Interview With Daria Luczkowski
Describe your product or service:
“Curated gift boxes, corporate gifts, [and] build-your-own gift box[es].”
Describe your company values and mission:
“Mia Bella’s mission is to help others make lasting impressions and create unforgettable experiences while removing [the] hassle from gifting. We strive to support the community and procure most of our premium products from US-based, women-owned, hand-crafting firms such as ours.”
How are you funded? I.e. type of funding, number of funding rounds, total funding amount.
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“Two-person team — mom and daughter duo.”
How did you come up with and validate your startup idea? Tell us the story!
“Mia Bella is a women-owned and operated custom gift box company that provides unique, hand-selected gifting solutions for individuals and companies.”
How did you come up with your startup's name? Did you have other names you considered?
“Mia Bella Co.’s name was inspired by its co-founder’s witty seven-year-old daughter, Mia.”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“Yes, we did. Daria started her career in the insurance industry as early as high school, continued to work full time while attending college at night and earning her MBA at UConn. During her days off and summer vacation, if not taking extra classes, she would help mom with work. Ewa started and ran two successful companies – a catering business and a cleaning service – that kept her very busy up until Mia made her a ‘Babcia’ or grandma (Admittedly, Ewa’s schedule became even busier then]). Thanks to Mom’s dedication and full-time help, Daria was able to continue advancing her career in the insurance industry, elevating her customer service, leadership, marketing, and strategic skills that she has continually applied to philanthropic causes within the community. Then COVID also put an end to the two businesses Ewa was running.”
Did you encounter any roadblocks when launching your startup? If so, what were they and what did you do to solve them?
“We are a mother-daughter duo who immigrated to the USA from Poland 20 years ago in the pursuit of the ‘American Dream.’ Little did we know about the challenges, the struggles, the hard work that lay ahead. And yet, despite all the bumps in the road, our perseverance, work ethic, and always having each other’s back helped us prevail and always move forward together. 20 years later, thousands of personal and professional experiences stronger, with family and friends always at the heart and center of everything we do, we decided it was time to leverage our many diverse experiences and turn our passion for crafts and obsession with gifting into Mia Bella.”
Who is your target market? How did you establish the right market for your startup?
“Everyone in the USA between ages of 18-99.”
What's your marketing strategy?
“SEO and social media.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“SEO, social media, and word of mouth.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“# of products sold, website traffic, and Google reviews.”
What's your favorite startup book and podcast?
“‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’”
Is there a tool, app, or resource that you swear by to help run your startup?
“Canva and Shopify.”
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“That I need more patience.”
How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?
“Setting aside specific time to ‘unplug’ and spend time with family.”
What is a strategy you use to stay productive and focused?
“Set aside dedicated time to accomplish specific tasks.”
What was your first job and what did it teach you?
“Cleaning offices –- taught me work ethic and got me started in the insurance business.”
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