Today's campus celebrity is a young, bright woman who is taking the Internet by storm with her new business venture. Not only is her business growing and succeeding extremely well but her unique idea is a campus favourite business that will sure be something to look out for!
Her Campus: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Dasha Shakov: I'm a marketing student at the Telfer School of Management. I started Parcelly because I got really into the idea of sending care packages to my friends and it was life changing for me. I’m an average student who enjoys yoga and hanging out with friends.
HC: What made you want to come up with this business idea?
DS: It wasn’t my intention at first, I have tons of friends in Russia and I found it super difficult to send them gifts or packages because of all the work and time it takes to put things together and ship it out, then I got into this idea to start a business that will do all the work for you.
HC: What did you find was most challenging in creating the business?
DS: The time aspect of it. It was a lot of learning on how to prioritize myself and concentrate on what comes first such as school or creating the business. It's not a 9 to 5 sort of a job, it's a 24/7 thing because you're constantly replying to emails and dealing with new orders. So managing time is a huge thing for me while also balancing school and work.
HC: How did the whole aspect of starting this company come together?
DS: It wasn’t until May 2015 that I really got into the research process of starting this company. In August is when we launched our website to get the word out about our company, considering the limited marketing budget we were on. But it wasn’t until October 1st that we began taking orders and shipping out packages.
HC: Describe your company in one word and tell me why you chose that word.
DS: Caring. The reason being is because we send care packages to let people know there is someone out there who cares for them and is thinking about them.
HC: How do you think Parcelly can benefit students?
DS: Parcelly is helpful to students who have friends far away at other universities or colleges. Our business relates to a niche market, and some of our packages have themes like “Post Breakup”, “Birthday Mini” or even “Spoil Yourself Silly”. These packages relate to students and are a great thing to send to friends in need of being cheered up or even just as a surprise gift. It's also affordable and easier than sending something yourself because all students have to do is pick which package they want to send to their friends and then Parcelly does all the work.
HC: How far do you plan in continuing the business?
DS: I’m a huge dreamer, so I would like to see Parcelly one day have packages for every type of event. Hopefully the business can expand and go international and we can send care packages globally in all different countries. I’m definitely looking towards coming up with new ideas and evolving the business.
HC: If you were to describe what Parcelly is to someone, how would you word it?
DS: At Parcelly we describe it as a fun and unique way to celebrate inside every package. Since every package has its own theme there is always something exciting to look forward to.
HC: Who were your greatest supporters when you began this business idea?
DS: My mom. She is the co-founder of Parcelly and together we are the entrepreneur team. My friends were also a great support system to me.
HC: What advice would you give to students who may want to be their own entrepreneur?
DS: Go for it! I expect that they know what is coming because although there may be a lot of work it's definitely worth it. I found that the feedback I got from customers were empowering. Although there is a lot of work into creating the business, the recognition that it gets and the opportunity of meeting new people reassures me that my labour and efforts were worth it.
Pictures provided by Parcelly