Polina Nioly Pushkareva: My business has taught me great respect for human potential
Being 25 years old, Polina Nioly Pushkareva is a successful business woman whose days are scheduled by the hour for several weeks ahead. She certainly combines a busy work schedule with relaxation and communication with friends. An interview with Polina is a real motivation for those whose eyes burn at the word «business» and who are ready to go to their goal through trial and error.
What was it like to feel «in business» for the first time? What were you afraid of?
I didn’t have such a thing that one day I woke up and decided: «That’s it, let’s do business». No, everything happened gradually. I built everything brick by brick. It seems to me that I still do not realize that I am not just in business, but I am in a very large business that employs a huge number of adults and more intelligent, talented people. They are my competitors and I have to survive.
I have a very close-knit young team. And I think, thanks to the fact that all the guys are like me, we perceive business more as a game where we are not afraid to lose, we are not afraid to put our foot into it. For us, this is something more fun than a matter of life and death. Therefore, I cannot say that I had any fears.
How has your life changed as a businesswoman: perception of reality, approach to leadership, wardrobe and everyday style?
Maybe, the biggest thing that has changed in me is taking responsibility for other people. Probably, this is to some extent what I do not quite like. And given that I’m only 25 years old, sometimes I look at guys who are a little older than me or the same age, and I notice that they have a carefree lifestyle. They may not think about what will happen tomorrow. They may not plan their finances. And I don’t have that option. Even if I’m having fun, I always have a finger on the pulse, because I know that the lives and families of a big number of people depend on my decisions. It’s something you have to learn to live with.
With the advent of my business, I learned to value human resources more. Previously, I did not understand how big the CEO’s work is. They don’t just hand out assignments; there are a lot of personal moments that you need to know and take into account. My business has taught me great respect for human potential.
How do you assess the moment of gender in business? Who – women or men – owns the «business» world today?
To be honest, this question pisses me off. I know perfectly well that business is for men. So that we do not speak for feminism and equality, however, women do not have equal rights with men, business is completely male; women in it rarely survive.
A woman must have a masculine consciousness if she goes into business, no matter how unpleasant it is to admit.
I think the media should show us more women in business. We know Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and other men. And we know almost nothing about women, and this needs to be corrected.
Men love to devalue women’s business, calling it «something frivolous». If you are a young beautiful successful girl, you will have a lot of devaluing looks. And this is a big problem today.
In your recent interview, you talked about starting a lingerie brand. At what stage is your project?
At the branding stage. Unfortunately, we restarted the project and redid it several times already. We have already reached the stage of creating some kind of collection, but all this was not large enough for me. So now we start everything from scratch.
The lingerie project that I conceived this time is something that the world has not yet seen. Therefore, I have a huge amount of responsibility, as well as a large amount of financial and human resources. Thus, we plan to launch the project in 2023.
What is the main idea of your project?
We are making an experimental lingerie brand that will be completely sustainable, not in terms of the American vision, nor in terms of the European vision, but in terms of complete sustainability. This means that each stage of the creation of underwear is responsible for nature. I believe that if we create any business at the moment and do not take into account nature, then this is unethical and unacceptable. Building brands that will further harm our planet is something we as a society no longer want; this is something that is inappropriate and unnecessary. Therefore, if humanity creates something now,it must be completely in harmony with nature. We develop certain fabrics, a delivery system.
In terms of model design, the big problem I see right now is the oversexualization of women. I don’t know about the others. But I have two types of underwear: underwear for meeting someone and simple cotton underwear for every day. I want to feel beautiful and comfortable every day for myself, not for some special occasion.
I want to create lingerie that will be beautiful on any figure, lingerie for every day without sacrificing comfort, and that it brings pleasure to wear.
Everyone’s inclusiveness is important to me, which is why we call this brand «experimental brand». Our society is changing in terms of ethics, we have new standards of what is now considered appropriate or vice versa. I don’t want to make any big statement about how inclusive we are. No, my brand grows with my consciousness as a creator and with the development of society. It will constantly adapt to the demands that appear in society and to the new ethics.
Does life at high speeds leave time for rest? What is rest for you? How do you renew and where do you gain strength?
Recreation is a huge problem for every person in business. It is impossible to get distracted from business, especially if this business is high. I want to constantly develop this, but at some point you need to tell yourself «Stop!».
For me, a huge starting point in taking care of my mental health was the arrival of a permanent entry into psychotherapy. In addition, I forcibly send myself on vacation twice a year, completely without a phone.
I also learned how to optimize my workspace so that during the day I spend no more than six hours on the phone. And I think that everyone who wants to feel cool needs it. Many people of my age have the feeling that time is running out at a speed. This problem arises from the fact that we spend a lot of time on devices. Comparing our life with the life of previous generations, I can say with confidence that by spending 8 hours a day on the phone, you cut off a third of the life that the previous generation lived. Therefore, I am always in favor of reducing the amount of time spent on phones.
What emotion guides you in business?
My business’ main emotion is confidence. No matter what I do, no matter what I start, I am always sure that I will succeed. I am a person who will try thousands of times, and with so many attempts, it cannot be that something cannot work out.
Do you have a long term goal that you are working towards?
It’s a creation of a Russian-American brand that will be known throughout the world and will be the beginning of the repair of American-Russian relations. This relationship is what upsets me the most right now, this is what needs to change. Probably, I can become the very person who, through their business, their projects, can achieve this goal.
What are your plans for 2022?
My plans are development of my social networks, access to the international level of my instagram. I will switch to English in the middle of the year and this will be the starting point of my international development. We continue to work on underwear, enter into even more film projects.
Thus, we are scaling up everything that we have already started.