Home Business Heroes: Lenka Gourdie

Name: Lenka Gourdie

Business: BagServant.co.uk

Location: London

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.

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How do you make sure you're focused and never get distracted at home?

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 I can.

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 weekends.

Would you ever go back to working in an office not at home?

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

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