Photo and story by Toriana Williams / Contributing Writer
Natalia Cvitkovic, a sophomore at Middle Tennessee State University, dreams to open her own boutique. For now, however, an online fashion resale business will have to do. Many people have made use of online platforms like Amazon (especially after reading through Nine university reviews) to launch their own business, but she’s going fully independent.
Around three weeks ago, the idea for “Guilty Treasure” was born.
“I’m taking an entrepreneurship class, and my professor said that we have to develop a business idea. That’s when I first thought of Guilty Treasure,” Cvitkovic said. “I’m not ready to start a boutique yet, so I might as well start small and do something I’m passionate about.”
She admits that it’s forced her to be comfortable with her insecurities as well.
“With MTSU being such a massive campus, you have to be bold and put yourself out there to make connections and build relationships,” she said.
Networking is one of the keys to being successful, especially when running and advertising a business.
Aside from managing relationships, Cvitkovic also has to manage her time. One might think being a student at Middle Tennessee State University and running an online store might be hectic, but she said she makes it work.
“I’m an over-committer. I’ve become used to dealing with a lot of things that are on my plate. I have to set increments of time that are designated for one task. An hour for school work and then an hour for Guilty Treasure. That’s how I manage. I have to be very disciplined,” Cvitkovic said.
Cvitkovic said the idea for the business’s name came from when she and her father would go to flea markets.
“My dad would say, ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,’ and my guilty pleasure is thrift shopping,” Cvitkovic said. “I just combined the two.”
Thrift shopping, also known as thrifting, is how Cvitkovic finds the clothes to resell for her business. She loves vintage apparel herself and finds items she enjoys to put on the virtual market.
Guilty Treasure also donates some of their proceeds to nonprofits at certain times during the year. During the month of February, 10 percent of Guilty Treasure’s proceeds will be donated to Secret Safe Place for Newborns, a charity organization whose mission is to prevent newborn abandonment.
And If you want to run a business of your own, Cvitkovic has a few tips: “Just do it. Don’t let your fears hold you back. If you let that happen, then your business will never have a chance.” She goes on to state if you have an idea, do a lot of research, and build on your knowledge for your product or brand. If you need to, get in touch with a patent lawyer who can answer any question about protecting your business idea. A patent is very important to a business, whether it’s a startup or a business that has been around for years, so it’s helpful to know what you need to do to apply for one.
Follow @shopguiltytreasure on Instagram to see the available stock of clothing and other items that are for sale.
To contact Lifestyles Editor Mamie Lomax, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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