When a child comes into a woman’s life, everything changes, especially priorities.
In this inspiration, we got to discover the story of Liliana Dima, a woman whose passion for motherhood awoke her entrepreneurial side and created a successful baby brand, Buva Boutique.
More than that, this unique story uncovers some of the hardships many small business owners have to endure. Liliana tells us her story and how she managed to turn the problems into fruitful assets that helped shape and grow her brand.
Tell us about your company; what is Buva Boutique all about?
Buva Boutique is an e-commerce brand based in Romania. I founded it in 2014 with the goal of creating high-quality quilts for babies.
It has definitely been a rollercoaster ride. From the beginning, I had lots of energy and desire but was lacking the necessary knowledge. I knew what I wanted to do and so I decided to just jump into the world of modern quilts.
What are they? Bedding blankets in 3 layers, patchwork designed patterns with multiple patches sewn together to create a light cover used in spring and summer.
And how did it all start? What inspired you to go into this line of business?
Upon returning to my job after my maternity leave, I did not feel the drive and purpose like I did before.
So, this was the moment when I had decided to end my 20-year banking career and find my passion. This is where the spark that ignited Buva Boutique came from.
I was still in this idyllic state from being a fresh mother. This is how I knew that I wanted to do something where I could invest my energy into something that could transmit my love for my new role, being a mother.
I began learning about the aspects that went into making quilts and let my artistic side go wild. With the limited variety of products available in the market, I knew this was my niche and the place where I could differentiate my brand to successfully enter the market.
Tell us about your products; how are they different from other baby products available in the market?
As a mother, you only want the absolute best for your child. And this is what I wanted for Buva Boutique. I wanted Buva Boutique’s baby blankets to be top quality, soft, warm, and cuddly, just like motherly love.
I began working with beautiful fabrics from famous American designers. This is how my niche started to form.
But as it happens with many niche markets, demand is limited and so is your room to grow.
What challenges did you face? How did you handle them?
After 2 years in business, I was hungry to grow, but my current niche had limitations.
A friend suggested I expand my line of products into all-day baby products. I also started visiting international baby products trade shows all over Europe. Here I found new high-quality textile suppliers to help me expand my line of business.
In addition, I find it important to mention that baby product businesses face more challenges than other textile products geared toward adults.
Why is that?
Many regulations are imposed on products for the protection of the consumers. When it comes to babies, the standards are even higher. In Europe, textile products are subject to regulations that ensure they are safe for use by infants.
Now, all textile products on Buva Boutique carry either The Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX Certificate or a GOTS Certificate.
Can you tell us more about these certifications? How did they change your brand?
The Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX is a worldwide certification system for all raw, semi-finished, and finished textile products. To obtain this certification, your textile products undergo testing and need to be free from more than 100 substances known to be harmful to human health.
This is extremely important for Buva Boutique products. Baby's skin is very sensitive. Therefore, I only aim to work with textiles that ensure the safety of end-users. Using substances that are bad for humans evidently can also be toxic for our planet. In the end, I aim for all my products to be rid of potentially harmful chemicals.
The GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification can be obtained in 2 versions depending on the product. First, there’s the GOTS “made with organic” label. Products with this label must contain a minimum of 70% organic natural fibres.
Then there’s the GOTS “organic” label. This label requires products to have a minimum of 95% organic fibres.
The GOTS certification also takes into consideration the entire textile process; including fair labour practices (no child labour), no toxic substances, wastewater management, etc.
As my business grew, I knew that I wanted Buva Boutique to now only offer high-quality products, but also clean and sustainable products. In the end, what’s good for our planet has to be good for our babies.
How did packaging fit into your sustainability values?
When it came to packaging, I knew I needed something that was delicate-looking, but also very sturdy, enough for transportation.
I wanted the appearance to be connected to my baby products. Gorgeous, soft, and dainty, so it evoked a loving unboxing experience.
We use custom packaging from Packhelp for almost all of our products and we use 3 different types of packaging:
I also loved the process of designing the boxes. It was super easy to use Packhelp's dieline and let my imagination loose with all of the elements I wanted to incorporate. Once done, I could simply upload the design and see my dream packaging come to life. I also loved the Online Editor. It is perfect for simpler designs or when you’re in a hurry.
Overall, I was beyond satisfied with the results of my packaging. As an online brand, packaging allowed me to extend my relationship with my customers, and give them a complete experience into what Buva Boutique is all about.
How do you see the future of Buva Boutique? Do you plan to grow?
We’re currently on plans to expand outside of Romania. Since we’re pretty well known in our market, we think it’s now time for Buva Boutique to enter other markets. We plan to attend international trade shows, as exhibitors this time to start testing the waters.
This also means that we will need more packaging! We’re looking forward to continuing to collaborate with Packhelp and keep creating packaging that supports our brand.
We’re already thinking about Paper Cans, Tissue Paper, and Paper Bags as new packaging products to enter the Buva Boutique family. Packhelp is and will be a very important element for the expansion of Buva Boutique.
- It’s never too late to start again. No matter what stage you are in life, take your chances and start the business of your dreams.
- Challenges can be turned into competitive advantages. Liliana used regulations as a way to find certificates that upgraded her products.
- Use multiple types of packaging to complement your different products to boost your brand identity. Remember, the packaging of your products is marketing that reaches 100% of your customers.