♦ Within a few months of operation, receipts exceeded 30 thousand euros ♦ The two entrepreneurs brought together more than 40 designers in the ALTRNTV community ♦ The prices of the products displayed in the store are on BD. Regina Elisabeta starts at 35 lei and goes up to about 1600 lei.
This year, Daniela Staiko and Alina Scibelia, two entrepreneurs interested in sustainable fashion and eco-friendly products, opened ALTRNTV, a store located in the center of Bucharest, in the place where the ticket office used to be in the former Bucharest cinema, on Queen Elizabeth Street.
The founders in the ALTRNTV community brought together more than 40 designers who manufacture clothing, shoes, accessories, cosmetics and home décor products from sustainable materials, and in less than four months after founding, they reached revenues of over €30,000.
He told ZF Claudia Staiko, co-founder of ALTRNTV Store.
“We are in the Bucharest cinema, where it used to be the ticket office. It all started with a document, we saw that there is no such store in Romania, then we wrote an application for financing and registered for a project for non-refundable financing. We looked for designers suitable for our profile and now have More than 40 designers we collaborate with. We are interested in their production process, but also in the packaging of the products. Basically, we are distributors, but we also have our own brand, Atelier Merci, with sustainable clothing products for women and children. July was our best month so far. Revenues exceeded 30,000 euros so far. The goal is to double them by the end of the year.”
The portfolio includes products from materials such as organic cotton, linen, wool or hemp, or products made from reused raw materials, such as candles made from used oils. At the same time, the entrepreneur mentions that some products in the store are made from pieces of old skateboards or consoles.
Claudia Staiko says that she and her business partner started working on this project at a time when prices were different from what they are now, which is why the investment to open the business was higher than expected, totaling €83,000, and the money coming both from non-reimbursable financing or from private sources.
The space leased for activity covers a total area of 170 m2, of which 100 m2 is already dedicated to the shop. The co-founder of ALTRNTV states that behind it is also the production unit of Atelier Merci, the private brand created by the two entrepreneurs.
The most in-demand products of the ALTRNTV range are accessories – earrings and jewelry, especially those made of recycled keys or ceramics, but also clothing products.
Product prices start from 35 lei and go up to about 1,600 lei.
“There is a perception that sustainable products are more expensive. But, if you compare a sustainable product with most of the products on the market, I think you can come to the conclusion that a sustainable product can be more sustainable,” Claudia Staiko emphasized.
She also says she has noticed that many of those who enter the store know what a sustainable product means, have purchased these products before and understand the process they go through. At the same time, there is a trend he indicated regarding foreign customers, who are already familiar with such products, unlike the Romanians, who are still in the process of discovering and understanding sustainable products.
“I had many foreign customers most afternoons this summer. In general, there are 50% foreign tourist customers and 50% Romanian, but the value of the shopping cart is different – Romanian spend about 300-400 lei, while a foreign customer ends up buying 1,000-1,400 lei.”
The best day so far in terms of sales, says the co-founder of ALTRNTV, was August 15, when receipts reached 7,000 lei.
Currently, the store operates only in physical form, in one place. Claudia Staiko claims that a website is scheduled to be launched next year, and the opening of a new website is still in the planning stage, which could be realized in at least two years. ALTRNTV Shop, as stated by the co-founder, has five employees today.
“Our responsibility is taken in several directions. First of all, the shareholder in our store is an association, and the profit goes to humanitarian projects. Second, it is important that you understand who the designers or manufacturers you work with and how they make the products, and you in turn impose certain conditions so that those products have Good effect on the environment.”
She considers that in order to bring about a change for the better with regard to caring for the environment in Romania, there are two main points that must be reached: the responsibility of everyone at home and at work and the presence of clearer laws, which punish or reward activities related to the environment.