Name: Anya Ostapenko

Age: 33

Location: Sydney, Australia

Current Title / Company: Owner/Designer of Bride La Boheme 

What was your first job out of university and how did you land that position? 

I actually always wanted to do medicine at uni, and was doing ok getting there. But then I met my husband in last year of uni. I have studied nursing as a way to try to get into medicine after that and as means to be having some income in the meantime. Creativity doesn't wait, and I started thinking of my own brand the first year out of Uni. That is when Bride La Boheme was born. 

What inspired you to create your business? 

My own wedding! I have been distressed by the lack of interesting accessories, and buying overseas was the only option at that time. So, I started thinking about something of my own taste and likes, and what would I wear.

Take us through a day in the life of your business? 

My life is extremely hectic at the moment, as I have a 3 year old son and an 8 month old daughter!  After looking after the kids, washing up and other things that you have to do being a mother, I put kids to sleep and answer numerous emails, sketch new ideas, make the actual pieces and package things to ship the next day ! So its literally crazy , so massive respect to all the working passionate mothers out there that wouldn't do it any other way :)

Has anything surprised you about the journey to creating your business?  Yes, how easy it is to work when you love what you do ! 

Obviously, your business has grown! So, let's talk money. Tell us about the intimidating process of finding funding for your business. Any advice for women who need to find funding for their own startups?

Yes, it is extremely intimidating not knowing when or even if you will succeed, but when there is an idea that you sleep, eat and breathe, I don't think theres ever a choice. In my situation, it was never a choice, i just had to get it out of my system.
The only advice is, do not spend money trying to figure out your style, as it's going to cost you! Instead, spend longer thinking about your style and pin every single image that inspires you on Pinterest, and only then try to get the best of the best businesses to be involved in creating your brand. Basically, it pays off hiring an amazing photographer to shoot your first collection, and in my opinion, imagery is 95% of the brand that sells online.

Your business has developed quite a following. Can you tell us a little bit about marketing your business? How did you spread the word? 

I think having a beautiful product that was photographed amazingly is everything these days, so it advertises itself. Then collaborations are hugely important and reaching out to many people that are equally creative and adventurous in their ideas is always fun! 

What do you think is the key to the success of your business? My absolute and utter devotion and persistence.

Best advice you ever received? I'm still waiting for it, I just do what feels right to me first of all.

I wish I knew... more about graphic design and how to use Illustrator and Indesign.

What is your coffee order? Flat white, no sugar. 

TV show do you wish was still on the air? Oh gosh, I don't have time to watch TV, but when I do I want more Game of Thrones! All the time!

Next travel destination? I want to go back to Africa , but I am going to Bangkok in few weeks on business trip with husband.

What advice would you give your 23 year old self?  Do not waste time and have children now.