Celia is the Owner and Director of My Monthly which provides beautiful care parcels for women experiencing ‘that time of the month’ symptoms.
Thank you so much for featuring Celia! Can you tell us a bit about yourself, where you grew up, your passions & hobbies?
Hello! My names Celia Gercovich, I’m a 25 year old from Ballarat. I love our family golden retriever Moses, gardening and indoor plants, spending time with my partner, family and friends, and going on holidays. I work full time as a Team leader at IBM, and also have two small businesses. I have been doing eyelash extensions for 5 years, Eyelash Design by Celia and in September last year I launched My Monthly. I love owning my own businesses, running them exactly how I want and having full creative control.
Can you tell us about My Monthly? How did it come about?
The idea for My Monthly started from my own personal period experiences. I have always dreaded purchasing feminine items from the supermarket, which is something I know resonates with many young females. I can’t function without pain relief during the initial few days, and chocolate usually seems to help too. My partner began surprising me with a block of chocolate and pain relief when I would give him the heads up; it definitely brought a smile to my face, especially when your period has you feeling lousy. From there my entrepreneurial instincts kicked in and the brain storming began. One idea led to another and in September 2016 we launched four period parcels. In December 2016 we launched 3 gift parcels and also a break up box.
However, the biggest challenge for me came after we launched. I had actually never planned on putting my name out there as the owner of the business. I wanted to run the business as its own identity and I would just be the invisible face behind it, however, that’s not how it worked out. Prior to launching, I got in contact with social media influencers who I loved and thought would appreciate the product we created. When I contacted them, all I wanted in return was feedback, along the lines of an email. One of those influencers was Mel Watts. I sent Mel a parcel and a letter outlining more details of the business and at the bottom was my business signature, complete with all of our social media account details. Mel had over 100K followers on Instagram at the time, and to my surprise she posted Instagram and Snapchat videos of herself un-boxing the parcel. She also added a photo of my business signature that included my name along with all of the My Monthly social media details. This blew me away but at the same time also petrified me. I only realised when I had friends and family contacting me with their congratulations, that I was super confused to how they knew. In a very short amount of time I had to become comfortable talking about all things periods, pads, tampons etc. Although daunting, I have had conversations about period-related items with groups of friends, that I never expected too, but it’s been a great way of getting the business name out there.
Which parcel is your favourite?
I love the parcels for different reasons. I love the period parcels because I know how convenient they are for females of all ages, and having a parcel arrived full of items that will make your period more bearable, is so wonderful. I love the other gift parcels because of the items sourced from other small businesses. The small business community is such a supportive and encouraging group of people, who create such amazing products. I sourced the products from suppliers all over Australia and there was 3 that were located in Victoria. I made sure to pick the materials up in person to meet them, they were all so grateful for our business which made me feel so happy.
What do you love about owning your own business? What are some of the challenges you face?
Owning your own businesses gives you full creative control. I started my first business, Eyelash Design by Celia in 2012. I love running the business, meeting new people every week and seeing the business grow each year. The launch of My Monthly came after 5 months of planning, organising, purchasing and contacting multiple people. The biggest challenge with My Monthly was finding the time, but I was so passionate about the product we were supplying and so determined to get it up and running that I made time for it.
What are some important values you think should hold when running your own business?
I think providing excellent customer service really goes a long way when running your own business. Your customers are what keeps you running, so treating everyone exactly how you would like to be treated, makes all the difference and builds strong relationships.
My Monthly also focuses on helping other small businesses. Tell us more!
YES! This has been one of the most rewarding parts of My Monthly. When we launched our period parcels I decided to include a gift in them. When I first began searching for gifts I trawled through Esty, once I found something I liked the look of I contacted the business owner then I purchased one of the item. I tested and trialled everything personally so I knew exactly what my customers would be receiving. After our period parcels launched I fell in love with the idea of helping other small businesses. So I decided to launch 3 new gift parcels and a break up box just before Christmas. These 4 parcels are filled with items sourced from other small Australian businesses and I am so happy with how they have turned out!
What does a day in the life of Celia look like?
My week days are pretty crazy, I work full time as a Team leader so from 8:30am- 4:30pm I am busy working through my daily requirements, ensuring the team is running smoothly, rostering, reporting, meetings etc. Most week nights I have lash clients booked in so race from my full time job straight to lashes. After lashes is finished I head home, jump on the laptop or pack some parcels. Its crazy hectic but I have such an incredibly supportive family and partner, who help whenever I need.
Who are your biggest influencers? Who inspires you the most?
My biggest inspirations are other women who have successfully made it in the business world. Janine Ellis who founded Boost, Sophia Amoruso who started Nasty Gal and Jane Lu from Showpo just to name a few. These are all women who took a risk and it paid off. I find each of them very inspiring and motivating.
If you had a bucket list, what would be number one?
I have a bit of a mental bucket list and I’ve blocked out a bit of leave in September so I think the next thing I want to tick off is swimming with whale sharks, probably in the Philippines.
What’s next for you?
I am really not sure just yet. My schedule is already so full but who knows, maybe I’ll expand my current businesses, maybe I’ll stay doing what I’m doing or maybe I’ll open another 5 businesses. My mind is constantly thinking of new business opportunities and ideas. I think life is way to short to not at least give things a go, you’ll never know if you don’t try.