Her life does little to match the classic "business menu". She talks about the bitter and joyful, about the professional and the personal, about yesterday's and today's life at the same time, without dividing into "first", "second" and "third".
Alisa Bartova was born into a family of painters and theater-goers; she spent her entire childhood behind the scenes. At the age of 12 she entered the St. Petersburg Lyceum at the Russian Academy of Arts; at 17 she was transferred to Moscow, where she defended her diploma as an art critic, specialist in Russian painting at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. She starred as a model, worked on television. She became a wife and a mother, but she went through a difficult divorce and actually ended up with a child on the street. She began to work even more - and began to lead charity art projects, helping orphans, children with oncological diagnoses and cerebral palsy. A few years later, in the company of friends, she met a new love - and without hesitation took up her husband's business, heading the development of one of the largest chain of children's toys stores in Russia. And recently, her brainchild was recognized as “The Best Chain Store of the Year in Russia 2017-2018” and “The Best Online Store of the Year in Russia. Webshop Awards Russi2017-2018”─ in the“Children”category.
MC: Alice, for you professional changes started with personal ones. How and when did TV presenter Alisa Bartova become a businesswoman Alisa Lobanova?
Alisa Lobanova: Andrey and I officially formalized our relationship in 2014. But all the major changes began five years ago.
And before that, you had to go through a divorce. After completing the old one, how did you build a new life?
I immersed myself in work on television. She was engaged in charity work. In a difficult situation, the best way to avoid getting depressed is to help those who are even harder. I didn’t have time for personal worries, I had to take care of the child, parents, start everything from scratch.
Psychologists say that the life of a woman who decides to divorce is transformed - how do you explain this?
Certainly transforming. If you deliberately go to a divorce, then you are not a victim, you are a leader. During this period, a powerful work on oneself takes place. A woman begins to develop, grow, change herself and the world around her. She realizes that she is ready to embark on a new path, and accepts difficulties as part of that choice.
“At first I was entrusted with an easy, as it seemed, business - the construction of a residential complex in Sochi. Three buildings of 25 floors"
Once in an interview you said: "Sincere thanks to your ex-husband." For what?
Divorce is a powerful impetus. Negative energy is also energy. She gives a boost. And the person starts to move forward. For me, there is nothing worse than a situation without movement.
Who do you feel you are today - an artist, a philanthropist, a business woman?
Positioning yourself is like putting on a specific mask. This is not about me. For me, as a creative person, it is important that a diversified business allows you to discover new sides, gain valuable experience and create something new. For example, our brainchild TOY. RU is not only business processes, marketing, logistics, analytics, but also store design, communication with customers, PR, advertising. At the same time, it is important to understand that we influence the personality of the child, form views, preferences, and therefore influence the future life. This is a great responsibility. Therefore, we have not only a balanced assortment policy, but also open various feedback channels. The first glossy magazine about trends in the world of children's toys is published,the educational and developmental children's channel “Toyrusha” on YouTube was launched (the number of views in the first week after the opening just went off scale). And it allows us to understand how the toy industry actually works.
You are from a creative family. Did you have to master completely different knowledge?
Naturally. But I am an art critic by education, which means I am an analyst, a person who researches. I am still doing this now, studying and teaching. We have a young team, we have fewer stereotypes. And this allows you to go to the client, create the most convenient format for him. For example, the TOY. RU online store is open 24 hours a day: if a child urgently needs a toy on the weekend or at 7 am, he will have it.
What and where did you have to study?
Economics, finance, management. With coaches who help me, we analyze specific cases of my business. For example, we had 70 stores, and now we have 150. We have re-branded and are looking at how the brand awareness and the traffic of outlets have changed. We analyze the annual indicators and understand which of these 150 stores will be successful in development and which will not. If the store does not pay off within a year, it must be closed. By the way, now our main goal is not to increase the number of outlets, but to improve the quality of the services provided in them, to expand the range.
You said that your husband did not immediately entrust you with the management of the retail network
At first, he entrusted me with an easy, as it seemed, business - the construction of a residential complex in the central district of Sochi. Three buildings of 25 floors each. Do you understand what a construction site is?
Real, with bricks?
Yes. With bricks, with concrete. I studied all stages of the construction of multi-storey buildings: from design work to commissioning. And by the time TOY. RU was entrusted to me, I had already gone through fire and water.
How do you feel when the press introduces you as the wife of a millionaire?
I laugh. These are stereotypes that are high time to destroy. The wife of a millionaire is no longer an "adjective" to her husband. This is a partner, friend, ally, if you like. My husband is 59 years old, his eldest daughter is already 26. His top managers are also adults, some have grown up children. And if we talk about children's toys, such people sometimes have a too conservative vision. There is something to suggest.
“I know what it is like for mothers who have no one to help in difficult times. And I thought about children who have to be alone"
Does your husband appreciate your fresh look?
He appreciates it not only in me. An unconventional view of things, an alternative opinion, fresh ideas - for business it is a door to new markets. At some point, Andrei simply fired those who were not thinking about development, but only about their own benefit. The husband is rather an idealist and loves idealists. And so, probably, he trusts not so much me as the young team.
What is the nicest thing you've heard about yourself?
When they talk about our charitable projects. The idea of master classes in which special children, together with their favorite artists, stars paint Easter eggs or, for example, angels, became a source of inspiration for many. Such master classes were held throughout Moscow.
How did you get the desire to do charity work?
It is said that a person does not see a problem until he faces it. In a difficult period after the divorce, my two-year-old son stayed with his grandmother in St. Petersburg. Working in Moscow and breaking into St. Petersburg at the first opportunity, I experienced great stress. I understood what it is like for mothers who have no one to help in difficult times. And I thought about children who, for various reasons, have to be alone. I found like-minded people among the friends who supervise orphanages. And since my son and I always drew something, the idea of creative almost family master classes was born.
You once admitted: "I hope that at the age of 60, when all my plans are being realized, I will close myself in the studio and paint pictures." What will you draw?
There is still time until sixty. In the meantime, in my plans to make a number of efforts so that Russian artists become fashionable, art lessons were introduced in schools and the children knew not only the names of Bryullov, Vasnetsov, Aivazovsky, but also their works.
And it's all about her
Alisa LOBANOVA ─ Vice President of the SAKS Group of Companies, founder of the federal retail chain of children's toy stores TOY. RU, General Director of Warehouse Investments LLC, Saks Print LLC, founder of the Share Kindness charity project, public figure, artist.
Age: 36 years
City: Moscow; was born in Leningrad
Family: husband; son, 9 years old
Education: State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. I. E. Repina (St. Petersburg), diploma of art critic in the field of Russian painting. A. Mitta studio school, director 's diploma
Career: worked as a correspondent, director, producer on TNT and Rossiya TV channels, author's program Capital of Cinema. In 2016, she headed the development and logistics department of the SAKS group, opened an advertising and production company Saks Print LLC, and at the same time develops a federal retail chain of toy.ru stores that includes 150 stores across Russia and an online store
Music: Queen group, songs Viktor Tsoi
Clothes: “As an artist, I prefer designer costumes. On special occasions I choose Tom Ford, Valentino, Chanel"
Beauty must-have:" I recommend Bobbi Brown peels and foundation"
Sports: running, tennis and yoga
Recreation: “Maldives: seclusion, endless ocean, white sand. I think this is paradise"
Photo: Julia Mayorova
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