Evridiki Valavani and Amalia Roussou. The faces behind the success of RAD polewear, the first Greek company that sells clothes exclusively for Pole Dancing, are two women who decided to turn their hobby into their main job! Of course what makes their success even bigger is the fact that they managed to bring Pole Dance into our hearts and helped spread the sport of Pole Dancing to a wider audience.
How did they manage to do that you might ask…well they have been organizing the Greek Pole Dance Championship 3 years in a row now and have brought to Greece just a few days ago the never before seen in Greece, Summer Pole Camp and the Pole Theatre Greece.
We met Evridiki Valavani and Amalia Roussou, the two founders of RAD at the Greek Summer Pole Camp and had a great chat with them and generally a really RAD time!!
(for proof check out the photos!) You will see the highlights of the 1st Greek Summer Pole camp in our extensive interview so go ahead read on and enjoy!
Our philosophy is to spread the sport and the art of Pole Dancing through our company and to create products with a specific identity, which make whoever wears them feel… "rad"!
What differentiates (if it does) women in the way they work as entrepreneurs?
In our opinion the female entrepreneurship is equal to the male. We could say that entrepreneurship has no gender. Perhaps, the way in which it might differ is how women operate in connection with their tendency to overanalyze events and examine every fact from various points of views.
To what extent has your friendly relationship and business challenges been affected?
The fact that there is a friendly relationship which unites us only works positively. Both of us know how it works and we consider each other and our views almost always identical and we also divide our duties accordingly.
How is the current economic crisis affecting you and how do you act to mitigate its negative effects? In general, how is entrepreneurship in Greece during the crisis?
RAD Polewear is a company which was born in Greece during the financial crisis and from the first moment it “travelled” abroad, so we have not actually experienced the negative economic consequences. On the other hand, any obstacles which can be found in our path are made to be overcome.
How has RAD ultimately changed your life?
Completely and clearly for the better! Everything turned upside down, just like when Pole Dancing had come into our lives.
What is it that distinguishes you from your competitors / What is your competitive advantage?
Definitely that we are “RAD”! Our competitive advantage is that we covered a gap in the area, the one of stylish and fashionable sports clothes. Also, the
most important thing for us is that the brand has a very specific identity, it is authentic and pioneering and this makes our company stand out.
What was the biggest challenge you faced?
When we first started we didn’t expect that our company would become so successful so quickly. Back then , it was a challenge for us to keep up with the current trends especially because there wasn’t a sure way to follow. It was something like a Big Bang for the Pole Dancing industry and since then everything keeps on changing.
How do you feel about people who try to mimic you?
We are trying to do not waste our energy in such sad events. We focus on our constant progress, to be original and to always be one step ahead. We are pleasantly surprised when sometimes we define the new trends and that people love our ideas!
We have received numerous messages from our customers, friends, Pole Stars and ambassadors telling us about some duplication, both as regards our clothes and the identity of our company. The consumer can understand what is genuine and what is not and this does us justice. We keep only the positive from all this, which is creating continuously and building a strong and authentic identity.
Why did you start organizing events? What was it that motivated you to plan events in Greece?
We started organizing events, for the reason that there was no organization in Greece to meet the standards abroad. On the other hand, the world was very interested in such events, as well as plenty of Greek talent which somehow had to become known.
How is the choice of participants in a Pole Dancing contest made?
When someone wants to participate in a competition, he or she sends the video submission within the required time period. Then the videos are uploaded to the respective judges who have been selected for this purpose and they choose, on the basis of various criteria depending on the type of competition, the athletes who qualify. We have chosen not to take part in the decision making because it simply is not our sector.
If you were to compete what contest / category would you select?
Amalia: I would certainly choose Pole Theater, Classique.
Evridiki: I would also choose this contest and the particular category.
How much time does it take to organize a competition? How long before do you start preparing?
We start preparing each contest at least a year before. For example when the Greek Pole Dance Championship ends, we start organizing the next one.
What is your forecast for the progress of Pole Dancing over the coming years?
Our view is that it will continue progressing rapidly and that it has come here to stay!
Tell us the best and worst memory until today with regarding the contests.
The worst memory was in the 1st Greek Pole Dance Championship where some people questioned the validity of the results. This was very unfair to us and the effort we had made to build the first official competition in Greece, but also for our prominent athletes-judges who were faced with a bad image of our country.
The best recollection is that every time in all contests, our theaters are filled and we receive the love and the support of the Greek community and our personal satisfaction gained from our effort.
We realize that the events are a great challenge, they are demanding and that it is also difficult to make everyone involved 100% satisfied, especially when we are talking about 1000 people in each contest keeping in mind that there is fierce competition, promotion and personal interests. It is a strong procedure but it is worth it every time! We always keep the positive memories and we move on with optimism and love for what we do.
You have helped in the dissemination and progress of Pole Dancing in our country. What does the Greek Pole Dancing community think about you?
As we mentioned earlier, it really has given us love, support and interest from the very beginning and this gives us power and an incentive to continue. The Greek Pole Dance community is very large, active and present, especially in relation to other countries and this is in honor of Greece.
Owners of a company with clothes and organizing events. Can one project sabotage the other? How are they combined? How difficult is it to balance both of them?
It surely requires more time to do both at the same time. But in no case does one sabotage the other, especially when we treat them with the same love.
Do you hold other surprises for us in the future?
Always! Stay” RAD”.
Thank you girls!
Photo Credit Elena Nani & Shot by Vit