It would be easier to list the things he has not done than those he has tried his hand at. He is the man behind the “Before I Die” event which took place in 2015 at the Warsaw University of Technology. He is the author of a popular apparel brand DZIK DZIKI, and he has recently launched the brand of Ewa Niespodziana, Poland’s Next Top Model Cycle 6 contestant. Konrad Pawlak, a 23-year-old graduate from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, the Warsaw University of Technology, tells us what inspires him and what gets him going.
He has always been a man of business. As a kid back in elementary school he would buy bubble gum with collectible figures by the dozen. Then, he would resell them to his schoolmates at a profit. His first “business” got him a warning in the report card. But later on, it all worked out for the better. “At lower-secondary school, I created websites and developed computer games,” says Konrad. “Then, at upper-secondary, my projects included a book on boosting the brain power.”
However, it was only the student community at the Warsaw University of Technology and workshops held by the WUT Career Center that spurred Konrad to set up his own business. “We started to put our knowledge to a test,” says the originator of the DZIKI brand. “My first project, which was a joint effort with Misiek Niekrasz, was a tuition group called Wilki Nauki, or the Science Wolves. After that, I entered various competitions, such as Valeo, where my mates and I managed to win a place in the top as a team. I also took up a creation of a mobile service.”
The WUT graduate likes working under time pressure. In 2014, he won an entry to the event “Młodzi, innowacyjni” (Young and Innovative), sponsored by the WUT Career Center. There he learned about a competition for a PLN 100,000 subsidy under an acceleration scheme. “The only problem was that it was Thursday and the deadline for the competition entry projects was the coming Monday,” says Konrad. “Within the next 72 hours, Misiek and I managed to prepare a marketing plan and a competition review and created a Foodiversity app which combined a cookery course and a cookbook integrated with a refrigerator. Apps like that are now offered by refrigerator manufacturers.”
In 2015, Konrad created the biggest Poland’s “Before I Die” event, which was covered in this blog. A year later, within just 15 hours, Konrad opened up an online store of the DZIK DZIKI brand targeting animal and pet lovers. “I decided to focus 100% on DZIK and quitted all my other projects,” says the young businessman. “Within a year, another brand was born, Miś Warszawski (Warsaw Bear).”
What was the key to success for DZIK? I was about creativity and original approaches to advertising. “I opted for Tinder as a marketing tool for the brand,” explains Konrad talking about his idea in a video on the YT channel “Biznes w 15 godzin” (Business in 15 Hours). “I set up a mock account for Foczka Angela (Angela Chick) for the app to attract attention. I chose the most typical Instagram behaviors and photos and placed my Angela in that setting. Then, I asked my followers to post creative one-liners to pick up Angela. It was it! It got me 1.5 thousand new Instagram followers within little less than a fortnight and the store got rolling. Soon after that success, my Uni-mate Kajetan Ledwoch joined me on a project to launch another brand, Miś Warszawski. It all went so well for us that we joked that we had to think what to buy first: a cash register, or a currency-counting machine, maybe?”
After Angela, it was time to start working with real celebrities. “I approached influencers who have their own built-up audience and an established personal brand they would like to monetize,” explains Konrad. “But, unfortunately, they lack the know-how and experience to set up a store like that themselves. This is how we partnered with MasterChef’s Szymon Czerwiński and Top Model’s Ewa Niespodziana.”
Although Konrad has his plate full working on his business, he does not want to stop there. He is developing his own YouTube channel and is planning next partnerships with celebrities and is taking further steps to promote the DZIK DZIKI brand and the Mr Boar family of brands.