Client Case Study:
We all face ups and downs in our businesses. We all face challenges, big and small, but very few of us must ever face such a business-altering event as what I’m about to share, and thank goodness we don’t have to…
My past coaching client, Vita Vygovska, who owns the successful window treatment business Vitalia, Inc., was on top of the world in the first quarter of 2021. After 12 years as a solopreneur and another six years hiring team members (a few of which I assisted with), Vita had far surpassed her revenue goal of $1 million the last two years in a row thanks to numerous factors, two of which included her admirable perseverance and everyone wanting to renovate their living spaces during the pandemic. Vita was living the entrepreneurial dream. She loved her business, the business was growing by leaps and bounds, and she had an incredible team of 8 to work alongside her: an in-house window treatment specialist, in-house general manager, in-house installer, marketing coordinator, bookkeeper, and two fabricators. Vita was well on her way to achieving her end goal of creating a business that was not dependent on her constantly propping it up. Life was a grand!
As Vita drove to work on Friday, March 5th of 2021, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The air was crisp, the sun was shining, and Vita remembers thinking Life is so good. I have everything that I want. Five hours later, an electrical fire started in the basement of the business’ building she rented. Vita and her team watched in horror as the entire building went up in smoke, fueled by all of the luxurious bolts of fabric inside. Firefighters heroically tried to save what they could for four hours but to no avail. Everything Vita and her team owned or stored was completely destroyed.
As Vita sat in a restaurant later in the day and stared into the faces of her team members, each of them processing in their own way what had just occurred and how their lives will change, it hit her that the fire was not only a tragedy for the business she loved and the clients she wanted to please, it was also a tragedy for her team members because their livelihood had just gone up in flames. She needed to lead them out of this mess, whatever it took. Vita decided right then and there to focus on the silver linings and press forward. No pity parties. No looking back. By Monday, Vitalia, Inc. was fully operational in her house, using her kitchen table as the conference table.
It has been two years since the fire that stole everything but you would never know such a tragic event occurred by looking at Vita’s business today. Vitalia, Inc. is thriving because in the months following the fire, Vita continued to lead her team effectively and thoughtfully manage expectations, both with clients and with her team who proved their resilience time and again. Vita guided them to focus on what they could control and continue creating beautiful work out of her home. A year after the fire, Vita actually purchased the burned, dilapidated building from her landlord. She demolished the building and built a 2,500 square foot building from scratch in its place. She reconfigured the building to perfectly match her operational needs and now owns this pretty, workable building that Vitalia, Inc. calls its home. Very recently, she held the grand opening of her new space.
Vita is a true small business phoenix who rose from the ashes and turned a tragedy into something amazing.
What You'll Discover In This Episode:
In this episode of Productivity Straight Talk, I sit down for an update interview with Vita to discuss the specific details of how she navigated the aftermath of the fire and rebuilt her business from the ashes. The conversation is an honest, vulnerable one I wanted to highlight because it is inspirational and the message impactful for small business owners who choose to learn from it.
Episode Links & Resources:
Hear A Clip From Vita Vygovska:
Vitalia (Vita) Vygovska is the award-winning author, speaker, business coach, and window treatment specialist. Her company, Vitalia, Inc. Window Treatments, is a comprehensive fabrication, measurement, installation, and project management service that specializes in supporting interior designers and architects. We are a one-stop-shop, expert go-to resource for design and architecture firms looking for support with window treatments, upholstery, and related products. In business since 2006, Vita and her team are proud to be experts in their narrow field, providing their clients with superb quality product and excellent communication. Located in greater Philadelphia Area, Vitalia Inc can handle any project nation-wide or around the globe.