The Confessions series is designed to introduce a successful woman. Regardless of her age, race, religion, class, ethnicity, or wealth; just a successful woman with her own definition of success. From a young entrepreneur to a mature woman with a blissful career, all of them are role models
Even though Balkánica has existed for many years, the brand was made official in 2010 as a result of a personal search to find a channel through which I could express myself.
Before that, I used to do Arts and Styling Management for cinema, theaters and fashion, which meant that I had to go from place to place, with long hours between each movie recording, photo sessions, rehearsals, and others. This made sharing time with my three kids (now I have four) very complicated.
I studied art history and graphic design and, even though I could not finish my studies, they gave me the basis for what I do today. Being a model at the time certainly introduced me to the fashion world. All the rest has been self-learning, with the help of my family, which forms a permanent part of the creative contributions.
Balkánica has become a small, yet large family business. Its name comes from a desire to honor my origins. Even though I was born here, my family on both my mom and father’s side are of Croatian origin. I had this idea of developing a relaxed and elegant line connected to nature, but never pretentious. When I was coming back from a trip to Croatia, I had the idea of calling the brand after the Balkan Peninsula. I liked the sound of it and I was very attracted by and identified with the Adriatic coast beauty.
Now we have our own boutique and many points of sale throughout the country. We also export to many cities of the United States, Mexico, Panama Republic and soon Europe.
What early life events have influenced your view of wealth?
My childhood was very calm in terms of economic needs. However, I had a father who always worked, read and made me think a lot. He was an attorney and an economist. Even though he probably had the life he wanted to have, we never spent more than what we could. He was never a man of excesses; he was an intellectual. On the other hand, I inherited the artistic side from my mother, who used to be a classical ballet dancer. From her, I got my physical discipline and an esthetical look of things. After being a foreigner from Peru and having danced many years abroad she became a ballet critics. That had an influence on me, demanding the best of me to reach “perfection” under the belief that I could satisfy my mom’s strict eye.
Subsequently, when I became a very young mom and had to leave my studies I felt that drive to find and develop my talent stronger. (I had altered the regular cycle of life and therefore I had to be up to date regardless of how I did it because I had new responsibilities). When the world is not about you anymore, the way you look at things changes and life becomes tridimensional. There’s no room for falling or giving up, not anymore.
What role does work play in your life?
I am lucky to enjoy what I do. I have a fulfilling life; every day I wake up and have a creative activity to do.
If you could solve any problem, what would it be?
I think that the quality of life is getting lost. Staying longer hours at work does not necessarily mean producing more. In our company we are valuing this to achieve efficient results and happy workers. At the production site we are organizing part-time schedules so that our employees can all enjoy a healthier, happier and normal life. They have the possibility to take their work home and develop their own small businesses offering their services to us and even to other clients. I believe that we should leverage technological advances to be fully connected in this regard.
What have been non-financial influences on your efforts to build wealth?
To find yourself at some point is fundamental to acknowledge your talent and determine to develop it with passion. I believe that you can only reach that goal if you are capable of finding what you feel passion for, which is the great engine for success.
What do you enjoy the most in terms of spending?
I enjoy spending in three things:
- I value immensely sharing time with those that I love and time for myself. I believe it is sacred being able to invest in giving work to others, especially on those that you can trust certain responsibilities.
- One of my weaknesses is to invest in raw materials, samples and materials. When I look for materials, I generally come back with more things than I need but I always use them later.
- Travelling, and If it is with my family much better.
What can money not buy?
Health, love and class.
What defines someone else as wealthy?
Nowadays it is more than clear that a rich person is that person who has achieved a healthy balance in every aspect: personal, work, social. When you can go to bed and simply be thankful, you are in the right path.
My wealth makes me feel …….
At peace with a fulfilling life. It helps me work on myself and grow a little bit more every day.
What part has your gender played in the development of your wealth?
Presently I don’t see a great difference in opportunities for both sexes. Yet I believe that women, regardless of whether they are mothers or wives, still have the hard task of dealing with two enterprises at the same time that are not acknowledged as they should. However, this “double-or three-role playing,” at the same time, makes you more competitive and capable. Unconsciously, these women develop a brilliant logic capable of solving thousands of “problems” or situations at the same time without falling in the process.
What does wealth give you the freedom to do?
To see things clearer with ethics being my guiding light.