In a country where buying from fashion designers and having them create a special piece of art only for you, was once a privilege of few lucky ones, Daniela Milosheshka, the founder of Bastet Noir, a custom-made online marketplace for independent fashion designers, managed to brake the traditional way of buying, by helping Macedonian designers sell their goods internationally.
Today, Daniela runs a high-profile online marketplace with more than 30 fashion designers from all around the world, placing their products across high-profile fashion sites and has customers from almost every continent. Sweet, ambitious and intelligent, shy but a total control freak when it comes to work and the little details, Daniela is the ultimate form of contradictions that complement and it’s exactly this kind of mix which shapes this incredible woman into a successful entrepreneur.
Running a high-profile fashion designer marketplace seemed like wasn’t enough, neither handful, for the hardworking 29-year old girl boss, who decided to help all the other entrepreneurs and freelancers struggling like her in the pursuit of finding a suitable office. So she started a second business, the co-working place, Coffice, that bristles with creativity, friendliness and relax atmosphere, created and designed by this workaholic of a woman.
But despite all of these accomplishments, the most impressive thing about her is that she remains grounded, humble and with both feet on the ground, ready to run toward the next challenge.
Daniela, there are thousands of online fashion stores on the internet. What makes Bastet Noir special?
When I first started Bastet Noir, it was supposed to be a platform for Balkan designers and a way of promotion for their products. I wanted to create something that will help them get their brand name out of the boundaries of Balkan countries and be able to ship their products across the world. However, in the first year when we started out, we’ve noticed that customers were looking for affordable made to measure designs and were willing to spend more money on that. So that’s how we’ve changed the concept of the platform and focused more on developing a custom-made feature, where people can come and enter their measurement details and designers will be able to create a custom-made order for that specific customer. This made us one of the first platforms to start offering custom-made designs from independent designers and have managed to attract international designers and brands like Espalier, Solkissed and Jessica DeCarlo. But the most special thing about the platform, I would say is the team behind it. Although small (we’re a team of 7 people), these people are the driving force behind the brand.
Bastet Noir started with a rooster of three designers coming from Macedonia and today Bastet Noir counts around 40 international designers, coming from all over the world. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Yes, we’ve started with three designers and now we have 37 coming from all over the world, among which are brands like Solkissed, whose ambassador is Iryna Shayk, Espalier which is endorsed by Rita Ora, Weekend Society, the LA brand who’s collaborated with Joseph Gordon Levitt and our recent edition is NY based jewelry brand Jessica De Carlo, whose amazing jewelry have been worn by celebrities like Kendall Jenner. The reason why we moved from Balkan designers to international was partly due to the demand, created by our target market and partly to Macedonian designers not being ready to respond to the challenges of online commerce. We’ve encountered many problems in the beginning, not just logistical, but payment wise as well. Another reason for recruiting international designers was the fact that USA became our number one selling market where we ship our products and the market there demanded of us to start uploading new products every week. The pace and the dynamics were crucial to making the decision to move our focus to international independent designers, a concept which on the long run proved to be much more successful, at least for us.
People are always talking about success, as if it’s something given. Can you define what success means to you and how you achieved it?
I think success is a thing you constantly have to work on. I think it takes a lot of persistence, resilience, hard work and countless of failures, as well as constant learning and educating yourself. I’ve never considered myself successful, at least not yet. It might be because the goals I’ve set up for myself have not been achieved yet, but I’m working on them.
What’s your proudest moment to date?
A few days ago, I was unable to concentrate and focus on work, so I sat down and made a map of where we’ve shipped our products. I thought it would give me a new perspective and some much needed motivation. When I realized that we’ve shipped products on every continent in the world, except Africa, I was wowed. This was the proudest moment to date, to be able to see your hard-work paying off.
If you could do it all over again would you?
Yes, yes, yes, a hundred times yes. Even though being an entrepreneur is challenging, because there are a lot of gloomy days, when you have the world on your shoulders and you’re constantly feeling like you’re a failure and a bipolar person, because your mood can change from super happy to super sad in just a matter of seconds, there are also a lot of sunny days as well and these are what makes everything else worth it. There’s no better feeling in the world than taking the time to sit down and reflect on what you’ve done in three years, who you’ve become and how you’ve evolved as a person. It’s the best feeling in the world, and that’s what makes the hard days durable and sometimes even annoyingly fun.