Tsitaliya Mircheva is the founder of Mums in Heels and the creative director behind numerous films portraying iconic women and their lifestyle. Her passion is capturing a personality, a mood, and an experience into a beautiful story in words and visuals. Tsitaliya loves expressing herself through writing and visual story telling and her mission is to encourage women to find their unique way of expressing their talents, taking ownership of their life and their dreams. Tsitaliya has been working as a journalist for more than 20 years now and today helps women at any stage and age of life build an iconic personal brand.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I had been a trailing spouse for about 10 years, but I had some really intense career-focused years before I married and started a family. I worked in National Television as a reporter and presenter, before that in political PR and was quite busy freelancing for magazines and newspapers in Bulgaria where I am originally from. Moving to New York changed my life because I had to start all over again and I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of opportunities there. I knew I could do anything, but since there were so many choices, it was hard to decide! I knew I had a passion for writing and communications, so I started looking for a job in that field.
At that time it didn’t occur to me to start my own business, I was 26 and didn’t have the confidence. So I found a job in fashion which was exciting… but then we had to move again, this time to Zambia, Africa. I went back to freelancing as a writer and after three years had passed, we moved to Switzerland where once again, I had to start all over. This time however, I experienced an identity crises, I began wondering who I was and what I was doing there. It took me a while to fit into the new life and new society, and honestly I was fed up trying to integrate, fit in and learn a whole new set of societal rules.
So I made a choice to start taking ownership and responsibility of my own life, writing my own rules, creating a world around me that I fell in love with, A world where I surrounded myself with women like myself, with the same passion and energy for life. Women with a vision, curious and vibrant, women who wanted to push the boundaries and live an exciting life.
What became important to me was how I could start impressing myself not others, and feel inspired and engaged v.s. fitting in and being praised for being someone I wasn’t. This is how I figured out I needed a way to express myself and use my creative abilities, which led me to starting my own blog. I also started making short videos that were meant to become a series about iconic, self-made, wonder women.
I wanted to share their stories and how when life throws all kinds of challenges at us, how we as women, end up taking it upon our backs then having a nervous breakdown, because nobody taught us how to say no and protect ourselves. I wanted to talk about the wake up calls, the mentoring moments we experienced, our every day lives and that breakthrough moment when we wake up one day and start changing the mold, start daring to speak up on our own and become the role models that our children need. I wanted to talk about how women all have that potential – they just have wake up, see it, and learn how to use it. That was my goal and still is today.
Tell us about your business.
Mums in Heels is an online media platform, a hybrid between a blog and an online magazine that talks about all kinds of topics relevant to mature women who like to ask questions, read and make educated choices. At Mums in Heels we specialize in Personal Branding, Brand Visuals, Brand Storytelling and content strategies for social media and websites. We are also a team of creatives who like to come up with original solutions to promote artisanal products and craftsmanship.
We help women entrepreneurs and burgeoning brands craft their uniqueness and communicate their superpowers to the world. We help them share their stories to their ideal clients and make sure everything aligns with their values and vision.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
This month you can buy any of the A.G.E. Stop products using the code “mumsinheels”, which gives you a $20 discount per product. If you buy two products you will get a $40 discount or three in a set $60 discount. Read more about the product on a blog post I wrote.
Best Shopper of the year 😉 Supporting the local economy!
Where is your business based?
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I found a mentor, or maybe she found me. I am a creative person and lacked business experience, but I was ready to turn my hobby into a business, and when you are ready – things start to happen. Then I focused on the big picture and what I wanted to achieve with my life. Based on that, I started looking for people who could help me market myself and achieve my goals.
Growing your business takes time, it takes clarity, which comes when you evolve. Clarity comes as a result of making mistakes. I am quite certain today that without making mistakes, we can’t learn and grow, plus there are so many opportunities out there, but we must learn to recognize the right type of opportunities for us. As women, we tend to spread our energy across all kinds of different things, but lots of those things don’t bring us closer to our dream. There are great opportunities out there, but very often they are not OUR opportunities. Deciding which opportunities we want to pursue is the hardest, but one of the most important parts of growing your business.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
- Number one without a doubt is social media. I am not necessarily saying you have to sell through social media, but thanks to social media I built my community slowly and steadily. I have met some amazing people online who have became friends, loyal supporters, and ambassadors of my brand. They are the reason I keep doing what I do today.
- Number two is collaborations.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Time management and motivating other people to work for me. Today most people don’t see the value of the learning process, they only want to see the immediate reward, the final result. My father taught me that relationships and experiences are worth a lot more than immediate bank transfers.
How did you overcome these challenges?
Time management is hard when you are a parent running your own business. I still find there is little understanding, tolerance and support for women entrepreneurs who need childcare. You have to stay flexible and at the same time be motivated and focused every single day, because no one tells you what to do next. You have to figure everything out while you also manage your family, run a team of people who work for you and take care of yourself.
You keep making long lists of tasks trying to catch up every single day. But from time to time, it’s good to raise your head above all that and be able to see the big picture, the progress you’ve made and that one day your kids will be inspired and proud of you. So I manage my time by staying fit, exercising and putting strict boundaries between my work life and private life. I look for ways to switch off completely from technology and spend time only with my family. I am not that social any more, but I manage to recharge by spending time alone with myself and my family.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I have a support network of other women, who share the same passion, energy and values as me. I also have a Feel-Good Folder in my computer where I keep all the honest heart-felt feedback and emails I have received from readers and clients. It lifts me up because it reminds me that I actually have made a change in other people’s lives.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
The “secret sauce” of my work and what makes me unique include several things:
- My aesthetic which celebrates the beauty and the preciousness of life.
- The way I affect people’s lives outside of the business we do together; I encourage them to become more intuitive and soul-centered, to live and work inspired every day, my attitude to life is intoxicating, people feel motivated and super re-charged when they work with me, it is my signature. I like that my business has an emotional side.
- My approach to work is a combination of experience and improvisation to cultivate vigorous creativity that leaves old paradigms crumbling in the dust.
- I work with intuition.
- By encouraging my clients to trust their gut, to do some soul-searching, to reach out and really connect with who they are, to be honest and authentic when they create their brand image. I look for things to feel right on the inside which is why I like to ask. I strive for a meaningful and genuine way of communicating a brand as a personality.
- My attitude.
- What if every day was a Red Carpet day and we had finally achieved our next goal? Apply the same attitude you would apply to big important events to every day tasks. Because it is not about circumstances, it is about attitude and being able to find inspiration in the daily life.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” A Greek woman told me that quoting Abraham Lincoln. She is a space engineer, not yet a mum, but the perfect example of my community.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
The biggest kill for your dreams you saying “I am not ready” or waiting for the right moment when things are perfect. There is no perfect moment. If you want something, this is already the right moment. Listen to your gut and intuition. They really are your best friends, especially considering that being your own boss you have to make decisions all the time and are not able to ask for advice from anyone around you.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
- Google Analytics
- Time trade
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I’m learning about marketing, promotional tools and I am looking to build a team of committed writers and creative people. I want people who are passionate and motivated to grow and evolve, but also who think outside the box. If you want to be successful, you realize one day that you can’t do it all. Finding the right people for your team is really challenging.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goal is help more entrepreneurs and business owners understand the value of being honest and authentic in business, to give them permission to show up for their dreams, to do something about owning their life, to find their purpose and follow their own direction. I also want to make more movies sharing stories about inspiring women. I want to portray the good, the bad and the iconic, to show how one day in their every day life looks like.
The point is that we have to understand that no matter how glamorous it may look on the outside we have the same struggles (nannies, school, family dinners, parents meetings, fights over who throws out the garbage this week) and the same issues (bigger than Vogue: not thin enough, not beautiful enough, not successful enough), but we can’t allow the daily grind to destroy our big vision about life. So I’m looking for investors and sponsors for the films so I can put together my team and the vision and work on it, which of course I’m already doing without much of a budget, but that is the exciting part.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
FB Group Iconic Women
Hashtags #iconicwoman #iconicliving #femaleentrepreneur #momblogger #makeithappen #knowyourworth