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Tsvetana is the founder and CEO of TRIVITYS, a small manufacturer in Berlin that produces healthy desserts and spreads. These are bio vegan, without added sugar, and without gluten. A small café is used as a showroom and establishes important contact with the end customer. Tsvetana was born and raised in Bulgaria. She came to Berlin to study economics 20 years ago and now lives in her adopted country. She worked in the financial industry for over a decade until an illness turned her life upside down. In March 2020 she took the big step into entrepreneurship and founded her own company.
Tsvetana, what motivated you to start your own business?
About 9 years ago I became seriously ill and it hit me like a blow. That's when I realized how precious health is. I decided to change my life, eat healthy and get in balance. And step by step, a business idea has developed from it. The final impetus came from a start-up funding programme, for which I had applied. I was contacted and reminded to submit my documents because my project sounded so exciting. That gave me a real boost of motivation and with the support I received, I started my business.
What was the biggest challenge you would have liked help with?
The most challenging topic internally was overcoming my own limitations and fears and jumping into the deep water. It was a completely a different area from what I worked in before. The financial background that I have is of course very beneficial for a company, but it's just not the core business. I first had to familiarize myself with food production, the processes and hygiene requirements. And getting information that is relevant to you is a huge challenge.
Can you tell us more about what you were afraid of?
It was probably the fear to fail, that my idea and mission don't work, that customers wouldn’t like what I offer. And not because my ego had required it, but because I am extremely behind my project. This is my life's work.
What motivated you during this time to overcome the fear or to tackle the other challenges?
Actually it was my migration background: I come from Bulgaria, and we have a different family culture. The family always sticks together very well. In fact, my family was by my side and gave me a lot of support. They believed in me and my idea unconditionally. No matter what I did, they supported me. That really gave me power. My cousin and my aunt worked actively for me. My aunt even made recipes for me. She once visited me in Germany and brought a self-made dessert. That was such a great feeling. On top of that, I had a start-up coach, she has been supporting me since 2017. She motivates me extremely. She pushes me, challenges me, and motivates me. That helps a lot!
What was a particularly special moment for you as a founder?
A special moment was the first trade fair appearance. That was long before the business started. That was amazing that I can't find the words to describe it. We had a stall and we had a huge queue, people were fighting for our cakes. That was an incredible moment. But also, when I'm in my café and customers are so happy about our delicious biscuits and products. When you see their eyes light up, those are the moments that make you happy.
What is your personal tip for women who want to start a business, especially with a migration background?
Follow your heart. Because I've had the experience that when you're in the flow then everything comes together. Of course, you have to make the effort, you have to work hard. But when you are following your heart, the right people come to you. The right doors open. But you also need perseverance. It doesn't matter if it's in flow or not, I think. Perseverance, perseverance, perseverance and best of all with a start-up coach by your side.
Thank you dear Tsvetana for your valuable insights!