Bojana Minic, founder of Lifestyle Montenegro, is only 25, but has a resume that is full of diversity carrying the mark of a learner. She studied law, but does not have the ambition to be a lawyer. She only leverages the skills learned to push her passions further. She received a recognition award from Amnesty International for her work across various projects regarding human rights and cofounded the Organization of Montenegrin Students Abroad which, over time, has placed students into approximately 25 countries. The organization still continues to work and thrive. Once, she even took a position simply because “she is obsessed with big brands and how they work.”
“If you think that it’s right, do it. But think twice.”
Bojana finds her greatest support in her family. She comes from a family that worked in public service. Her father offered Bojana and her sister the freedom to choose their own paths not pushing them to follow his own profession. His advice to them: “If you think that it’s right, do it. But think twice.” This type of support instilled freedom along with a sense of wisdom and intentionality which guided Bojana in her young journey.
After an internship with Porto Montenegro and working with Hard Rock Cafe in Podgorica, Bojana launched her own brand shining a light on the growing wine industry in Montenegro. She started Fine Wine in 2015, but found out that she did not have the knowledge needed. Using the desire to spotlight her home culture and spread the appreciation for Montenegrin traditional products, she transformed Fine Wine into Lifestyle Montenegro.
Lifestyle Montenegro promotes a blending of traditional and modern lifestyles in Montenegro. Bojana’s passion emphasizes the traditional industries such as cheesemaking, farming, and natural resources, however, she does not shy away from the growing draw of tourism in Montenegro. So why not blend the two together connecting brands and the local culture. One example she gave was a supermarket chain beginning to sell local goods produced in the northern part of the country.
While building her brand, Bojana emphasized the need for PATIENCE. Too any times people become impatient and do things too quickly, without proper knowledge, or poorly execute causing more damage to their brand. Bojana believes that building new skills or enlisting the help of others is an important step in creating a new brand. Constantly learning, but being able to allow someone else to grow and execute builds a community along with the brand.
While building Lifestyle Montenegro, Bojana and her younger sister started a second brand/service, a one-to-one truly customizable coffee mug brand, Šoljica. Only launched about a year ago, she will give this more focus later, but she is excited to see how it gained life on its own. And being a coffee mug fan myself, I look forward to ordering a few. 🙂
- Do not expect everything to be handed to you. Entrepreneurs do not wait for handouts.
- Do not limit yourself based upon your school studies. Bojana is not a lawyer, but obtained valuable skills while studying law. Academic life does not define who we should be.
- Ask “Why?” Constantly question the world around you and look for opportunities to create something better. Create a better system or product, but begin with asking why things function and look the way they do. Think critically, and do not accept the status quo. When asked about the number one thing to change in her environment, Bojana’s answer reflected this sentiment. Her desire is to see the youth think outside of the box they have been given, and question more. Then learn the answers
- Be patient. Learn the skills you need and grow. But do not feel the need to rush and complete everything at once. Bojana was satisfied with waiting 6 months or longer for something to make sure she got to an acceptable point before launching out.
The continual questioning drives some crazy, but the failure to do so prohibits growth. Learn to think critically about the world around us making it a better place, and helping each other grow in the process.