Dasha Kichuk founded in 2018, together with her husband Ilya, Effa Corp., a company that creates recyclable and sustainable hygienic products. The idea to build a business in eco-friendly hygienic products sprouted from hotel visits, where people are being offered small toothbrushes which are being disposed of after usage. As global pollution is something that Dasha and her husband are strongly concerned about, they have thought of a sustainable solution: Effa offers toothbrushes and razors made from paper. At this moment, their portfolio is limited to these 2 products, but the goal is to add new products in the future.
Effa has its offices in Kiev, a location that at these very times makes doing business extremely difficult. But Dasha stays positive and tries to overcome the day-to-day challenges that she is currently being faced with. When talking to Dasha, I have noticed a remarkable resilience and positive mindset, which I believe will help her and her company to overcome these difficult times.
Dasha firmly believes in the importance of design to promote your product. A product needs to be visually attractive, otherwise consumers will not be inclined to buy it. Before starting Effa, Dasha’s husband has been an industrial and brand designer whose products were sold in Apple stores all over the world. He brings thus a lot of experience in this field, which is certainly noticeable when visiting the Effa website and discovering the sleek design of their products.
Effa hasn’t been very active on social media yet, until now most of their sales has been generated from PR related activities. However, as the company is targeting to be more active in the retail market, Dasha and her team have started to be more active on social media channels like Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Dasha’s favorite social media channel however is Medium, where she likes to share stories with her followers and invests in building a community. Writing is for Dasha a therapeutic experience, sharing her thoughts with her readers takes some of the ‘burden out of her chest’ and enables her to stay positive and focused on her business.
Investing in R&D is not a priority for Effa at this moment, given their limited budget. Their first goal is to make sure the company survives this difficult period, which they will attempt by entering new international markets.
You can only admire such strong willpower and optimism. Or to put it in Dasha’s own words: ‘Even when horrible things are happening, still you have to chase your dreams’.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS (see clickable version on www.cmo-stories.com)
[00:45] Who are you and what does your company do?
[02:40] You're unique with this product in the world, aren't you?
[03:17] Where can people find your products?
[04:04] What are you doing to overcome the challenges that you have now?
[06:17] How big is your team? And where are they located?
[07:00] How do you organize your work?
[07:58] How do you manage the challenges of working and being a mom at the same time?
[09:27] How do you do your promotion? How do people know about the existence of your product? And what are the other things that you are doing?
[12:24] Are you also doing actions of the campaign on social media to approach possible investors, clients, and partners?
[18:33] Is there a campaign that you did or a tool that you're using that worked well for you and that you can share with other entrepreneurs and marketers?
[21:05] Do you have a measurable goal or something that you want to reach in the coming years? Are there new products that you're going to develop?
[24:35] What would be the best channel to connect with you?
“Things are happening day to day. Sometimes it can be that you are afraid to wake up because you don't know what else will happen.”
“If you're looking at this situation from the outside, it can seem really hard. But when you are inside of the situation, you just have to stick with it.”
“Part of our mission to the world is to make eco-friendly products beautiful and trendy so they will get people's attention and people will buy them more and that's how we can impact our planet.”
“Even when horrible things are happening, still, you have to chase your dream.”
The 5k Challenge for Solopreneurs