Blanka Slak Rupnik is a modern Vienna based businesswoman who designs turbans and headbands. Besides running her own business, Tribbe Hats By Blanka, she is also a mother of three children. We visited her in her magnificent boutique in the famous Bognergasse in Vienna.
What is your background?
I am a psychologist by education, but I have always been very interested in jewelry and hats. After graduating, I moved to New York for a year and a half, where I worked as a stylist. New York was a very important experience for me, because it gave me confidence in my style – I can wear what I want and I do not care what others think.
After New York I went to Paris, where I learned how to make hats as part of the Van Cleef and Arpels course. During this time, I discovered how much I enjoy the creative work with hats and I started making my own turbans. At this time I also opened an Instagram profile and started posting my work – soon turbans became viral and I decided to sell them. So I started selling, and spontaneously many smaller boutiques found me on Instagram and I started selling in their boutiques as well.
Three years ago I moved to Vienna, and after selling turbans in various boutiques and department stores all over the city, I opened my own boutique in Vienna’s Bognergasse, among many other luxury fashion designers like Saint Laurent and Chanel.
How do you organize your day being a CEO and mother of three children?
I get up at 5.30 every morning and go to the studio until 7. Then I have some time with my kids before going back to the studio for another two hours. After studio work, I go to the city where I first have coffee with friends and open a boutique at 10. Between working in the boutique I usually have many business meetings, for example with the Steffl department store, with which we have been working successfully for two years. I am with customers until 5-6 pm, then I go home to have some time for the family until 8 pm, and then I go back to the studio and I stay there until all orders are completed.
There are two things I would like to share with you. The first one is to be authentic. People will always see it, and it is important to follow your own unique style. If you are good at what you do, have an idea, and are passionate about what you do, then you will surely succeed. Believe in yourself and in your product.
The second thing is to never have a plan B. Only have a plan A and stick to it.