Oliver Rauch (Austria, Accessory) and Lilit Mkrtchyan (Armenia, Accessory and Fashion)

HE Oliver Rauch and NE Lilit Mkrtchyan

New Entrepreneur (NE):

Name & surname: Lilit Mkrtchyan
Country: Armenia
Age: 38
Sector of activity: Accessory and Fashion
Did you already start your business? Yes
What is your future business? L Design will create wearable art for daily use, like ecobags, t-shirts, accessories with different ornaments and printed/embroidered illustrations, using natural, environmentally friendly materials.

Host Entrepreneur (HE):

Name & surname: Oliver Rauch
Country: Austria
Sector of activity: Accessory
Experience in running a business (in years): 4
Name of business/website: www.cowstyle.com
What is your business? COWstyle designs and produces jewellery made of leather, stainless steel and other elements. Our brand’s products are being sold in over 350 shops in 7 countries in Europe and in our online store (www.cowstyle.com) worldwide.

Period of exchange: 30/5/2022 – 27/09/2022
Duration of exchange: 4 months

A shared passion for innovative accessories

COWStyle owner Oliver Rauch had a successful exchange with Lilit Mkrtchyan from Armenia

Oliver is an experienced host entrepreneur and successfully concluded several exchanges with young entrepreneurs from all over Europe. This time he was glad to share his experience with, and learn from, Lilit from Armenia. COWstyle, a company Oliver founded with two friends from university, is about high-quality leather accessories. Oliver is the creative mind behind the brand. At the same time he manages the company’s business development and makes sure the products sell: “I already did some exchanges and always found it very inspiring to have young, motivated minds on board who don’t shy away from critique and have innovative ideas. Some of those ideas you can use well, others might be less practical, but it’s about this process, this makes the exchange so productive.”

Lilit, a young entrepreneur with passion for sustainability and skilled in graphic design, started her own company L Design with the goal to create wearable art for daily use, like ecobags, t-shirts, accessories with different ornaments and printed/embroidered illustrations, using natural, environmentally friendly materials.

“I have always dreamt about creating something that will beautify the world. It’s been already several years, since I started painting, doing design and creating things as a hobby. So, this year, I realized that I want to have my own little corner – the so-called creative business where I would have the chance to create and deliver it to customers. My wish was intense, but I knew that only a desire and ability to create was not enough to succeed. I knew I needed to learn more about how to start a business, what are the tricks of the trade. So, to work together with an experienced entrepreneur was the best thing to do.”

Oliver’s brand offers accessories from wallets and wristbands to watches or jewellery. The work of a creative and skilled mind like Lilit’s was a great asset for COWstyle. Lilit was from day one an enrichment and inspiration for the company.

“She got on with everybody really well. At the beginning, it was important to me to show her every step of our production. It was a great opportunity for me to have someone from the outside with a fresh view to ask a lot of questions. It really helps you review your processes and sometime even discover possibilities to optimize them.”

While Lilit started to create designs for COWstyle using different digital tools and started learning about the potentials of e-commerce platforms, Oliver started evaluating Lilit’s business idea. Both profited from their regular exchange, where they were able to learn from each other: “The recurring meetings with Lilit were very fruitful. She developed a great deal during her time in Austria and I have the feeling that my input was useful for her further entrepreneurial career. I’m really curious about how her business is going to develop, in the best case, I’ll be her customer myself soon!”

Lilit sums up: “Overall, the program allowed me to view entrepreneurship from a different angle and to redefine my thinking on how to be successful in the business arena. I am grateful to Oliver Rauch for all the support he gave me during the programme, and I hope that our collaboration will continue.”