Inspiring women are go-getters. They make things happen. They live life with no regrets. They are learning about themselves and reaching their full potential. They are not afraid to take risks and just go for it. This month I talked to Victoria Burlacu from Faber Novella. She went from her role in the corporate world to setting up a bespoke shoe brand which focuses on delivering a custom made service with personality. It’s been a hard road but her dream is coming true.
1. How did you get to where you are now?
I was working in the telecom industry and loved being part of a start up environment and seeing the impact of my work. However, I kept thinking how I can do something like this for myself. Out of personal need, I was looking for a pair of shoes that would be bespoke to me but not at the designer’s price range. As I’m always looking for ways to educate myself, I also signed up for a MBA course at that time. The course really made me think more about my purpose and triggered the idea of Faber Novella even more. I thought to myself that if I started a business, it would have to be right then while everything was fresh in my mind and the business would have to be something I’m passionate about.
I always loved fashion. Growing up in Moldova during Soviet times, there was not a lot of variety of fashion available in the stores, but at the time, tailoring was fairly accessible. I got my first bespoke tailored suit when I was fourteen. Every year I would acquire one new piece; I did not have a vast wardrobe like we have today, but the few custom-made tailored pieces I had were very special to me; they were uniquely mine.
And so when I was looking for bespoke pair of shoes, I had my aha moment. I wanted to offer similar service to the one I remember from my childhood. And that’s how Faber Novella came about.
2. What is the concept for Faber Novella?
At Faber Novella, we offer bespoke shoes that fit perfectly each customer and are exceptional quality. We seek to preserve the art of Italian shoe making, protect the country’s unrivaled savoir-faire, and in doing so, treat our customers to the true finesse of Italian craftsmanship. In times when renowned brands are moving production further East, we are planting our roots in Italy by working with local businesses, suppliers and designers in the most transparent manner. Each of our shoe is individually hand-crafted in a small, family-run atelier in Vigevano that has been producing premium quality shoes for decades.
3. What was your biggest challenge when setting up Faber Novella?
I find that retail is changing. With that, there are new challenges which I need to adapt my strategies to. I find that demand is driven by consumer’s needs. I had to figure out what we are about as a brand first before going into the customer stage where we build customer relationships through constant feedback and dialogue.
3. How did you overcome the fear of failure and any insecurities you had?
I reached a point where I just went for it. My passion took over and any doubts I had were suppressed by positive thinking and trying to make a difference.
4. What would you say to anyone who is thinking about setting up a business? Any tips?
Learn as much as you can about your product. It took me almost two years to find the right suppliers who would help me to bring my concept to life. Also, follow your instinct and listen to your gut. If something is nagging you, just walk away from it.
Please support Victoria and visit her website to find our more about her beautiful products.