Deedivine is a startup and fashion brand based in Prague, Czech Republic. Deedivine offers tailor-made skirts with pockets, bowties and pocket squares. With a portion of their earnings, the startup supports non-profit projects. To find out more about the startup, read the interview with the co-founder Denisa Dědičová.
How do you define yourself? Who are you?
My name is Denisa and I love to do things which make sense to me. Doesn’t matter the field, but it has to be something I’m interested in. I’m a teacher and mentor in personal & professional development. Deedivine is my fashion skirts brand. I like activities which can help people, make them grow and feel happier.
What inspired you to start Deedivine?
Deedivine officially started in August 2016. I was always wearing this type of skirts, but I wasn’t satisfied with the offer in shops. I love colors and it was impossible to find some design I would like to wear. Then my mother asked me why I didn’t sew them on my own? “Well, because I don’t know how to do it?”, I said. And she looked at me and answered “Well, I know how to make them and I can teach you!”. So I learned how to sew them. When my friends started asking where I bought my skirts, my boyfriend saw this as a business opportunity and convinced me to create our own fashion brand.
How did you build your team? What advice would you give other founders?
I founded Deedivine with my boyfriend. And it’s working well. We only had to make some things clear from the beginning. One of our rules is: we will not give “unrequested advice” to each other.
Martin is the systematic person and I’m the creative one. Martin works with numbers and I work with design, cloth, and ideas. We match perfectly. Thank God, he oversees everything, because if he wouldn’t there would be still only ideas and not much execution.
I’m convinced that when you create a team you have to be sure about your skills, strengths, weaknesses and then look for somebody who will be your complement. This is the reason why we work with three more wonderful people, because we are no experts in graphic design, marketing or video editing.
How does your daily work routine look like?
Checking emails and talking with our clients are some of the main activities, because it is really important for us to make them happy. Another daily activity is updating our social network channels (Instagram and Facebook). If we have orders ready, then I have to prepare everything to deliver: ironing the skirt, make a handwritten message to each box, wrap the boxes and other tasks. I like it.
You mentioned that you are supporting NGOs. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Yes, we do. I like to help people who need it. Twice a year, we create limited edition products and use the profits to support conconrete projects of NGOs.
For example, last year in November we worked with Loono who teaches young people how to properly examine themselves to discover any potential changes in time and prevent cancer. We produced a moustache collection of skirts, bow ties, pocket squares and bows, representing Movember. This experience was great!.
A similar story happened with the NGO of Veronika Kašáková who works with children raised in care homes. Usually, people think that these children need only stuff and clothes. It’s not totally true. Like Veronika, who was raised in children’s home said, they need much more education and mentors and it’s something that costs money.
What would you change or keep of your entrepreneurial journey? Any mistakes or failures you had to deal with?
What I would love to keep is my enthusiasm. It didn’t change much from the beginning, but it’s something that we shouldn’t take for granted.
And what I would change? Good question, I think not much… we had no big failures. We planned everything very well and we both had already experiences with businesses. We were ready for these laws and taxes things where people usually fail the most. But ask me next year, maybe we are failing right now and we still didn’t find out! 🙂
Do you have any videos, books or podcasts that inspired you or have been crucial for your success?
I love Simon Sinek and his book “Start with Why” or “Leaders eat last”. He is really inspiring. Also, you can watch ted.com, where you can find very interesting speakers and decide who is most inspiring for you. Other examples are Dan Pink who speaks about motivation, Mihaly about flow, Dan Gilbert about decisions and happiness. And I would recommend the book called “The End of Procrastination”. It’s full of great and practical tools.
What would you recommend aspiring entrepreneurs?
I would say that they must count what they need to start their projects. I meet a lot of people that have brilliant ideas, but they don’t know how much money they need, how many people they need to make it happen, and most of all how much time they will spend on it. You must keep accountability of these data to make it work.
And second thing? When you start your own business you won’t have a personal life anymore. You think in your job all the time, you work all the time. You must be aware of it.
And in terms of daily habits, what would you recommend them?
Sleep well, take a rest when you feel you need it and set rules in your daily life. Try to don’t have something called “optimism bias” – feeling you can do more, earn more, etc. – it’s good to be objective to yourself. It will help you to plan better.
If you have a good plan, you can be more productive and effective as well. If you have more than one project use Trello, which is perfect to be organized. If you are an app lover, try Forest for better concentration.
What are the next steps for Deedivine and what is your long-term plan?
We’ll start to sew more types of bow ties and pocket squares, because Deedivine proudly became a member of Czech Bowtie Club. Also, we received many requests to sew some original tops to match with our skirts. As we want to create everything custom-made it’s quite challenging, but we’re working on it. Furthermore, we are planning some other projects with new NGOs.
When we started, we decided to make only an e-shop to avoid all the compromises that involve having a physical store. We don’t regret this decision, because we are able to reach more people via the internet. Anyways, in the future we would like to open a store and expand to neighboring countries.
How can aspiring entrepreneurs reach you?