Innovator Insights: Zhanna Babchuk (@zhannabm) Founder & CEO of Poshare
Name: Zhanna Babchuk
Title: Founder & CEO of Poshare Twitter: @zhannabm
Zhanna Babchuck is the founder of Poshare, a multi-vendor Fashion Rental Platform enabling businesses and individuals to showcase, rent or sell their coveted designer apparel. Zhanna is also a member ofDreamers // Doers, a highly curated community of high-achieving trailblazing women who come together to support each other on their entrepreneurial paths. The community encompasses a diverse mix of female founders, women working at startups, and other female creators, change-makers, and influencers.
Me: Why are you an entrepreneur?
Zhanna: I grew up in Ukraine. Times have been tough and there has been chaos in the country after the USSR collapsed. I have witnessed businesses being built out of nothing, people taking risks and succeeding while those who chose to stay at the “safe job” experiencing a steady slow decline into uncertainty and near poverty. You had to be creative to provide for your family and leverage the time and opportunity. I have always admired those who were brave enough to go against the current, follow their passion and choose independence. Transitioning from a corporate job into an entrepreneurial environment felt like coming back home. It is stressful, uncertain but at the same time exciting, thrilling and satisfying when things finally fall into place.
Me: What problem would you like solved?
Zhanna: Careless consumerism. Women in the USA spend thousands of dollars each year on clothes, while studies show that only 30% will be worn more than 3 times. Not only it is financially irresponsible — it is also bad for the environment as all those clothes will end up in landfills. I have started Poshare to provide women with more affordable dress options, as well as increased “fashion mileage” for quality garments. I hope that sustainable fashion businesses will eventually put an end to fast fashion and careless consumerism.
Me: Advice you’d wished you’d had or had followed?
Zhanna: Entrepreneurship is a very stressful journey, many people compare it to a rollercoaster. A friend of mine recently told me that it’s best to treat entrepreneurship as a game. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose — life goes on, but you stay in the game. Don’t give up, do not take everyday stress too close to heart — simply change your strategy and move on. Eventually you’ll get there.
Me: What does success look like for you?
Zhanna: For me, success lays in being able to do what you love and certainly maintain a work-life balance. I would love to make an impact and do my part in making world a better place. Living a healthy and fulfilled life, spending time with your family and friends, having the desire and energy to learn something new every day: read, travel and dance when you feel like it.
Me: Who are your heroes?
Zhanna: Not to be cheesy, but my parents still remain my number one heroes. They managed to raise 2 daughters while taking care of their parents, both have careers and have been happily married for over 30 years. Everything worthwhile requires a lot of work and when I am about to give up, I often turn to them for inspiration. They maintained romance, friendship and mutual respect during the hard times and political turmoil. It really warms my heart to hear that they still often go to movies, concerts and theatre.. Love. Love. Love.
Me: What is your best discovery?
Zhanna: I am petite and although in Europe this wasn’t a problem, it has been really hard for me to find brands that would fit me in the USA. Two years ago I discovered that Asian sizes fit me perfectly, so now I shop online and often order from Korea, Hong Kong and Japan.
Me: What would the title of your biography be?
Zhanna: Following one’s dream requires quite a bit risk-taking so I would title my biography something like “Taking a Leap”. Whether we are talking about a new haircut, career change or moving continents — it takes a step, sometimes a leap. I enjoy changes so these could certainly be a highlight of a biography.
Me: What is your biggest regret?
Zhanna: No regrets really.
Me: Anything else we should know about (product launch, crowdfunding or marketing campaign, recent interview, job openings..)?
Zhanna: Poshare (posh+share) is a multi-vendor platform that offers designer dresses for sale and rent. Our vendors are boutiques, designers and wholesalers from across the USA — so when you shop with us, you are supporting small businesses. Poshare has partnered with the best dress rental businesses across the country in order to offer impeccable service along with a great selection of evening, prom, bridesmaid and cocktail dresses for sale and rent. Currently Poshare offers a selection of more than 80 luxury designers, including dresses by Marchesa, Carmen Marc Valvo, Donna Karan, Catherine Deane, Herve Leger, Adrianna Papell, Aida Mattox, Badgley Mischka and many others.
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