Shush-Mush: From a hobby to an entrepreneurial endeavor?
We started our new column of the Entrepreneurial stories in the pleasant company of two young ladies responsible for the success of Sush-Mush blog.
787: Where did the idea for Sush-Mush blog come from?
Lejla: It all started very spontaneously. We were hanging out at my place and thinking how to creatively express ourselves, but not make it much of a burden for us. I had been already following some bloggers (Cupcakes & Cashmere, Love Taza, Cup of Jo) and I liked their way of writing and taking photos. It was both intimate and light. I loved starting my morning with a cup of coffee and their texts. Since I had a camera, we came up with the idea to also jointly start telling stories through photography, while being led by the desire to point out the work of interesting, good, creative and diligent people from our area.
Lea: Shush-Mush started as a kind of a creative blow-off steam. Both of us are jurists, and that profession can be very stressful, especially since chances to express your creativity are very limited. Being a big fan of fashion and aesthetics, the fashion blog was a perfect way to combine two great loves – for fashion and for photography.
787: Shush-Mush is a way to express your creativity, but over the time it became something more than just a hobby; it became, so to speak, an entrepreneurial endeavor. Did you expect such a turn of events when you first started?
Lea: Shush-Mush is a pure product of our love for fashion, photography and for all creators and innovators in general. We started this project with a heart and with no calculations, and we are very happy that our efforts have been recognized.
Lejla: Money was not our driving force. We knew that at moment of starting, our market did not recognize blogs as a media for any kind of advertising, so that it would enable anybody to really make a living out of it. In addition, our goal was not to “sell” a product or promote certain people for a compensation. We wanted to put a spotlight on creative people that we notice or know personally. As the blog developed, we were given more opportunities to advertise products that we use and facilities that we visit.
787: What are in your opinion key factors for the success of entrepreneurial ventures?
Lea: First of all, having idea is the first step towards the realization of entrepreneurial dreams. I think it’s very important to know what you want and to never give up. Of course, it’s very difficult to be innovative today, but as long as you’re doing the job with high quality, with love and in a creative way, the results will eventually appear.
Lejla: We are entirely doing things that we stand for, things that excite and inspire us. I take pictures of people who are interesting to me. I might even be a bit rigorous about this matter, but it is really important for me to spend a working Sunday in a good company. When we do something for a certain fee, that can be only a product that we use and like very much, or a place where we love to go ourselves. We are consistent with that attitude.
787: What is it like to be a woman in the entrepreneurial world?
Lea: The fact is that women today face many obstacles in hiring or starting their own entrepreneurial initiatives. We haven’t really come across negative experiences so far. On the contrary, we have been supported by both women and men.
Lejla: I agree with Lea. I haven’t had any negative experiences either. I can even say that in this branch women cooperate very closely and they support one another. I find undeveloped economy and low market demand as much bigger than gender issues. However, I believe that as a society we are open to all the ideas that are of service to the promotion, progress and development of our country. If we accelerate the flow of information and promotion of our creative scene outside B&H, then this is already a great success.
787: In which aspect do you see women entrepreneurship as being extremely important within the socio-economic reality of B&H?
Lea: Women around the world are often unaware of their rights and opportunities. Thinking about starting a business can be daunting, especially for women who face additional social barriers related to the traditional gender roles. Because of such gender divisions, unfortunately, most women are underpaid today, and they have almost no support from the institutions. Women are especially in need of stronger networking and mutual exchange of information and knowledge. That is exactly why women entrepreneurship can be one of the ways to reduce women’s unemployment through their self-employment. It can also be the source of creating new job opportunities and improving the overall economic picture of B&H.
Lejla: Research shows that societies where women hold responsible positions are more successful than those societies which are exclusively dominated by men. Women are more often team players, whose management is frequently more oriented to overall success, and not just on short-term earnings. Of course, this is not only a women’s quality, but they are the ones more interested in long-term concepts. Take us for instance. Above everything else, our blog to us is an artistic expression, way to rest, sociale and getting to know interesting and successful people who are excellent at what they do. I would like women to be a bit more courageous and to more often put their talent into a public space. That way somebody will most certainly recognize their engagement. I believe that everyone can create a job for themselves if they follow their own interests and talents, have the support necessary to realize their idea, and if they dare.
787: What would you recommend to young people who have an idea but are hesitant to carry it out?
Lejla: Well, first of all, if you have a hobby that you dedicate yourself to and invest your time and effort in, then you need to think about how this talent can be shared with a larger group of people, and why this would be interesting to anyone in the first place. In fact, I think the most important thing is to just start. That would be my advice.
Lea: If you have a vision it is most important to remain persistent and concentrated on the best realization of that business idea. And if you love what you do, you are surely taking path towards a good entrepreneurial story.
787: What are your plans for Shush-Mush blog in the upcoming period?
Lejla: We started the sale of skirts that we are delighted with. We personally love such cuts, and we wanted to offer a product that is beautiful, functional and elegant, but which also has a story to tell. We have entrusted the DES Company with the sewing of skirts. This company exists for more than 60 years, and performs the activities of training, rehabilitation and employment of disabled persons with the hearing and speech impairment. We love working with them. They are responsible, diligent and very professional. We would be very happy if every entrepreneur supported socially responsible work within their capabilities. It would be nice if entrepreneurs really thought about this at the very beginning, when starting a business, as if it was something that is implied. We would love to have our own store, where we would be able to turn our creative ideas into reality. Perhaps this is a long-term plan; having our own working place, collaborating with our friends, realizing the things that we really want…
Lea: In addition, Shuh-Mush is constantly growing and evolving. We are on the way to realize one of the ideas which will turn Shush-Mush into a networking platform useful for all creative people.