An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis

Work never stops; embrace it. Your business is like your baby, it always demands your love and attention, so give it what it needs. Some of the best ideas I’ve had have been late at night in bed talking with my husband or on our nightly walks. It’s important to surround yourself with people who both give you the space to think about your business while also helping you to set healthy boundaries when you need to disconnect for a bit.

As a part of our series called “Making Something From Nothing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Breanna Giglio.

Breanna Giglio founded Bashify in 2020 after returning from her honeymoon and realizing that throwing great parties to celebrate life’s biggest moments was hard, especially in a pandemic. Burnt out from her job as a nurse in the pediatric ICU and looking for a new challenge, she began her event planning business offering beautiful public park and backyard styled picnics. Over the next year, business grew from simple date night picnics to baby/bridal showers and even elopements! After just a year in business and having planned parties for NFL players, mega-influencers, and the star of ABC’s The Bachelorette, Breanna and Bashify launched Bash Boxes to ship their parties right to your door. Bashify has moved its base of operations from Breanna’s home state of Washington to Dallas, Texas, where it now offers its event planning services to locals and Bash Boxes to the whole country!

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit about your “childhood backstory”?

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always enjoyed creating and curating beautiful things. When I was in elementary school I loved theater and would’ve sworn to you I’d be a big Hollywood actor. My dreams of the silver screen were soon replaced by deep dives into Pinterest and long trips to the mall to find the clothing and things with the it factor. My creativity collided with my inner entrepreneur at 14 years old when I started “Breanna’s Chic Storefront” on Facebook to sell DIY crafts. Although my professional career started as a nurse, after two years of working at Seattle Children’s Hospital and with the support of my husband I started Bashify!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

This may seem a little silly on the surface, but bear with me: “What would happen if you just called Taylor up?” — Kris Jenner. To be brief, the context here is that Kris’ daughter, Kim (who we all know), had a dispute with Taylor Swift. Amidst all the drama, Kris suggests something simple yet dramatic and oddly unthinkable — just talk to the person you have a problem with. I’ve found that so many people will love to tell you what is and isn’t possible because of their fixed or limited mindsets. Direct or bold solutions to problems are often written off as implausible, but those solutions are often what yield the best results. Sometimes you just need to call Taylor up.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

My husband got me hooked on the “How I Built This” podcast and ever since it’s been a big inspiration to me. I love hearing the stories of how founders of these amazing companies that you and I know navigate their way through the first days of their startups. When I listen to episodes, it makes me feel like I can find a way past the problem I’m facing and that we will make it. We first listened to it on a road trip right after we got engaged and I’ve been listening ever since.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. There is no shortage of good ideas out there. Many people have good ideas all the time. But people seem to struggle in taking a good idea and translating it into an actual business. Can you share a few ideas from your experience about how to overcome this challenge?

I’m a firm believer that you should let experts be experts. For me, that meant not trying to do everything in my business and leaning on the expertise of others when I felt like I was out of my depth. I’m no technical wizard, so I wasn’t going to try to learn skills like SEO or graphic design when I knew I could hire freelancers online to complete those tasks for me at reasonable rates. Being a founder is hard enough, so offloading the tasks farthest from my core competencies to professionals saved me a lot of headaches on execution and made my company better. By knowing my own limits, I made it a lot easier on myself to turn my good ideas into good business.

Often when people think of a new idea, they dismiss it saying someone else must have thought of it before. How would you recommend that someone go about researching whether or not their idea has already been created?

Just because an idea has already been done doesn’t mean you can’t find a new wedge into that market. In our case, we knew high-quality party supplies existed, but we also knew nobody was bundling them in easy-to-buy bundles with educational content to help you get the most from your purchase. I would tell entrepreneurs not to worry so much about whether or not their idea is wholly unique — because so few are — and instead to focus on if they provide value that is equal to or greater than what already exists.

For the benefit of our readers, can you outline the steps one has to go through, from when they think of the idea, until it finally lands in a customer’s hands? In particular, we’d love to hear about how to file a patent, how to source a good manufacturer, and how to find a retailer to distribute it.

We take a very bootstrapped approach to things because we like to get to market quickly and iterate even faster. When we first decided to launch our Bash Boxes, we went from concepting to launch in just 5 weeks. In that time, we sourced all the samples we needed from wholesalers, created content around the boxes, and redid our website. From there we started shipping, gathering data on what our customers did and didn’t like, and worked on strengthening supplier relationships and our own fundamentals of fulfillment. We just recently moved fulfillment from outside of our home to an offsite facility and are continuing to improve our processes. The big thing for us has been that we have the self-awareness to recognize how new we are to the world of ecommerce and fulfillment and leverage that to have an agile mindset. While we haven’t had to file a patent yet and can’t speak to that experience, we can say that it’s always a good idea to have multiple suppliers for a single SKU when possible to avoid being over-leveraged or taken advantage of by a bad manufacturer.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Started Leading My Company” and why?

Sometimes you need to spend more. When we first started our business, we ordered some decorative sun umbrellas for our events from a wholesaler in China. To save money in the short term we ordered the minimum quantity possible, but later realized we needed more umbrellas. Because the shipping costs were so high, we ended up spending significantly more than we had originally planned to get all the umbrellas. Had we just spent the premium up front, we would have actually saved money.

Work never stops; embrace it. Your business is like your baby, it always demands your love and attention, so give it what it needs. Some of the best ideas I’ve had have been late at night in bed talking with my husband or on our nightly walks. It’s important to surround yourself with people who both give you the space to think about your business while also helping you to set healthy boundaries when you need to disconnect for a bit.

Directed action is worth more than detailed plans. At this point in our business, we’ve made about 3 major pivots. Because we’ve prioritized action over detailed planning, we’re able to learn from our experiences and create better plans as we go. Nothing will give you clarity like going out into the world, doing the thing, and seeing how you feel.

It’s okay to walk without knowing your destination. We never really planned or foresaw any of our business pivots, but each one led us to a better place. It’s impossible to forecast the future, whether that be pandemics, consumer demand, or geopolitics. That’s why it’s okay to try things, see how the market responds, and go from there.

Know what you want to get out of your business. It’s important to ask yourself things like “how much can I see this making and am I comfortable with that income” or “will this company give me the balance I want in life?” Actually at different points I found myself not liking the answer to one or both of those questions and made changes to my business to correct for that. A little less than a year ago I came to the realization that the lifestyle of being solely an event planner would not give me either the income nor the balance that I wanted, which helped lead me into creating the Bash Box ecommerce business.

Let’s imagine that a reader reading this interview has an idea for a product that they would like to invent. What are the first few steps that you would recommend that they take?

The most important thing to do is validate demand. Would people pay for what you want to sell? Then the next question is, how much will people pay for this and can I get it manufactured at a price that gives me a reasonable margin? You can investigate these two questions by prototyping, talking to people, and even soft-launching your product.

There are many invention development consultants. Would you recommend that a person with a new idea hire such a consultant, or should they try to strike out on their own?

At the early stages of a company I think the founder should own as much of the intellectual property/management and focus on delegating specific tasks. If a founder feels the need to hire a general consultant rather than a more function-focused consultant, they may either not have a good enough idea of what it is they want to build or may not be the entrepreneur to bring that to market.

What are your thoughts about bootstrapping vs looking for venture capital? What is the best way to decide if you should do either one?

If you hope to keep your company private and believe your company’s success in the short-term hinges on your unique capabilities or insight, it’s best to bootstrap. If you believe you’re building a company with an 8+ figure value that can provide an attractive public or private exit for investors and you believe you can find investors who will allow your company to do its best work, then venture can be a great option.

Ok. We are nearly done. Here are our final questions. How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

We believe that everyone deserves to be celebrated and should have days where they feel like the king or queen of the world. Making things look good is hard work, and we hope to make people everywhere feel like they can be celebrated in style with our Bash Boxes. I know in my own life it’s amazing what a beautiful dress, some flowers, and a night out with my husband can do to make me feel better, and I want to box that same feeling for people on their special days.

You are an inspiration to a great many people. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I think that being a new mom I’ve learned two things: people always assume you’ll stay home with the kids and the modern workplace hasn’t adapted to the millions of skilled, talented moms who want careers but can’t work full-time or in an office. I hope to build a company and foster a culture where working moms can grow in their career by taking advantage of the booming remote and gig economies. In an economic climate where dual-income households are increasingly becoming both the norm and necessary, I want to empower primarily at-home caregivers to be able to generate income and grow careers while taking care of their families.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Mark Cuban. My husband and I just moved to Dallas and are huge fans of Mark and his ventures. We love his energy on Shark Tank and how despite all his success he seems so grounded in reality and focused on making the world a better place. It’d be incredible to meet him!

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

Making Something From Nothing: Breanna Giglio Of Bashify Event On How To Go From Idea To Launch was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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