LANA HOPKINS: Purse Princess
Femme Info: Mon Purse www.monpurse.com Instagram: @mon_purse
1. WHAT DO YOU DO AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT IT?
I am the Founder & CEO of Mon Purse. At Mon Purse, you can design or personalise your one of a kind luxury handbag or clutch. Our craftsmen hand make your bespoke creation in Europe, immaculately package it in a silk dust bag and deliver it anywhere in the world. We also offer a range of personalised luxury leather clutches which can be custom monogrammed with your initials.
Why do I love it? Because we are solving a real problem women have by providing an opportunity to customise and personalise their high-quality clutches and bags. Most women we speak to tell us how they have spent (what feels like) a lifetime searching for their ‘perfect handbag’. The right shape, quality, size, colour, texture, stitching, inner lining, buckles, pockets…
Mon Purse was born from the belief that every woman should only carry a handbag she truly loves. Nothing makes me happier than seeing how happy ladies have been with their custom one of a kind Mon Purse creations.
2. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
Throughout my life, I have always looked for ways to do things differently – so this was an organic progression. I also always follow my heart and love to take risks.
3. WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION / STUDY BACKGROUND?
Bachelor of Business (International Business & Marketing) Graduated in 2004 from UTS.
4. WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND WOMEN STUDY OR DO TO BEST EQUIP THEMSELVES TO GET INTO YOUR INDUSTRY?
This is a very interesting question. Most tech entrepreneurs have been college drop outs. However, I think study (education) is and should be an ongoing thing. It never stops for me. I need to constantly be reading, travelling, researching and questioning facts. Hunger for knowledge and focus is key.
Study whatever takes your fancy. Explore, grow and develop new ideas as you go.
5. WHAT WERE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU’VE FACED AS GROWING BUSINESS?HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
In a startup, when you are disrupting an industry every day is a challenge (and a blessing – because you learn so much).
A key challenge for me has been making sure I surround myself with the best people. I overcame this by getting out there and developing strong relationships and by identifying the best people for our team. I think it’s important to surround yourself with the best players who are experts in their particular field.
Also, I’ve learnt there is no room for ego – by listening to others you and your business will learn and grow.
If you have an amazing vision, talented individuals will follow your vision. I’ve also built a team of very successful mentors and advisors whom I trust and rely on for advice when faced with a new or difficult problem. Asking questions is also the best way to grow.
6. WHAT’S BEEN YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
Launching Mon Purse is my greatest achievement but also having many wonderful happy customers and securing repeat business – this is the reason I get out of bed. Also, another achievement is having the best team and advisors around me – who are exceptionally successful individuals in their own right. I have learnt so much from them.
7. WHAT IS THE BEST ACCESSORY OR FASHION PIECE YOU’D RECOMMEND?
Can I say a monogrammed Mon Purse clutch here it really is the one thing I never leave the house without! Otherwise, I’ve always believed a lady needs a trusted blazer. It can make or break an outfit. I am very much (and always have been) a silk blouse/blazer girl.
Quality is key in everything you wear or carry!
8. WHAT’S THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNT FROM A MISTAKE YOU’VE MADE IN THE PAST?
Not really listening enough… Now, I listen, and I’ve also built a team of trusted advisors and business people who have had phenomenal success in Australia and internationally.
9. HAS YOUR DEFINITION OF SUCCESS CHANGED FOR YOU OVER THE COURSE OF YOUR CAREER? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU NOW?
Success to me means doing what you love and challenging the status quo.
It always has and still does today. Success means happiness and jumping out of bed every day to come to work. It means speaking with true zest and passion about what you do. It means savouring each moment to focus on the next steps. Success is about growing, learning and not being afraid to fall and get back up. Mistakes are important too…Successful people learn from their mistakes (and make some more)!
10. REFLECTING ON YOUR CAREER TO DATE, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOURSELF AT THE BEGINNING?
11. HOW DO YOU MANAGE STRESS / ANXIETY / WORK LIFE BALANCE?
Exercise and healthy living are a big part of my life. Each morning I go for a run at Centennial park or train at F45 in Paddington. I also love doing Yoga by The Sea (owned by my gorgeous friend Sasha Hawley) in Sydney’s Eastern beaches, as well as pilates. I find if I am not working, I am usually in my gym gear!
My husband and I also walk a lot – this provides us with special quality time together. And sleep – lots of it is a must for me.
Time management is crucial and I set weekly, monthly and daily tasks. I review them every night and make sure I squeeze in time for things that make me happy. I also pack my bag to ensure I will exercise. This helps avoid excuses…
I have also learnt to say no to things as too many social commitments make it difficult for me to stay focused on my goals.
I work long hours (by choice) as I am passionate about what I do and having your own startup means you never truly switch off. But I have started blocking out half a day a week where I do no work at all. This helps me recharge and come back stronger and fresher.
12. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU AND MON PURSE?
The Mon Purse team is currently growing (we have exceptionally talented individuals coming onboard) we are also in the middle of our second capital raising round.
Our next step will be to create an exceptional Omni channel platform and add more features and functions to our 3D bag builder technology and expand to the US.
We will be doing designer and talent collaborations – so a lot is happening.
13. WHAT THREE WORDS WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
I should probably ask someone who knows me best! But..I think passionate, focused and loyal.
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