Melli x Startaj Croatia 2021.
Ahead of the third season of the Startaj Hrvatska project, I am sharing with you Melli behind the scenes of the 2nd season project of the same name! The project of the large shopping chain Spar Hrvatska will be shown again this year on Nova TV and will show us new inspiring stories of Croatian small entrepreneurs. Before we start, I invite you to apply if you are a small entrepreneur and dream big!
In this blog, I bring you what you haven't seen or heard on our social networks, but what I myself didn't know until recently. I decided to share the behind-the-scenes story with you because our motto is an honest and transparent approach to you, and we would be very happy if you would see our story as motivating, if it would encourage you to sign up for the Start Croatia project!
Time rollercoaster of events in 2021:
02/2021 - we applied to Startaj Hrvatska with a completely new product line
03/2021 - we started looking for a new space that will connect the laboratory and the store
04/2021 – design and renovation of a new space in Samobor, refinement of the formulation of the Eco line
05/2021 – my extraordinary dismissal in Germany and for the first time I work 100% only for Melli
06/2021 – in the middle of the project, we found ourselves in 2 moves, simultaneously obtaining the necessary licenses for new products and extensive documentation
07/2021 – mom moved from the family home, and I moved to Samobor with my daughter over the summer
08/2021 – the first hire of an external laboratory that will help us deliver large quantities
09/2021 - product placement on blue shelves and official presentation - the project is LIVE!!!
10/2021 - my return to Germany, the third kindergarten in the same year, a series of consecutive trips by all possible means of transport between Samobor and Augsburg.
11/2021 – showing of our show and the first promotion of the Eco line of laundry products in Interspar and the opening of the SPA shop in Samobor
12/2021 – Final Startaj Croatia: WE HAVE A CONTRACT!!!
Typing the blog, I relive the turbulent year that is behind us, and I also remember the daily filming for the project, documenting everything that was needed to successfully complete the project. There were late-night gatherings in the laboratory, and we had to keep everything a secret for a long time until the moment the project saw the light of day on Nova TV.
During the entire project, life also happened - we were faced with previously unknown questions, new situations, emotions that we learned to deal with. Nothing happened overnight either - we entered the project with an idea that was 3.5 years old. Melli counts even 8 years of existence and basement beginnings and home craftsmanship on the way to blue shelves in the market leader - Spar.
The desire for our own detergent and fabric softener has been smoldering in us for a long time, and at home we tried the products that mom made. In the hope that one day we will have the opportunity to market the Eko collection in Croatia - we applied for the Startj Croatia project.
Did we think we knew what awaits us after applying for Startaj? Yes, but that was far from what actually happened. Have we asked ourselves if it is the right time to introduce the Croatian Eco line and change opinions about detergents and fabric softeners? THAT! Did we have to go from a worker's mindset to an entrepreneurial one? THAT!
These are just some of the many questions we had, and today I know the answer to: Was it worth it and would we apply again?
My first reaction to Mr. Fenzlo's question in the finale: "What if you don't get the contract?" was that Melli might not exist anymore, aware of the path so far without such a great partner, invested and returned. Even though I actually knew we weren't going to give up even then, I instinctively reacted out of fear that this would all just disappear, after it took us so long to get to this point. It wasn't just once that we both wanted to give up, but such moments pass quickly and you always keep going.
When you're an entrepreneur, it's harder for you to give up on your idea and business than to keep going despite the difficulties along the way.
What did we learn in the project?
We have made sure that we continue to do what we love because we both want to make people aware of the importance of turning to a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle and point out the benefits if we turn to natural and eco products.
We know that we can contribute to positive changes in society because we have convinced ourselves that it is possible to change for the better. Aware that the growth of our own brand requires personal growth that is both painful and instructive, we have accepted everything we have experienced and learned: when we act from good, from burning passion and love, we can make this world a more beautiful place to live.
The people who surrounded us, the wonderful entrepreneurial colleagues, the professional help from Spar is the most valuable thing that we received by applying for the project. The support, help and positive energy that was born last year convinced us that hard work pays off and that achieving goals is more valuable when you have quality people around you.
We see room for gradual education of the general public about the benefits of eco-products for laundry, about their impact on our skin, clothes, washing machines and the planet. We take responsibility and will do our best to fulfill our mission.
Our promise is to offer quality products, create useful and informative content, research innovations in the market and influence good changes in society. With promotions in Spar and continuous communication, we can help you to change the world together with us - for the better, for the cleaner.
The opportunity we received last year through the Startaj Hrvatska project is unique and life-changing. With Spar as a partner, we have been given the opportunity to change your life for the better, starting with laundry, which will help you reach a home without harmful chemicals. And believe me, a greener home is a great start for a more conscious and quality life.
Are you ready for new victories and application for the Start Croatia 2022 project? I look forward to watching you and watching your growth!
Until next reading,