Behind the Scenes: An Exclusive Interview with Stefania, Managing Director of Protrade Decor

Behind the Scenes: An Exclusive Interview with Stefania, Managing Director of Protrade Decor

Welcome, everyone!

Today, I have had the pleasure of speaking with Stefania Barbara, the Managing Director of Protrade, a company specializing in furniture and furnishings. With her extensive experience and expertise in the industry, I am excited to dive deep into the challenges and opportunities that come with her role.

Throughout this interview, we’ll be exploring Stefania’s strategies and goals for 2023. 

Sit back, relax and read on for an exclusive look into the mind of a successful entrepreneur.

As a female entrepreneur, how do you manage to balance your daily routine heading your brand and your family life? 

In reality I don’t think of myself as a ‘female’ entrepreneur, just as an entrepreneur. Being Female is the bonus. I often say it’s like juggling many balls… sometimes a few of them fall on your head!  It takes a lot of balance, a lot of support and a good diary – planning is key. Be Flexible.  Accept help when you’re offered, or find help where you can.

What strategies have you found to be most effective in achieving this balance?

First of all, planning helps me a lot. I keep a diary on my phone (which is practically always stuck to my hand), and I update it religiously. Any thought that pops up also goes into my daily diary, that way it doesn’t interfere with family time. I also try to compartmentalize my day: Work time and Home Time. If possible, I try not to open my laptop at home unless it’s an emergency. Finally,  I think being realistic and not striving for perfection helps a lot. You can’t strive for perfection when you’re cutting corners! It’s hard for  someone like me who likes things ‘just so’, but I think with acceptance comes a significant reduction in stress.

Do you have a particular process or criteria that you follow when selecting items to sell? 

I have two rules which I set myself:

1. Is it well made with a reasonable price?

2. Do I like it?

Our mission at Protrade Décor is to offer products which are beautiful and well made, but which don’t cost the earth. I feel that in this way, customers will feel more comfortable coming to our showroom and also consider refreshing their décor regularly. Another important issue for me is trends/change. We source from different suppliers to stay ahead of the curve, that way we always have something fresh to offer.

What are Protrade’s goals for 2023? Are there any specific initiatives or projects that the company is focused on achieving in the coming year? 

As everyone probably knows, we’re working on our new showroom and we hope to have the first phase finalized during 2023. As with any project in Malta, the delays have been dispiriting but there was a valid reason for the delay: the footprint has now nearly doubled. Hopefully phase 1 will be ready by this calendar year! We also have some new exciting products – most notably we have a range of affordable, well-made self-assembly products in the pipeline, so keep an eye out for those!

We hope you enjoyed this exclusive interview with Stefania, Managing Director of Protrade Decor. Her insights and expertise have provided a behind-the-scenes look at her world.

But before she left, I wanted to ask Stef three fun questions - here goes - 

"My favourite hobby outside of work would have to be reading! I’ve always been an avid reader. When I’m immersed in the story I find my mind switches off completely, so it’s my favourite way to unwind".


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