Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Bashak Ilhan, Founder and CEO of Monique, located in Austin, TX, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Monique is a Mediterranean concept store. We curate our own glamorous lifestyle. Our wardrobe, personally picked, comprises authentic, artisanal products from around the world. We believe we all deserve a good life, a beautifully adorned home, perfect outfits, and unique gifts. Our 100% linen and cotton high-quality, unique design apparel is for those who want to upgrade their life with a Mediterranean touch, style, and quality.

Tell us about yourself

I am a 5x startup founder with two exits, an e-commerce coach, founder and CEO of ROAD Global Marketing Group and Monique Concept Store. I am the head of strategy for my marketing spinoff, Road. I provide e-commerce entrepreneurs with all the skills and tools necessary to build, scale, and exit successful startups. Managing my concept store, Monique, gives me an opportunity to reflect on my knowledge and consistently learn new sales techniques, and coach e-commerce founders through my daily experiences.

I believe that a company’s success lives and dies by collecting the right people and surrounding yourself with meaningful relationships. That doesn’t just go for businesses, either. I enjoy the company and really good food as I believe that food is the tie between people, places, and memories.

I have an MSc Electronic Commerce degree from The Harrow School of Computer Science in London’s University of Westminster, Digital Business Strategy: Harnessing our Digital Future certificate from MIT/ Boston. I believe a great startup can change the world, and I am always eager to hear about your journey.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I founded and co-founded five e-commerce companies and had two successful exits. After selling my second startup, I founded my digital marketing agency, ROAD, and I helped more than 100 e-com startups to go global and triple their sales.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Increasing sales and managing your cash flow.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Get professional help before manufacturing. Consulting or coaching can be a great start. Validate your idea with at least 20 potential consumer avatars. Be real and honest with yourself. Sales is the real game. Remember this and get lost in the processing process.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.