We’ve got a business idea!

Article about us in “oMatko!” magazine of conscious parenthood.

I like interesting ideas. I love to meet with creative women. Especially with those who make well prospering business out of their motherhood hobby. To our current and first nationwide issue I invited a woman, who proves that running business from 6 thousand kilometres can be successful. Meet Marta Gian - the originator and CEO of TITOT that I had pleasure to meet in newly opened Silesian Museum in Katowice.

FROM USA TO DUBAI

The beginning of the company doesn't have to follow some outline: small office without a window on the outskirts of the city, with an accountant in the same room and barely any funds for marketing but with huge boxes blocking way to the printer. To start a business it is enough to have a good idea, family and friends support and huge amount of patience. You may say: ‘It’s easy for you to say’ and add: ‘Others have it better’. ‘How should I combine running a business with motherhood?’ - you may ask. So I am answering: ‘Take a risk’.

“When I had that first idea about TITOT in my head it was 2012 and I was pregnant with second child, Anthony. We lived in USA back then. At that time I was buying most of the clothes for my daughter on Etsy platform. And I noticed that there's a gap on polish handmade market for kids,” Marta explains.

It was popular to buy clothes from retail chain and handmade wasn't that widespread. 4-5 years ago online shopping for children’s clothes and accessories - made to order, followed by the instruction of a parent, with fabrics chosen yourself - was absolute novelty.

“In November 2012 we found out that we are moving to Dubai due to David’s work. Then I thought it was a good moment to start! I wanted to create clothes for my kids and also for other parents that would like to buy leggings and slippers,” Marta mentions. “Together with my family we decided that my mom, who is a seamstress and had her atelier for years in Bytom, will sew. My role was to create a website and run an online store, while my sister Maria was responsible for delivery and packaging of the orders,” she adds. That’s how family tradition of sewing in home town could be continued by next generation of women and newly opened company was carried out remotely from Dubai.

“My old friend Agnieszka, owner of blog Wronek.pl helped me with promotion. Thanks to her support my products could be seen out there much faster and I thank her a lot for that. Agnieszka was making leggings for readers of her blog, but when TITOT started, she decided to pass on that role to me.”

PIT STOP IN POLAND

1st of February 2013 Marta moved with family to Poland, to hometown in Silesia. It was time when TITOT was developing, so presence of the boss was crucial for the brand.

“During the day I was taking care of 2.5-month-old Anthony, who was falling asleep at 7 PM. After that I was going to workshop, preparing shapes, choosing fabrics and organise work for my mom for the next day. I was coming back home around 11 PM for first night breastfeeding, after which we all went to sleep. That were beginnings of my work in Poland,” Marta recalls with smile. “It was important for me that we had wide range of fabrics from which our products were made. I wanted our customers to have a big choice. It is very elevating for me that TITOT was supposed to be just an addition and it transformed into real business. I really didn’t expect that so many people would love our products,” adds with joy the business owner.

After few months it turned out that Poland was just the pit stop on their way. In August 2015 Marta’s family was awaiting next removal - back to Dubai. But the company was prospering much better than the owner had expected. That’s why she decided to get her sister Maria to be involved full time and enlarge the team of seamstresses.

FROM PROJECT TO IMPLEMENTATION

First designer of the company was Marta’s mom. Size table started and grew with Lydia, Anthony and then with Nicolas - models of TITOT family.

“I remember beginnings. Together with my mom we copied feet of my children, we made a dozen or so patterns of slippers trying to make a perfect project. Finally we made it and the best option, in my opinion, was implemented on a permanent basis. Currently even 4-year-old can dress in TITOT. The idea of the company is that the size table is growing together with my kids,” Marta explains.

But beginning of TITOT wasn’t only designing patterns and collection approvals. Even though Marta thinks that she isn’t the kind of entrepreneur that has to examine Excel tables from each side before opening a wallet (greetings to my husband) - she didn't make an inconsiderate decision about starting the company.

“If my husband was the one taking care of profit and loss account, TITOT probably would never be established and we would never sell a single pair of slippers,” Marta laughs. “I want to accentuate that TITOT wasn’t supposed to be a business in a full meaning of that word, at least not on that scale as it turned out. TITOT was supposed to be an answer for need of moms who, instead of ordering from USA, could turn to us. I wanted to give a job to my mom, my sister and myself. TITOT wasn't supposed to be an only income of my family. It was additional project that was made to fulfil need of heart and became a business.”

Together with husband they decided to invest their savings in company development. “David proposed that we try and take a risk and if it doesn't work out at first investment, we would close the business without regret,” Marta describes. The surprise was even bigger when they realised that interest in TITOT slippers is huge. “Polish moms wanted beautiful designs and interesting accessories for their children,” she says. “TITOT became enormous!” she adds astonished.

WE ARE COMING BACK HOME

David realised that his wife’s company has a potential and when he noticed that Marta is fulfilling her dreams, he decided that since his career had his moment now it’s time for TITOT. They decided together that if the brand is supposed to grow they need to live in Poland permanently, so Marta can oversee the company. According to original plan, Marta was supposed to move in the beginning of 2016 and David would join the family around Easter. But fate had different scenario for them. “When we came back to Dubai after Christmas it turned out that David’s company is closing their branch in Dubai. Frankly speaking, we were happy because we could move all together to Poland,” Marta laughs. “When Lydia and Anthony were small and we lived abroad, David made a lot of business trips. He didn’t see first steps of our kids, only the seconds. So when we moved to Poland February last year we made a conscious choice to swap the roles. David was taking care of Nicolas and I worked in TITOT.”

Even thought Marta can manage TITOT freely, her motherhood instincts are taking over. “Nicolas is still a small baby and I would like to spend more time with him. That’s why at work I try to deal with things as fast as possible and I’m running home, to my kids. Luckily I have amazing workers and I know I can rely on them. I also want to thank to all of my customers - for believing in me, encouraging words and next orders! Without them TITOT wouldn't exist. I’m also thankful to my family, their support since the beginning of the project is priceless.

2017

Merely within a year TITOT turned from company that hired 2 seamstresses into a business that needs 400 square meters area, support from local sweatshop and 12 workers. Brand is also involved in charity; e.g. Kraina Mlekiem i Miłością Płynąca, for which TITOT designed limited edition of slipper. Brand image is taken care of by Happy Moment Studio - Magda and Krzysiek Skóra.

On bdhalf of “oMatko” magazine I would like to congratulate beautiful idea and consequence in fulfilling your dreams. I keep my fingers crossed for promotion of the brand abroad.

Sklep