Interview With Female Entrepreneur Monika Kozub

Interview With Female Entrepreneur Monika Kozub l Paperbeau

Hi Darlings, I recently had the chance to interview Monika Kozub. She is a major trailblazer for body positivity and girl power. Monika is the founder of Berlin Boudoir. The photographer, designer and illustrator uses her recourses to spread the message of body positivity. We chatted about all things about her business and the advantages and disadvantages of being a female entrepreneur. And her words of wisdom will totally inspire and empower you.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING EXACTLY?

I’m a photographer, designer and illustrator, using all my creative recourses to spread the message of body positivity and showing women that they don’t need to change anything to look beautiful. And I have my photos to prove that! Recently I also started giving advice on how to pose for photos, for free on my Instagram account, as I would like women to have this moment of self-appreciation, connecting with their bodies and their sensuality during the tough time of coronavirus lockdown. 

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA?

It was a process, but on the other hand, as I think about it, it was always in me. I just needed to discover my calling. I’m a woman who struggled for several years with self-consciousness about my body. And then, while taking portraits of other wonderful women I realized that so many of us, women, have the same problem, that somehow we believe we are not enough: not slim enough, not tall enough, not young enough, well you name it! I connected the dots: as a woman, I can understand what these women felt, and as a photographer, I could show them that they don’t need to worry, they’re beautiful just the way they are. I felt from the beginning that the sensual, intimate setting of boudoir would be the best for reconnecting with your body. As only seeing it unveiled from the clothes you can learn to appreciate it and accept it. Plus – it shows the natural powerful female sexuality when it’s not objectified for anyone else’s pleasure. That’s how Berlin Boudoir started. 

I’m a perfectionist myself, so for all of you who have the same problem: done is better than perfect, always. There’s nothing more important than starting, imperfectly as it may be, but you’ll learn things you would never have imagined if you would wait until you’re “perfectly” prepared. 

WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS, AND IS THIS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS?

Like most creative people, I never focused on just one aspect of creativity. I like to illustrate, design, write and interact with people. So I’ve had jobs and businesses connected with different aspects of creativity, but somehow it was always within the realm of visual arts and design. I finished the Academy of Fine Arts in my home town Kraków, Poland. I did my major in photography. Later on, I started with a PhD study in photography as well but never finished. I got caught up on more interesting aspects of life abroad and it never felt right to go back to my old university classroom just to finish it. 

WHAT SPECIFIC ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?

I’m a perfectionist myself, so for all of you who have the same problem: done is better than perfect, always. There’s nothing more important than starting, imperfectly as it may be, but you’ll learn things you would never have imagined if you would wait until you’re “perfectly” prepared. 

MY GREATEST OBSTACLE AND HOW DID YOU DEALT WITH IT:

Asking for money; I think women in general, but especially in creative sectors, have a huge problem with asking for money for what they do. Creative work may seem to others like a “hobby” but it’s work nonetheless if you want to be good at it, you need some serious preparations, investment of time, money and your talent. It helped to think that my service doesn’t need to be available like a cheeseburger at any time you want because it’s so cheap you just take the money out of your pocket and pay. No, my business is like a luxurious dinner you put money aside for several months, but you know that you’ll remember it forever. If people are open to save a couple of hundreds for a new phone, they can also save to pay for a private photo shoot, the photos will last forever, much longer than that phone! 

MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:

Making a woman smile after a photoshoot and tell me it is an experience she’ll never forget, and the feeling of empowerment and sensuality she’ll always remember whenever she’s looking at the photos.

Interview With Female Entrepreneur Monika Kozub l Paperbeau
By Monika Kozub

HOW I BLEND LIFE AND WORK TO CREATE THE LIFE I WANT:

There’s no easy solution here. I’m trying to figure it out on the way, just checking in with myself frequently if I’m still on the right track if I have my priorities right. For me, relationships with other people will always be more important than any work I do, as when a crisis comes people will help me go through it, not the work itself. 

I AM INSPIRED BY:

Women around me, my partner, my friends. I seek inspiration everywhere – books, films, series, music, podcasts. Even a walk in the neighbourhood can be very inspiring for me. Sometimes just letting your thoughts run wild is the best way to find new ways for creativity.

WHY I CHOSE THIS CAREER:

When I was around 5 years old I wanted my job to be a princess – I would work from 9-5 and come back home to my parents. When it later turned out it’s not that easy to apply for that role, I changed my mind and decided to become an artist. Nothing changed ever since.

HOW I PREPARE FOR SUCCESS:

Waiting for it to come! Haha, but seriously: of course success is a very nice way of showing you’re doing something that a lot of people find inspiring, interesting. But for me what matters is every single woman who tells me how happy she is with the photos I took, they might not mean much for thousands, but if they mean a lot for one person – that’s my success. 

DID YOU WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN? WAS IT AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR YOU?

I only wrote a business plan once; back in Poland, I applied for an EU grant to start my first photography business. It didn’t really help back then, as there were so many things I didn’t know about building a business at that time! Perhaps it could be useful for someone, but I never created one again.

Interview With Female Entrepreneur Monika Kozub l Paperbeau
By Monika Kozub

ARE THERE SPECIFIC ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES TO BEING A WOMEN BUSINESS OWNER?

Since there is no equality in pay, there are definitely disadvantages of being a female business owner. But, on the other hand, in my business the fact that I am a woman is my huge advantage: I know what women experience with the unrealistic body expectations presented towards them by mass media and advertisement. I’m aware there are some male boudoir photographers so it’s definitely possible, but the feminist perspective I have must be missing then. 

MY FAVOURITE BUSINESS TOOL IS…

Instagram. I know that a lot of people hate it, but I met thanks to it so many wonderful women, that I would have never met otherwise. I love building a community!

THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN IS…

Be yourself, don’t compare yourself to others. When you’re asking yourself: “What is the reason I’m doing this if many others are doing the exact same thing?”. The reason is that you have a unique perspective and it might turn out that others find your perspective interesting and inspiring. 

One thought on “Interview With Female Entrepreneur Monika Kozub

  1. Het blijkt dat waar ik tot nu toe naar op zoek was in dit artikel, ik ben erg blij om verschillende artikelen op dit blog te vinden, ik ben geïnteresseerd in je zin hierboven, naar mijn mening erg opbouwend, waarom? omdat je het in een taal hebt geschreven die gemakkelijk te begrijpen is. Dat is geweldig. veel dingen te leren. bedankt voor het delen

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.