Nina Gaspari, a unique mentor for female entrepreneurs

February 2021

Nina, your entrepreneurship tips are indispensable and unique. Both on your website and Instagram, you’re a treasure trove of advice for young female entrepreneurs. Well, also for very experienced businesswomen. Do you realize you’re an inspiration to us? 

Last year or two, because of the feedback I’ve been getting, I feel a lot of responsibility for the role I’ve set for myself. Absolutely, I would be lying if I said that I don’t realize my position. I’m happy if, with my knowledge, experience, and, above all, with my business path, which still has its ups and downs, defeats and successes, I can contribute to the mosaic of raising awareness that the path of entrepreneurship can be wonderful.

When did you know that this was your field?

It all happened very organically. If I should find the exact moment when I had the revelation, it was a Sunday afternoon in September 2019. I was on my terrace sketching my wishes, goals, and intentions. After almost a decade on the entrepreneurial path, I felt that the work I had been doing for the last 15 years didn’t bring me joy anymore. 

As I was thinking about what I might be doing and where I want to go in the future, that inner sense, which we often ignore and don’t hear, has played a significant role, as did many conversations I had with my closest friends and complete strangers, with whom I had chatted over social media. That’s when the idea of an entrepreneurial podcast first came to mind, and two months later, the podcast Catching Balance/Lovim ravnotežje came to live. I’ve been doing it for a year now, and recently I also hosted the founder of Pelia Organic.

One of your last posts says that “no one has your experience, abilities, knowledge.” By this, you are communicating how unique we are. Do you think we are not aware of it enough?

I think so, yes. I noticed that with myself, too. Especially nowadays, when we prefer to compare ourselves with others and look at the journeys of others, I consider it extremely important that we are aware that every one of us carries a unique energy, experiences, and knowledge and that the interplay of all these branches makes our world more beautiful. When you allow yourself to be who you are, you become unstoppable, and that’s what everyone should be longing for.

“When you allow yourself to be who you are, you become unstoppable, and that’s what everyone should be longing for.”

A year in which balance is vital

The past year had faced us with many changes, including working from home or working more from home than before, which had a few positive aspects.

Absolutely. My reality did not change significantly in 2020, as I have been working from home for a decade, but it has brought several challenges and adjustments. One of the things I’ve learned is that many appointments can be short calls or emails. The time I spent on the way to meetings, searching for parking, the costs of lunch, coffee, has been saved, and I’m happy to carry this part into the future.

At the same time, working from home has brought many challenges and obstacles. What is your assessment of this new entrepreneurial reality?

On the other hand, we face challenges that demand agility, flexibility, letting go of control. These can be valuable lessons for women entrepreneurs, as the market in which we all operate is continuously changing. Not just because of the global pandemic. The new reality, which we will soon call everyday life, offers an interesting intertwining of personal relationships that intertwine with technology. I want more personal contacts in this new reality that we have collectively put aside, more closeness, empathy. The new communication channels and tools for productivity, networking, development of ideas, I would keep and want to work with in the future.

You have been a mentor and advisor to businesses for over a decade. I imagine your work is very inspiring, but at the same time quite exhausting. How do you find work-life balance?

Very easy. Of course, it hasn’t always been this way. I had to learn it, develop a thick skin, set boundaries that suit me, and are respected by those I work with. Above all, what’s important here is that I’m always aware that there is no balance. At least not in the long term. There comes a day when everything goes smoothly, and on the next, everything can fall apart, and we need to reset our calendar and errands. Key things that help me catch my balance are setting boundaries, a good support and work system, frequent use of the word no, my daily routine, which I don’t deviate from, and a priority list that is also very much related to my value system. Once a cross-section of the above is found and merges with work, which includes my purpose and mission, it is a winning combination.

Do you have any particular rituals to maintain life balance?

In addition to the above, I can mention my morning routine, which includes meditation, diary writing, gratitude, reading, cold shower, and healthy breakfast with a cup of coffee, evening yoga, and a walk after lunch. I’m very protective of my time, so I think very carefully about how and with whom I spend it – whether it’s subscribers, projects, interlocutors for my podcast, or people who are part of my private life.

“With Pelia Organic, I see two things you can’t find in every business story: dedication to goals and brand’s personality, and high-quality products that embody the brand.”

Pelia Organic, a new chapter of natural cosmetics in Slovenia

With our natural brand Pelia Organic, we are just at the beginning of our journey. Recently, we discussed the market entry of our natural exfoliating products in your podcast Chasing Balance. We have a challenging year of product development behind us, but you introduced us as an inspiring entrepreneurial story. Why?

With Pelia Organic, I see two things you can’t find in every business story: dedication to goals and brand’s personality, and high-quality products that embody the brand. Selected ingredients, sustainability, and differentiation. When we talked in the podcast Chasing Balance, dedication and passion underlined your every word. You can’t learn that or bring it into an entrepreneurial story artificially. That passion needs daily care, attention to detail, and focus on the brand’s essence, why it is here, whom it serves, and what’s its purpose. Pelia Organic is such a story, and it deserves all the attention.

Do you think the market is ready for the highest quality natural cosmetics made in Slovenia? Or, do foreign brands still have a competitive advantage?

Why not, absolutely. Consumers are looking for stories that are 360 degrees, no matter their origin. I think the need for sustainable choices is increasing year to year, and every year we are more demanding as consumers. If I look at myself, about a year ago, I didn’t over-engage with choices on facial, body, hair products. Today, due to the collective pandemic experience, I want to offer myself the best of nature. Whether it’s exfoliating, which takes me to my beloved Bali, or a home-made dinner with vegetables I buy from the nearest farmer, I’ve made the return to nature a central point of my decision making. I believe I’m not the only one.

As a young brand, we currently offer our first two products, LOTUS nutritional exfoliation, and the smoothing exfoliation VULCANO. We wanted to develop an exfoliation product entirely from natural ingredients along with friendly packaging. Do you think we’re on the right track?

Absolutely. Pelia Organic is a quality product, and it also comes in sustainable and beautiful packaging. To illustrate: under my shower, I always have a fresh bunch of eucalyptus, which provides aromatherapy every time I step in the shower. Every morning, right after a dry body brush, I treat myself to a relaxing shower, which includes Lotus peeling, among other things. When I finish this part, I stay in the ice shower for a good minute to wake up completely, fill my body with happiness hormones, and … I jump from Bali to my home office, where I work faster to later spend more time on things I catch balance with.

You can follow Nina on her website and Instagram and Facebook profile. On her podcast Lovim ravnotežje, you can also catch a conversation about our brand Pelia Organic.