Sunday, October 12, 2008

Natasha Khost >

Natasha Khost Co-Founder Ananatai Collections, Inc

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
We come from humble backgrounds, so to be an entrepreneur we had to start with a dream. You need ambition and motivation to go where you never thought you would go. You need drive and determination to make that dream a true part of your reality.

What did inspire you to start your business?
We knew we wanted to do something great with jewelry. We knew we could introduce not only our own unique designs and creations, but also that of our own countries. We saw it as a great opportunity to take our ideas and really take it to the next level; to showcase our jewelry and to become profitable by doing so.That's why we eventually decided to create Ananatai Collections, Inc.

How did you finance it?

We are a small business. We financed it with our own money and in the very beginning, with a loan.

Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
Yes it does! We feel we have a little edge and advantage being Hispanic and that we have the opportunity to introduce and showcase what it means to be Latina through the colors and designs of our jewelry.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
We have been disillusioned many times in establishing our business. Things didn't happen fast enough or we were cheated and taken advantage of because we were so new to the business. We kept going because we had faith in our dream. We did not want all of our efforts to be in vain and we thought if THEY could do it, why can't we?

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Our biggest challenge has been getting people to know that Ananatai exists. That we've "arrived". We launched our website earlier this year but we have been working on Ananatai for a few years now. Ananatai is ready to be known!

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
We are sure that as we grow, things will have to be modified and re-invented in order to be more efficient. However, right now we would not change anything.

What was your childhood ambition?
To be successful and happy.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
1. Oscar De La Renta - At only 18yrs old, he left the Dominican Republic and went off to study art and design in Spain and has since made his name renowned in the fashion industry. He truly knows his trade. His fashion designs embody what it really means to be a confident woman. and most importantly, he hasn't forgotten where he came from.

2. Bill Gates - True example of how a small business and an idea can grow to exorbitant proportions with hard work and dedication.

3. Oprah Winfrey- great personality and amazing businesswoman. She overcame a troubled childhood and is now one of the richest women in the world!

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Lunch! The day is still young and you're mind is active and ready to work!

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
The biggest sacrifice is time. The journey you go through to get the business off the ground and to help it grow requires a lot of your time and energy. If there is no dedication, there is no business and ultimately no success.

What is your favorite quote?
"...we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope." (verse from the bible)

Is it difficult to be unconventional?

Sometimes it is challenging. However we have lots of creativity and ideas that it is expressed though our jewelry. Jewelry is just our medium.

Biggest mistake made?
Probably not doing this sooner.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Absolutely. We strive to provide our customers with pieces they can seldom find anywhere else...we are innovators in that way.

Ananatai is an online jewelry retailer which was started by three college friends: Ana, Natasha and Taisha, Ananatai prides itself in providing a very innovative and good quality product at a lower price than most of our competitors.

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