Home Business Heroes, in association
Home businesses generate £284bn of the UK's GDP, making
them the true heroes of our economy. So to continue Smarta and Viking's celebration of
these brave entrepreneurs, we tracked down Lenka Gourdie, founder
Name: Lenka Gourdie
Can you sum up your business?
BagServant.co.uk is a handbag online search engine with
inspirational and advisory handbag editorial and a free concierge
service. Perfect for all handbag lovers to be inspired, advised and
shop with their favourite retailers.
What were you doing before?
My background is in business development, sales and marketing.
I worked in a variety of industries from fashion,
manufacturing chemical pumps to coaching and headhunting. My last
job was for Kingston University as the Business Development Manager
responsible for commercialisation of the educational industry.
How did the idea come about?
I always loved fashion, especially handbags and shoes. However,
my real passion for handbags was born when my husband bribed me
with the promise of a new designer handbag so that I would take a
helicopter trip on our honeymoon in Hawaii. Since then I started
buying designer bags and noticed all the lovely selections in the
market. I treat my bags like my best friends and carefully choose
them for every special occasion. I believe a woman's status comes
from her handbag and shoes. BagServant.co.uk was actually born out
of 2 passions - technology and love for handbags.
How did you fund it?
We are fully self- funded.
How did you market it?
We are using varied online marketing methods from social media,
online PR and blogging to search engine marketing.
How did you build a list of clients?
Our clients are handbag shoppers. As we are an online
service, we use digital marketing and social media to drive the
traffic to our website.
Do you have set working hours?
Not officially. We have a few freelancers who come to our house
a few days a week but I now have a daily routine. However, I can be
more flexible at the weekends.
How do you make sure you're focused and never get distracted at
It may sound strange but I probably get more distractions in the
office environment than at home. I love making teas and coffees, it
is the only distraction for me apart from my local squirrel and
pigeon, which I tend to feed occasionally.
What was it like at the start?
I actually think that the beginning was easier than it is now.
Having a change from the office environment was nice. However, I am
a people person and I love the buzz. At the beginning I had a part
time job that got me out of the house, so I had the best of both
worlds. Plus my co-founder used to work from home. The transition
from the office environment was not too bad at the start but I have
been working from home for just under a year now and I really miss
the office buzz. I tend to go to Starbucks to work from there when
What's the worst thing about working from home?
For me the worst part is being on my own a lot of the time, and
not being able to work in a fancy office. I actually like the
office buzz plus the travel to the office (occasionally). It
focuses my mind on other things and it is usually "my thinking
time". I need to make sure that I go for a walk every morning for
at least 30 min to focus my mind.
What's the best?
The flexibility. I love exercise, I can go to the gym when I
want to or do other things during the day as opposed to
Would you ever go back to working in an office not at
My goal is to work in an office. Ideally in the City or
Shoreditch. I think the office and the location are important to
feel the buzz and get motivated.
For more information about BagServant, click here
Home Business Heroes, in association