Radka Fashion is a brand for leather handbags and accessories that I founded in Germany in 2015.
– Founder’s/Owner’s story and what motivated them to start the business
My name is Radka Sillerova, I am a CEO, owner and also a designer of Radka Fashion brand. I am also a marathon runner, I ran three marathons in Berlin, Prague and Paris and I am also very interested in a healthy lifestyle.
I live since 2005 in Germany where I moved from Prague, the Czech Rep. because of my then partner who worked near Nuremberg.
It was a very exciting and also a hard start in Germany because I left a very well paid job in the Czech Rep. I moved in with my sons Patrik and Lukas who didn’t speak any German. In the beginning they had to repeat their year at school twice and I had to teach them almost every day.
When we got familiar with our life in Germany, we had no more problems at school, my kids were doing great, I was happy in my new part time job at an office of my friends, we had nice days and holidays with my partner and I thought everything was amazing but then came a shock. In 2014 during one month I lost my partner, my job and my house.
I didn’t know what to do. I found myself at a crossroads, where I was thinking whether to return to Prague or to stay in a foreign country. Since my younger son still had a year of college ahead of him, I decided to stay and support him to finish his studies. I thought it must be easy.
I started to search for a new job but I couldn’t find any because I was almost 50 years old and a stranger in a foreign country.
The German “jobcentre” didn’t acknowledge my degree from a Czech economy high school and wanted to send me back to daily school for two years before they would start to find some job’s offers for me. Such a crazy idea! I had no time to sit every day at school, I had to work to pay my bills!
I was very upset about this situation and one day my steps led me to a bookstore in Prague where I haven’t been for a long time.
I will never forget this day, it was like a fairytale. I wandered among the bookshelves looking for an interesting book. You may know that feeling you are looking for something but you don’t know what it should be. I slowly went from one book to another, reading the titles but nothing piqued my interest until suddenly an old saleswoman came to me, asked what happened to me. She told me she watched me in the store for a longer time. Then she took me to a bookshelf around a corner and handed me over a book from Robert Kiyosaki “Rich Dad Poor Dad” with the words: You should read this book!
This day changed my life. I started to read the book and when I finished reading, a few days later like a magical coincidence I saw on Facebook an advertisement that Darren Weeks, a Canadian advisor of Robert Kiyosaki will come to Germany. What? The same Robert Kiyosaki… the author I just finished reading? Unbelievable! I couldn’t believe it! I thought it’s maybe a Universe sign…?
I immediately booked a place at Darren’s event. I took my younger son Lukas with me and we traveled over 200km to Stuttgart to attend a business presentation. I had no idea what it would be about, I just thought at least I will meet new people and see something different. At that time I didn’t speak English very well. I needed a headset to listen to a translation.
The whole evening exceeded my expectations. It was so interesting that I signed up for his entrepreneurial program, where I met lots of amazing people from all around the world.
Few months later I also met Kim and Robert Kiyosaki in person and all their advisors. It was such a great experience that I thought I had to tell it to the saleswomen in the bookstore. When I returned back to Prague I was running to the bookstore but the woman was not there. I asked after her and they told me she only was helping there for a few days, she is retired and no longer working in the store… What…? It looks like she was there just for me to show me the book!?
But back to my business story. Based on Darren’s “ETP Rich Dad” coaching and the people around me I decided to start my own company with bags because a few years ago I was dreaming about creating my own backpacks that are comfortable, handy, colorful and chic. My dream appeared before my eyes again, beautiful backpacks that I was thinking about, but thanks to the comfortable life I kept putting it off for later… You know…one day…
Why did I want to make my own backpacks? It started in the year I moved to Nuremberg, into a city with endless cycle paths. I rode a bike to the Nuremberg downtown and I had no nice backpack. I was not satisfied with a travel, boring backpack. All backpacks on the market were black or brown with almost the same shape and a unicolor soft lining. I wanted something different! A bag full of energy and with a soul. I wanted to come into the city with a beautiful design backpack, to have free hands, to look chic, to be happy I look great and to feel comfortable. So was my dream born and later realized.
Once I made the decision, everything changed very fast.
I went into a course to learn how to sew bags. I was sewing some clothes when I was young but never a backpack and I wanted to know how it’s done. I bought an old German industrial sewing machine and I started to sew bags even though I never went to a design or textile school. I learned everything myself on YouTube and Google. Later I found my first seamstress and other co-workers for my team I work with. I started to learn English, mostly by listening to TV, later on YouTube.
I went to many trade fairs in Europe to find the best leather, fabrics and components. I traveled to Canada, USA, UK, Dubai, Italy, France, Austria, Switzerland, Mexico. I went to many networking meetings in Europe and North + South America to meet new people I could collaborate with. I was everywhere where it was possible to get in and offered free hands and chic feelings to women around the globe. I also learned from another coach JT Foxx who introduced me to Charlie Sheen and I always continue to learn marketing, copywriting, rhetoric. I got my bags to fashion shows in Liverpool in England, Prague in Czechia, last year in the most important fashion show of the world … in Paris.
My bags started to be sold in boutiques in Canada, USA, Japan, Netherland, Germany, Austria, the Czech Rep.
The owners of my bags include Kim Kiyosaki and her advisors, Charlie Sheen and Vaclav Klaus, a son of the former Czech President.
Radka Fashion appeared in form of an interview, movie or pictures at the Czech “TV Relax”, Canadian TV “Voice of Canada”, in an United Arab Emirates magazine “Ladies in Business”, in a German Lifestyle magazine “Herzstück” and “N&N” magazine, in the UK magazine “Global Woman”, in the Czech Radio “Blanik” and in December 2022 in a Czech prestige magazine “Statuss”.
I was speaking at many conferences in Canada, USA, UK, Dubai, Mexico, Germany, France, Switzerland, and the Czech Rep. where I mostly encourage women to be independent and to start their own business.
– The challenges the business/market is facing
The biggest challenge of my business was in the last two years, the years of lockdowns where I lost some of my boutiques I worked with, my income fell down almost to zero. The boutiques had to close their doors for many months and some of them did not open anymore.
During the pandemie I found a side job in the health care branche. I started to teach people how to live healthier and I took them out into a forest to Nordic walking courses in cooperation with a wellness hotel Schürger in Germany.
Shopping moved from offline to online … I was in trouble. I understood very fast that I have to change my website from almost non-functional to a better one but it was too late. Yes, this idea had many thousands of entrepreneurs in 2020 too. And a big problém appeared very soon. It was impossible to find a web designer who could bring my website in a better condition. When I finally found some firm that agreed to work for me I had big problems with them, they were so busy with many other bigger companies that they didn’t have time to work for a smaller one. They finished my website after many months of delay. It cost me lots of money and I found out that my website Radkafashion.com does not work well and sometimes doesn’t work at all. I was so disappointed that I decided to create an online shop myself on a Shopify platform. I learned a lot again on YouTube and I really opened my new website that I customized exactly for me on September 1st 2022!
– The opportunities the business/market is facing
I am very happy I could meet in my entrepreneurial life lots of famous people like Robert and Kim Kiyosaki with their all advisors or
a German actor Uschi Glas.
The most amazing thing is my interview with the Hollywood Star Charlie Sheen on stage in front of 2.500 people in Los Angeles in 2017. It was for me as a woman from a post-communist country, where we were not allowed to travel, like a fairytale again. When I was young I never thought it could be possible to meet a Hollywood Star!
My second biggest accomplishment was a few months ago in October 2022. I have been chosen by the Int. Fashion Week organization to attend the amazing International Fashion Week Paris to present my handbags and dresses where I also won an award as the best Luxury Bags Designer.
– Advice to others about business
If you have any dream don’t wait for a better time or for a time when your life is falling apart. Start immediately, there is nothing to wait for! Have the courage to offer your product or service everywhere you think it’s possible and especially where you think it’s impossible!Don’t give up! All good things take time!
It’s also important to be surrounded by like-minded people, it inspires you more on your business journey.
Being grateful we always should be!
Thank you for your time!
My website: radkafashion.com