Eri Iozdjan is an entrepreneur with an innovative approach to business. Immigrating to the U.S. from Bulgaria at age five, Eri’s journey is a story of determination and resilience.
Eri’s first love was boxing. He enjoyed the effort and focus involved in the preparation for the competition. The 5 am runs, grueling training sessions, and the mental discipline gave him purpose. Boxing taught him the value of self-belief and what one could achieve with hard work. These principles helped build the foundation to later succeed in business.
Eri entered the world of e-commerce when he joined Vitality, a disruptive athletic apparel brand in its startup phase. As Director of Marketing and Creative, he crafted meaningful campaigns that would inspire. His work included 30+ sell-out collection launches and a debut appearance at New York Fashion Week.
Motivated by his passion for design, interiors Eri created a new venture. Thus, Maven Lane was born when the name came to him in a dream. Maven Lane’s mission is to bring timeless, accessible home furnishings to its customers. They believe that a home is more of a collection of objects. It’s a reflection of who we are and what we build.
Eri’s entrepreneurial journey is deep-rooted in the transformative power of design. He believes that the pieces in a home can instantly and significantly impact one’s life in a positive way.
Through Maven Lane, Eri aims to bring his blend of creativity, business, and passion for design to the world.
What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?
A typical day starts at 5:45 am, spending some time with my dogs (Mishka and Enzo), then heading to the gym. I like starting early because it allows me time to think and get myself focused on the most important tasks for the day. At the moment, most of my work time is spent working with our leadership team on processes/systems, product development, or branding and marketing. I share my MIT (most important thing) each day with the team, and that ensures I have audited myself and selected the item that will make the biggest impact on the business each day. In the evenings, I believe in reflecting on the day and making notes on what I’m proud of, as well as the lessons (some more difficult than others) I have learned.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring my ideas to life by action. I believe in small tasks done well, consistently. When it is time to execute, I believe in validating those ideas with data and market research.
What’s one trend that excites you?
As it relates to furniture, I like that old-world, weathered textures and finishes are more popular than ever. Those styles have always spoken to me.
What is one habit that helps you be productive?
I use a task manager which I organize categorically for each day, as well as recurring tasks and habits that help me become the best version of myself. On one hand, it keeps me focused because I know exactly how my time should be spent for maximum impact, and on the other, I feel like checking boxes throughout the day gives me small wins which build momentum.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself to focus on the journey more than the destination. As a teen, I was obsessed with making something of myself and always rushed to reach the next self-assigned “checkpoint”. In hindsight, I didn’t spend enough time smelling the roses and living in the moment, which is something I’m really trying to focus on these days.
Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you.
Hmm… I’m not sure how many people agree/disagree on this one, but I believe that people don’t take enough risks.
What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?
Maintain consistent training and diet routines. I think that these two areas of life can have a massive influence over the others.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
I usually make an espresso, read a little bit (The Alchemist is a go-to), and do some breathwork. By the end of these activities, I usually have a fresh perspective and am ready to get back to work.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?
One thing I do is meditate on the perspective of a customer. I try to think through all of the different types of individuals from various walks of life, and what they may want or need from our brand. It is a time-intensive exercise but has always helped me gain a deeper understanding of ways in which I can further that connection with our people.
What is one failure in your career, how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?
I think the biggest failure for me was when I pushed to promote one of our athletic apparel collections as “high fashion” rather than “active” which we were already succeeding with. The collection did not perform to expectation and it taught me a few things.
1. Listen to your team, and entertain all ideas even if they differ from your own.
2. Innovate, but stay true to your brand and customer base.
3. You must audit yourself frequently and ensure you keep bias in check.
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A candle/fragrance company that can create custom scents based on the image a customer uploads.
What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Todoist… game changer
What is the best $100 you recently spent?
I recently spent around $100 on a nice Italian dinner with my fiance. It was the best because it created a meaningful experience that we will both remember.
Do you have a favorite book or podcast from which you’ve received much value?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo was a very transformative book when I was 19. I believe it changed my framing of the world and the trajectory of my life entirely.
What’s a movie or series you recently enjoyed and why?
Layer Cake by Matthew Vaughn. I loved the narrative of the main character (Daniel Craig), and the way the story plays out as a whole. Entertaining and anecdotal.
- Learning from failures for future success
- Productivity habits
- Thinking like a customer
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.