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20 November 2023
Szklany sufit? We własnej firmie nie ma takiego pojęcia. Jak znaleźć odwagę i zmienić życie zawodowe z pracy w korporacji na pracę na swoim.

Learning to be humble
- Business beginnings of a lady from a corpo dreaming of her own business

The beginning of my business was full of challenges and difficulties, but it is these difficulties that have made me where I am today. Constant challenges and changes are part and parcel of my work, but I wouldn't swap them for a full-time job even for a moment!

In 2007, when I opened Drewniaczek.eu, I dreamt of being on my own and creating my own business. Working in a corporation, I felt that I was missing something, that I was limited in my possibilities. That's why I decided to take a risk and start on my own. Choosing an online wooden toy shop was rather random. I just wanted to get away. I had many other ideas - from running a restaurant with a friend, to considering business plans for nurseries, but in the end I chose the Wooden Toy Shop! 

I remember how difficult it was to balance a corporate job with looking after young children and, on top of that, creating something of my own. I would always come home tired, but instead of resting, I would start working on my shop. I would often fall asleep over my laptop, but I wouldn't give up. I knew I had to do everything myself - from ordering, to packing and shipping, to customer service.

If you go to Drewniaczek.eu, you might ask: but what is it all about? Where is the phenomenon? So yes... today this website may not look the best, but it is still profitable and has not been my main business for a long time. However, when I started in 2007, the market looked very different. There weren't many online shops. My shop immediately looked professional and modern for the time. It was something different and specialised. Children's magazines and portals quickly wrote about me, and I also appeared on breakfast television several times. I didn't have to pay for advertising, the press wrote about me themselves because they saw it as a great, ecological and educational idea.

However, I have to admit that in addition to the quick PR successes, I also had to learn humility. Imagine a posh corporate lady driving in a suit to a wholesaler to pick up goods, and then having to load everything she's bought from the ramp into a passenger car herself.... And this wholesaler, was not a posh shop, but rather a rather dirty and primitive warehouse on the outskirts of town. Back then, I repeatedly asked myself: what am I doing here and why?

Then I came up with this maxim: not everyone would like to be the owner of Drewniak, but the owner of Merlin, yes!  However, years later, let's take a look at where Merlin is and who still knows it. I know plenty of companies who are still suing Merlin for unpaid dues. Perhaps it is better to be a small shop owner? As they say... you can't get wet eating with a spoon, but you can with a ladle...

I gave up the elegance of my suits in favour of a storekeeper's outfit, but it was worth it. My business slowly started to grow and gain popularity. People started to appreciate my products and the quality I offered them. Now, years later, I can proudly say that I was successful.

OK, it was 2007, and what came next? Then in 2010 I started the adventure of distribution and wholesale. In 2014 I bought back the Smartoys.co.uk shop and distribution, and in 2018 I took over the Ekomaluch.co.uk shop. I took over both businesses, Smartoys.co.uk and Ekomaluch.co.uk, from super women entrepreneurs who no longer wanted to continue running their businesses. They were such peaceful, friendly takeovers where both sides were winners.

Although it was difficult to start from scratch, it was these difficulties that got me where I am today. My company is not just an online shop and wholesale business, but also a place where I fulfil my dreams and passion. With my own company, I have the freedom and opportunity to shape my future.

If you have a dream and a passion, don't hesitate to take a risk. Remember that the beginnings can be difficult, but it is worth fighting for your dreams. I am the best example of this.

29 April 2024
A few years ago I read a book called Diary of a Bookseller, by Shaun Bythell. I haven't refreshed my reading of it now, but what stuck in my mind
22 April 2024
Have you ever wondered who decides to open a children's shop, be it online or in a traditional shop? Well, it turns out that the situation is quite typical all
02 April 2024
I have always dreamt of running my own business. Back in high school, in the 1990s, I helped my Dad do the bookkeeping for his company. Back then, the bookkeeping


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