Make mistakes and learn from them. Not only as an entrepreneur, but as a parent and as a person also. This is a normal process and I believe it is the only way to continue to improve.

 

Darya Blednova is a wife, mom and Primary Care Doctor, living in Long Island. She is also the founder and the main force behind the new conscious clothing brand for moms – LYNA.

As long as she can remember, Darya has been passionate about the health effects of every day objects on our lives. Always trying to optimize and improve, she became an advocate for her patients in their journey to wellness, not only managing their medications and procedures, but also helping with the lifestyle choices they faced.

Soon after the birth of her Daughter, Darya, faced with a seemingly simple task to find the perfect pair of leggings to wear, was at a loss. While there were hundreds of options on the market, many of these lacked pockets, an essential element to avoid tucking your cell phone and keys behind the waistband, some felt like wearing plastic, some ripped after one wash, and some did little to hide her undergarments when even slightly bent down.
After a lot of shopper’s frustration, Darya finally decided it was time to make her own perfect leggings, for all moms to enjoy.

Where did the idea for Lyna come from?

The idea to make leggings specifically for moms came out of a personal need. After I gave birth to my daughter, I found myself wearing leggings every day of the week, but not really liking any one pair that I owned or purchased. So I decided to make the ultimate perfect pair of leggings, that would allow moms to stop compromising on their comfort and sanity.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

At this point, I still have a day job as a primary care physician, so my day involves a lot of multitasking. I usually wake up early, around 5.30AM, to answer overnight emails and do routine digital maintenance tasks (plan social media posts, check website performance, etc). When my kids wake up I switch into mom mode. Then I leave for work, but, depending on how busy the day is, may get a bit of writing done in between patients. After work it is mom time again. After the kids are put to bed, it’s time for more business tasks, usually writing, photo editing and emails. In such a distracting environment, having a clear prioritized list of tasks is key. I actually have several lists I use: one with recurrent tasks, such as answering emails, filing taxes and watching over social media campaigns and posts, one with one-off things such as looking through fabric samples or patterns, fixing something on the website, etc. And I also have a broad list of “ideas”, more on that below.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Very slowly. As there is a finite amount of time I can devote to working on my business, the key here is persistence. I have a virtual scratchpad where I write all ideas that cross my mind, even the smallest one. Every once in a while I sort through it, think them through and try to prioritize what needs to get done first. Then, the winners make it into my to-do list and, little by little, get done.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I am very excited about the rise in consumer awareness and demand for ethical and health conscious fashion and beauty brands.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I follow up. Whenever I launch a Facebook campaign, send a product to an influencer, have difficulty with a supplier, etc, I always go back and see what went right, what went wrong, and what effect all of the above had on my business overall. Many people do not do this kind of analysis and essentially miss out on free experience.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Most of the time, ideas are not worth anything. Starting the most unprofitable business or making the most problematic product will give you more personal growth than having 10 perfectly brilliant ideas.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Unicorns. They do exist! Although some sceptics have a hard time believing in them.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Make mistakes and learn from them. Not only as an entrepreneur, but as a parent and as a person also. This is a normal process and I believe it is the only way to continue to improve.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Great customer service. As a small company I am able to track where most of my sales come from and, turns out, about half of them can be attributed to a recommendation by a friend. I try to go out of my way to keep customers happy, providing them with easy exchanges, sizing help, etc. Because a happy customer is the best advertisement you can have.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

When I started out with this business, I thought that making a great product was the most important part. Now I know that a great product is a necessary but not sufficient element of success. Brand identity, marketing and customer service are just as important in building trust with customers and making sales.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

It would be great if someone could make a line of stainless steel toddler bowls AND a warmer to fit those bowls. So that food could be stored, warmed and served in the same dish. I know plastic does the job, but feeding my baby out of a microwaved plastic bowl? No!

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

A hot stone massage. Because it allowed me to enter an almost meditative state and get immersed in my own thoughts. So many insights!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I use Wunderlist to keep track of all my to-do’s and ideas. While some may find it overly simple and somewhat underpowered for complex projects, this is exactly why it works so well for me. I believe that the best tool is one you use consistently. And usability of any tool is inversely related to its complexity.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

For anyone who is looking to build a business around apparel or any other sewn products, this book is a must-read. The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing.

What is your favorite quote?

Experience Is Something You Don’t Get Until Just After You Need It.
It is crucial to try things that you are not experienced in. This is how you get experience in the first place.

Key Learnings:

  • It is ok to lack experience when you are starting, you will learn and grow as you go.
  • Slow and steady wins the race. Keep going in the direction of your dreams, even if the steps are very small.
  • When wearing many hats and facing multiple tasks, easy to-do list and good prioritization are key.
  • Marketing should never be an afterthought.
  • Unicorns exist.

Connect:

https://lyna.life/
https://www.instagram.com/lyna.life
https://www.pinterest.com/lynalife