Rich House Poor House: Woman offers to mentor single mum
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Leaving a young Ms Nikolova in Bulgaria, Ms Tsocheva moved to England without knowing a word of English in the hopes of building a better life for herself and her daughter. Now the savvy entrepreneur runs a multimillion-pound domestic cleaning service and has collaborated with her daughter to create their newest venture: Ecobravo, which has attracted celebrity clientele like Katya Jones.
“I started from nothing, and it took me over twenty years to get to where I am today. What’s my secret? I refused to give up. And believe me, I had plenty of opportunities to do so. When I first arrived in London, I had a bag of clothes and about £500 to my name. I knew no one, and I couldn’t even speak English. But I had a goal – I wanted to build a better future for myself and my daughter. And I couldn’t really let her down, now, could I?”
Ms Tsocheva admits the road to success hasn’t been easy, and while filming Rich House Poor House she stayed in the same area where she lived 20 years ago upon her first arrival to England.
Ms Tsocheva noted that being an entrepreneur was never an intentional choice for her: “I originally came to London to find work. Back then, I didn’t know even a fraction of what I do now. I’m not going to bore you with the details, so let’s just say that at the time, things were pretty bad back in Bulgaria.
“I was a young single mum stuck in a straight-up toxic working environment, and I was struggling to make ends meet. So, I figured that moving abroad was my best chance at a better future. I came here with barely any money and no connections or long-term plans. I worked some part-time jobs, and I studied the language. Eventually, I decided that I could do better, so I started a business.
“I didn’t have big ambitions and dreams simply because I was not in the state frame of mind. It had never occurred to me that I could actually start a business, much less grow it to the extent that we’ve done over these past twenty years.”
She also believes that many potential entrepreneurs today face the same problem: stuck in-between their insecurities and lack of confidence.
“Here’s the thing: success is not ‘reserved’ just for those big names you hear about on TV. Remember – I used to think like that too. ‘This sort of thing just doesn’t happen to ordinary people like me’. But it turns out that it does! Because success isn’t really something you’re born into or something that you just stumble upon suddenly. It doesn’t happen overnight either.
“Success is something you work towards over time. It takes effort, patience and dedication. And once you realise that, you’re already on the right track.”
On the set of Rich House Poor House, Ms Tsocheva recalled having to leave her daughter in Bulgaria and the struggles of being an immigrant in the UK.
Ms Tsocheva commented: “I was very happy to participate in the show because it allowed me to re-experience how things were for me when I was just starting out. It was also quite educational for my daughter and me because I never really had the chance to properly convey what that part of my life was to her.
“You see, since my daughter was very young back then, I initially came to London alone. We spent over seven years apart, mostly talking over the phone and only meeting a couple of times per year, as travelling expenses weren’t exactly agreeable for my budget back then.
“It was only once I was finally feeling comfortable with my situation here that I brought her over. Being on the show allowed me to re-experience this, and she got to see the difficulties first-hand. I believe that you should never stop learning, and I find experience to be the best teacher. For us, this wasn’t a ‘period of inconvenience’, but a learning experience and a reminder that we should never take anything for granted.“
Once Ms Tsocheva’s domestic cleaning business Fast Klean took off, Ms Nikolova was able to join her mother in England at the age of 13.
Now, Ms Nikolova shares her mother’s entrepreneurial gene and has created her own successful digital marketing agency.
In 2019 the pair decided to join forces in aid of their interest in eco-friendly living, piqued by the amount of toxic cleaning products Ms Tsocheva had to use in her business and the effect it had on staff and the environment.
Ecobravo is designed with water soluble packaged cleaning products, along with a range of other items from dining ware to sanitary goods.
“I only really got into eco-living recently, and it happened thanks to my cleaning business. We had a contract where we’d need to use some pretty heavy cleaning solutions, and when I read up about the potential dangers, I just cancelled the whole thing. The more I read about this, the more I didn’t want to put my cleaners anywhere near these kinds of toxic materials.
“Then one thing led to another, and it wasn’t long before I was reading about eco-friendliness and sustainability. This was very similar to my business realisation. There are just so many things out there that we never even consider, which are actually very important and can make a huge difference in our lives. Or, in this case, in the lives of everyone around us as well.”
So she set about to change not just her company’s supplies, but also her own lifestyle to help shed the impact her daily life has on the environment, and in doing so she also found an interest in wellness and minimalism.
She commented: “Eco Bravo is just a part of my eco-friendly journey. It’s my way to help people find safe and reliable eco-friendly alternatives to everyday products, cut down on their consumption and reduce their carbon footprint. And, yes, we use all of the items on the catalogue at home. The bowls, bottles, bags, cutlery, towels, everything. That’s why for us, this isn’t just a business, but a lifestyle.”
Ms Tsocheva credits her prior experience in entrepreneurship for helping get Ecobravo sailing smoothly so quickly while also noting that eco products are only bought by people in the right headspace for it.
“If people aren’t already in the right headspace, they’ll just ignore your message completely. And this can be quite challenging, and a tad frustrating, at times because this is more than ‘just a business’ for us. We are both very passionate about wellness and sustainability, and this project is our way of raising awareness and making a difference.”
Ms Tsocheva concluded with some prudent words of advice for fellow entrepreneurs: “Never stop dreaming, and always dream big. As long as you’re managing your expectations correctly, this is the best way to approach entrepreneurship.
“Of course, long-term planning is the key. Be patient, don’t expect to ‘make it big’ overnight because that just doesn’t happen. Learn how to manage your expectations, set reasonable goals and always plan ahead. Oh, and always diversify your plans. Think about how things might disrupt your work and come up with robust back-ups.
“Also, learn to accept that, sometimes, things will simply be out of your hands. The global health situation is the ideal example here – nobody planned for it, and most businesses got hit really hard. And don’t get me wrong, it hit us pretty hard as well, but we also had backup ideas. We were able to keep our businesses open, and we made it through without too many long-term problems.
“And remember – even if you fall today, you can always get up tomorrow. Entrepreneurship isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but if you’ve got what it takes, you will succeed,” she concluded.
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