You mentioned that it's inevitable even for the owner of a business to make mistakes. Are there any that you can recall in particular?
Sometimes I think the biggest mistake is putting the wrong employee in a management role. Like the cook or financial director, which is actually a very important position. The person isn't really qualified for the role and it's hard. You know you have to do something, to make a change. And that's very hard, but you have tell yourself, "You have to do this, you have to fix it." The person may be very nice, very kind, but you have to consider professionalism.
And there was another thing.... actually, it wasn't our idea. We were working with someone's company, and he had an idea – a good one, actually, but we just weren't prepared for it. He decided to make a subscription service for wine sets: 3 bottles – red, white, and rose. We made these really beautiful boxes for them. It was supposed to be a low cost venture. The guy whose idea it was didn't think it would be a very difficult process, but it turned out to require a lot of staff.
All the packaging and shipping...
Exactly. A lot of people. But it was only Valeria [the PR manager] All laughing. It was very hard. And we made such beautiful boxes. Valeria prepared the texts about wines wines and grapes. It was very beautiful and it all cost a lot of money. That was that. Right when we started, we realized we didn't have enough hands.
Would you try it again in the future?
No. Everyone laughs. First of all, I don't feel any passion for that. It's not my business, and I don't really understand it. For sure, some people can earn a lot of money doing that. But it isn't a business I understand at all. Secondly, it's a different business entirely, a totally different market.
There isn't that face-to-face connection.
That's right. Oh, and one more mistake – about Sosedi. We wanted it to be a breakfast place, and the egg dishes went just fine, but in the evening people want to drink wine. So, that aspect of the concept fell short. So, it was our mistake that we've since been correcting by focusing more on the wine and beer part. When you feel that something is wrong, you have to make very quick decisions. You can't wait.
It takes a lot of wisdom to have the strength to make those decisions. To know where to stop.
Speaking of knowing where to stop, how do you find balance between work life and personal life? Because we have to stop on a daily basis, too.
Laughing. My personal life is veeery intensive. My personal life is also here. People who work here will tell you that it's my life. We all work here every day. Not from the morning, because we open at 12:00. I'm always home at eleven or twelve o'clock. I'm married; I have a husband. We're together Saturdays and Sundays. But, during the week, I don't have any time. And it's not like I'm going, "Oh, poor me, I have no free time." No, for me it's my life. As I told you, I meet a lot of people here. It's something I like to do. It's not like an obligation. It's not like every morning you go, "Oh, I have to go to work.…" That's not what it's like. I really want to go.
Of course, I don't have a lot of time to see my friends and relatives. But that isn't a problem for me. I have vacations. In winter, I have 10 days off, and I'll go skiing and see my family. We do it every year. We all go somewhere together, my sister and mom and my husband's parents.
And how does your husband feel about your schedule, only having weekends together?
Weekends! I'm always telling my husband that that's when places are open, that we have to go check them out! Laughing. So I try to make Saturday and Sunday when we go somewhere together to try something new. Either to the cinema, the theater, with friends or just us, taking walks.... We don't spend much time at home, so we have a lot of things to do... exhibitions and stuff. But, most of all, I really like food. So, whenever we go on vacation, I make sure to keep an eye on restaurants.
It's not work, it's what I really love.