Be patient and dream big

ALISIA ENCO fashion brand for all the women in the business world

Please introduce yourself and your start-up ALISIA ENCO to our readers!

My name is Alice Botnarenco and I describe myself rather as an entrepreneurial mind and a passionate creative heart.

My entrepreneurial journey started from a young age. At 23 my first business was a rent-a-car company pretty much linked to my desire of independence rather than to a calling. Ten years ago, I founded “Women in Business”, a non-profit association with the goal to create a network of women entrepreneurs and managers in the C-suite that would share experiences, insights and support each other. 

Five years ago, I launched my own brand under the name of ALISIA ENCO and this time my identity got a new expression. I created this fashion brand for all the women in the business world who want to feel inspired by clothes that define their personality and boost their confidence. A brand that embraces creativity, versatility, elegance and a certain timeless sophistication.  

How did you get the idea of ALISIA ENCO?

My previous business was about women …in business. I noticed the corporate “uniform” and got inspired by the opportunity to challenge it. And I defined my challenge by coming up with a range of shirts of outstanding quality in materials and finishing but with a creative twist. I wanted to add more colours, more symbols, more life, to business shirts only, at the beginning. Step by step, the entire collection got richer and broader with not only shirts but also an entire line of business apparel.

Why did you decide to start with ALISIA ENCO?

ALISIA ENCO has borrowed a part of my DNA and became my business and life challenge. I projected my own personality in this business and because of this identification (starting with the name) And I want it to get awareness and proper exposure. I believe in the quality of the materials I use, I believe in my sources of inspiration (all around me, actually), I believe in the need of a reinvented business look. The present times, challenging by themselves, taught us that significant changes in our lifestyle are right ahead and we need to adapt. 

What is the vision behind ALISIA ENCO?

In 2014, I transformed my vision and my experience of more than ten years in entrepreneurship into a manifesto. I intended to offer a new vision to business outfits, through the mirror of creativity, boldness and self-reliance. I understood the importance of how our attire acts as a business card and talks about us even before the first exchange of words.

How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?

I started basically from zero, with no experience in this field and this was a big challenge for me: establishing long-standing partnerships with trusted suppliers, dealing with the stock management pain point, the very need to be present and updated and come up with novelties at a quick pace in order to stay relevant. All these are the challenges of any start-up, I believe.   

Who is your target audience?

My products are definitely for women (although I have a line for men too), women working in multinational companies, in their own companies or in governmental institutions and with a high income and higher education. Women who understand the quality of the products and the importance of an outstanding outfit. The clothes are talking about themselves and their success and they help to complete their attitude and boost their confidence.

What is the USP of your start-up?

Wearing authenticity. Wearing confidence. And Wearing business with a creative twist.

Can you describe your typical workday?

I try to enrich my every day and always try to make a sound balance between work and family. My mornings start at my studio, preparing orders or creating new models or meeting my clients (with these routines slightly changed nowadays). In the afternoon I usually help my kid with lessons or chat with my husband about our day. These pandemic days changed our ways, and I believe we must be prepared to bear with these changes for a while, rethink our routines and reinvent the ways we do our “business as usual”.

Where do you see yourself and your startup ALISIA ENCO in five years?

In these days of uncertainty, where the future is so unpredictable, I only hope that in a few years I will see my brand on the biggest marketplaces from all over the world. And we started already going global and I’m happy to share with you the news that very soon ALISIA ENCO brand will be found on ZALANDO, the European fashion e-commerce company based in Berlin and the biggest marketplace in Germany.

What 3 tips would you give to founders?

I learned a lot during my entrepreneurial journey and I still have to learn. It’s a tough road to success, but patience is mandatory, and patience is hard to bear when you are an active, engaged, efficient and creative person running a start-up. Luck also matters a lot – and I am sorry to say that there is no recipe for that.

Cash is paramount as well so many entrepreneurs don’t know how many months of cash they have left in the bank, you have to know your financial situation every month.

So, to sum up, my advice would be: be patient, stay on cash, prepare luck through good networking, create a lot, dream big. 

More information you will find here

Thank you Alice Botnarenco for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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