Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Meet the talent – Aleksandra Marić, Fashion & Luxury Web3

Age: 36

Place of residence: Belgrade, Serbia

Position: Founder & CEO, Amaze & Co. – Fashion & Luxury Web3 Business Consultancy

Please describe a day in your life:

In my life, no day is the same and with the same schedule. Coffee is first because I cannot wake up without it. Then it is meetings and work, planned in such a way that I have time for my family, my friends, and myself, even in the middle of a work day sometimes. I sometimes spend two hours with a family member or a friend during work hours but then go on and work until really late in the evening. I follow my gut instinct about what I need during the day, and I am happiest because I can decide and plan my schedule according to that.

How many projects are you currently working on? Please describe them:

Oh, I can never answer this question well, because there are many and I always forget something. My consulting firm has our clients, and there are always new projects. We are their business advisors, and we are developing new business models and concepts for several of them for the Web3 and Web2 spheres. I also run a non-profit organization, representing the most significant fashion movement in the World, and we fight for sustainability. I teach “Management of Fashion & Luxury companies” at various Universities across the continent. Together with my brother, I run our family business which has been around for the past 40 years. I have a small beauty brand that I founded. There is also a pretty great EU project I am a part of as an expert. Those are the things that I can think of at the moment. As I said, there are many.

In your opinion, who is the most influential person/company in the World of technology these days?

I don’t believe there is just one. I am absolutely impressed with all the new Web3 startups I read and hear about daily. I like what we are all collectively doing. This wave of enthusiasm, vision, and imagination we are witnessing now is the most influential force in technology today. The beauty of it is the fact that there isn’t just one influential person or company and that this influence and power are becoming decentralized.

If you could pick one app/product/project existing now that you wish you were involved in, what would it be?

It would be a Metaverse dedicated to fashion and luxury brand presentations and experiences.

What are the three characteristics you have that make you successful in tech?

I am kind of an “imposter” in tech, coming from the fashion and luxury industry and now moving into Web3. Persistence, willingness to constantly learn, and the fact that I am not only in tech and have a different viewpoint.

What is the most difficult thing you had to deal with during your career?

Growing pains and struggles. Holding C-level positions at twenty-something years old and dealing with prejudices. I always looked younger than my age, and people assumed there wasn’t a really fast brain behind that face. Today, I find all of that really amusing.

What is your greatest achievement up until today?

The fact that many years ago, I imagined what I would like my job, and it came true. It happened after many, many hard-working years, but I did not give up. I persevered, did not make a compromise, and ended up in a different industry. I can’t imagine not being a fashion/luxury expert, and I think I would be unfortunate if I had to do something I do not really like every day. It is SUCH a cliché that I am even embarrassed to say it, but it seems like you really can be whatever you want to be, haha.. (after you work your butt off for it, of course)

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself with a PhD diploma and a consulting firm that will only grow. I hope to have a wonderful, enthusiastic team that wants to evolve together.

What is your next goal?

My next goal is to achieve even more balance in life. Today’s society is built in a way that often makes us feel like we are in some race. So the goal is not to pay attention to that, to live life according to my own tempo, and to care even less about what people say.

What tips do you have for people who want to start out in the tech world?

For anyone starting out in any world, I would say listen, constantly aim to learn, and do your best. Put in an incredible amount of hard work. Be nice. Don’t cheat. Taking the easy road and skipping steps along the way is never a good option, and it will haunt you. Arm yourself with lots of patience. Many things come with maturity and experience; sometimes, seeing any success takes years of hard work. If you do things patiently, life improves with the years.

If you could say something to your younger self what would it be?

That all the hard work pays off, and not to worry so much. I would tell myself to enjoy every moment and period of life even more. Hard times are there for a reason to teach us something, so relax and smile. It all ends well.

What do you think non-tech people around (family, friends) think you do?

I rarely talk about work, so people do not know everything I do. When I am relaxing with dear people, you will never hear me talk about work, it is always other topics, so I am often misunderstood since they have no idea about that part of my life or the projects I do. Work is such a big part of my day, and I am constantly planning new things in my head.

So, when I am with the people I love, I need time to relax my head and nervous system and spend quality time with them talking about other life matters. That is why I often seem like I don’t work so much or seem like a totally unbothered person, and I make all the hard work seem effortless. I guess I just really don’t like it when people tell everybody around them about their work or their work problems. 

What is the invention of the century in your eyes?

Cryptocurrencies. The possibilities they have opened for us. I am just so happy to be of this age in these times when Web3 is evolving.

What can’t you do without? (app/product…)

My mobile phone, unfortunately. I really wish I could live without it and go back to the days without a smartphone. I miss those days, and I hope I didn’t have to be in contact with everybody through my smartphone.

Which famous person would you like to have dinner with and why?

Mr Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, or Amancio Ortega, the founder of ZARA. Maybe we could all go to dinner together. Why? For the mix of business and fashion knowledge and the fantastic yet different success stories they have. Oh, if that fails, going to dinner with Satoshi Nakamoto could be nice. If you read this, call me.

Where would you like to travel next?

Milano. The city where I used to live for almost four years. For me, it is the ultimate fashion business capital of the World. I haven’t been there in a while, and I have some big plans for my company and myself, so I cannot wait to go there in a couple of weeks.

If you were asked to stay on a deserted island for 6 months, what 3 things would you take with you?

Swimsuit, a huge towel, and my family dog (he is not a thing, but I would need his beautiful energy with me).

Do you have a person who influences or motivates you?

Anyone who has fought hard to make their dreams come true had a vision and did not give up. I also like honest, unapologetic, kind people.

What is the greatest miss? (you thought it will never work, but it turned out to be a great success)

Nothing is a miss. It is just about how you perceive things and your attitude towards life. There are so many things that I was sad about and thought were failures at first, but they ended up being great things for me because they brought me to even better things.

What did you dream of creating/inventing/doing as a child?

Since I was two years old, I just wanted to stand in front of people and teach. I was so small, but I would climb the couch in our living room, stand there, and speak in an unknown language to an invisible crowd in front of me. I was determined to do an hour-long “lesson” almost every day, which is a lot of concentration for a small kid. So, maybe I was born to be a Professor. You can only imagine how happy I am to teach at Universities across Europe today. The greater the number of listeners, the better. That is when I flourish.

How did covid-19 change the way people view technological development?

The most important thing is that it changed how we interact and what we find normal. I’m not too fond of it, but hey, nobody is asking me. It introduced the concept of doing everything online. It is a perfect intro to the era of the Metaverse. As somebody who is developing concepts for it, I think there is a certain amount of responsibility that comes with that. I always say we still need to remember the power of sitting across from somebody and soaking in the positive energy of people around you and sharing yours.

Andriani Loizidou
Andriani Loizidou
Andriani has been working in Publishing Industry since 2010. She has worked in major Publishing Houses in UK and Greece, such as Cambridge University Press and ProQuest. She gained experience in different departments in Publishing, including editing, sales, marketing, research and book launch (event planning). She started as Social Media Manager in 4i magazine, but very quickly became the Editor in Chief. At the moment, she lives in Greece, where she is mentoring women with job and education matters; and she is the mother of 2 boys.

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