighted to watch how it gives its fruits: new bag colours on the Shop, new articles about POMPIDOO, new leather delivered, new designs approved. I’d wish more days were ideal!
What have been some of your major successes?
It’s not a surprise that I do not separate myself from POMPIDOO. I jump of joy whenever we get the next praise from our happy customer or see how our shipping map expands.
The fact that POMPIDOO bags already live in 14 different countries I perceive as a major success!
What have been some of your major challenges?
Challenges do not simply happen, in fact we set the challenges ourselves! Since we have deliberately positioned POMPIDOO as a “stylish functionality”, we have raised the bar very high. My Team and myself, we are constantly in a search of new approaches, modern technologies, latest materials – sometimes it feels like “find something you are not sure exists” and that’s a real challenge, which also gives an additional energy and motivation!
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
Internal belief that we will succeed, burning motivation to create and a POMPIDOO Team, which supports each other and constantly reminds that we will succeed!
Do you have a motivational quote?
One day I was driving a car and listening to a radio. When the morning show was about to end, a radio DJ said: “There will be a new day tomorrow!”. That’s my motivational quote for many years already – regardless of what challenges we face, we will find the way out tomorrow. Definitely!
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
The most important thing I will teach my children is that they CAN! We used to think that to create something new is not possible, everything has already been invented or that our business ideas are not creative or even more, doom! Well, that’s wrong. I will always be supporting them in anything they do, will believe in their ideas!
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
If someone could just develop a perfect recipe for this balance, I’d be one of the first to try it out! Surely, it’s a good talent and a desired skill – to find the golden mean between the business you are passionate about and the family you love! In order to reach this kind of balance I personally try to engage my family so that they are curious about what I do. Their support also largely means their understanding and respect.
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
Favorite business tool? Google! Show me a person who doesn’t use it!
But if serious there is no just one particular resource to refer to, nowadays our digital environment contains so much valuable information that it can takes days and weeks to consume all you wish to read. I personally like this business resource: www.12manage.com – it helps me a lot to develop the business.
What is next for your business?
It’s only full speed ahead! New countries, new models, new categories, new colours, new leather, new decorations, new campaigns and new contests, new blog publications and new photo shoots! We have really exciting plans for the future!
Your two cents sales pitch?
I personally have a strong believe that one can succeed if only he or she does what s/he can do best and what really loves! This is why we believe in POMPIDOO – we see the results because we put our hearts into this idea and company.
Check out our review of one of the bags, Pompidoo – A Stylish Purse-Like Camera Bag.