The successful founder Keta Lomidze started several magazines in Georgia before entrepreneurship was a big topic in the country, in particular for a woman. Currently, she is also the Senior Art Director for Forbes Woman Georgia. The digitalization shift within the magazine and news industry was the biggest driver of change for the past years. Keta was able to understand the changing industry and adapt accordingly. To understand more about her journey as a female entrepreneur and mother, read her article.
What is your story, Keta Lomidze?
Why not? – When I think about my life, that is the first question that pops in my mind. And the answer incorporates all of my experiences or new beginnings and the goals that I am fighting for.
Since childhood, I was always a fighter and wanted to contribute to change. To prove that fighting always matters. Being ordinary is boring, whilst breaking stereotypes brings not just diverse experiences but also an amazing feeling that you are part of something bigger. This feeling for me is the most important one.
Risk is also a crucial part of my story. I took my first risk when I started studying film making.“Female filmmakers in Georgia are not very successful” – I remember how staggering this sentence was, but I did not get scared and continued to make my dreams come true.
Since my first year at University, I started an internship at a broadcasting company. However, soon realized that I was missing something very important to me. I wanted to create something new that Georgia of the 90s did not have. Something that would surprise you so much that it would make you forget about total nihilism and give you the feeling that you can freely say what you want.
And so, I and my photographer friends came together. We looked for vintage clothing in our wardrobes, put those clothes on our friends and did a photo project called “Vintage”. We chose the perfect location for the performance – an old building presented as a modern.
Friendly fun soon became our work routine, so we joined the magazine “Anabechdi”. This was one of the best periods as nothing could challenge our young, rebellious minds. We, driven by our desire for innovation, did everything related to art and alternative vision with passion.
to produce investigative articles on topics of high interest and contribute to women’s economic empowerment by supporting and promoting female leaders.
When starting your first magazine, how did you come up with this idea and what motivated you to create your own business?
After “Anabechdi” came to the online magazine “Beat Magazine”. The name was a perfect description of our aim – an explosion so that everyone knew that art is alive and expressed what each of us has to say.
Our goal has a rebellious character – saying everything through the visual.
However, with all this, I must say that we had almost no experience but feared nothing. I think the trial worked, even succeeded. Here’s a little bit of advice that may have been said many times, but it’s not as easy to understand – You just have to believe in your cause and fight for it.
My motivation is the new challenges and opportunities that require a great sense of responsibility. I learned marketing and PR because I realized I wanted to be on the side that would allow me to find young people and come together for greater goals.
That was the idea behind “Culinart” as well. At first, it was just a one-time project. Representing the culinary field from a different perspective that was missing in the local market. However, our great desire turned a one-time project into an already successful business.
What where the most challenging moments while building your magazines and how were you able to overcome them?
Success would not be possible without my team. My greatest achievement and motivation are the people that I could not work without.
With them, I realize how strong I am. I believe that any problem or difficulty is a challenge that you must overcome. For that, you need people you trust.
What is the Startup ecosystem like in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia?
New opportunities without challenges are unimaginable. However, there is nothing more amazing than to see how you get stronger day by day and how you contribute to shaping public opinion. For example, the magazine “Twelve,” which my friends and I created after “Culinart”. We realized that we wanted to write about broader topics and we gathered the courage to do so. Today, “Tormeti” is an online publication, as we strive to keep pace with modern trends and mark our place in the digital world.
“Daraia” is also a collaboration of newness, freedom, and art expressed in accessories and clothing. I can say very proudly that the brand is entirely produced in Georgia and the name also comes from a Georgian word. “Daraia” means silk, which we use in our products.
The goal is the same – encourage young generations, support the field of art and motivation. If you want it, everything can have a big future.
What does Forbes Woman Georgia do for local female entrepreneurs?
Forbes Woman Georgia is probably very special in my life. Here, my partners and I, have not only come together for one purpose but also completed each other.
We faced great challenges – the renewed edition should have been adapted to Georgian reality but also focused on the masses, a bridge between the business and art.
Why? Because we wanted to measure success with other parameters, not just the amount of capital, the size of the company, or the position. We created specific categories where we presented the work of startups, entrepreneurs, artists…
Our brand is focused on women, and our goal is to raise awareness on issues faced by women and in general, on what women do and to prove that we, women, have the same competence and professionalism in different sectors as men.
Moreover, one of the main priorities of FWG is the support of the youth, the magazine’s line is dedicated to self-development and education. We are developing new directions where successful women share their experiences, and we will also have a mentorship program to introduce new directions in practical education in schools.
How do you combine motherhood with being a founder of multiple companies?
My main driving force is my son. That is where my professional choice comes from – having enough time to spend with my child and doing work that will be part of a larger change. Fighting for big ideas motivates me to be a stronger mom. I want my son to believe that breaking stereotypes is difficult, but possible.
I also want him to love the idea of freedom the most.
What do you appreciate the most about being an entrepreneur?
Often people think that we, entrepreneurs, have a lot of free time. This is not true, on the contrary, we have to fully participate in all the projects that we love like our children. Spend considerable time and resources every day in their growth and development.
This is why I think being an entrepreneur is happiness – with interesting adventures, I always remember one thing – I should never stop!
Which lessons would you like to share with other starting female founders?
Failure story does not exist. Any kind of failure is a new opportunity, this is what I want to say to women. I would advise them to never deviate from their values and support each other, not only in times of trouble but also to share each other’s success stories.
First of all, we, women must believe that we are equal and that a weak woman does not exist!
We can do everything!