The past year was not easy for the entire shoe market, including the children's one. Everyone suffered: manufacturers, importers, shops, and, of course, buyers of children's shoes. What can you do, crisis! Nevertheless, during this difficult time, there were daredevils who believed that this was a good time to start a new business. The showroom of ESENTE children's shoes, which opened in Moscow in the summer of 2009, is one of such bold undertakings. Elena Gerke, coordinator of the KIDDYPAGES Information Center for Children's Products, talked about starting a business and its problems with Elena Minaeva, President of ESENTE.
- Recently you opened a showroom for children's shoes. Why did you decide to deal specifically with children's shoes?
- The question of choice was not before me. It seems to me that any business undertaken for the sake of money is doomed to failure. For success, it is important to believe that you are busy with something useful and that no one can do this better than you. I really love children, and I want to see them not only healthy and beautiful, but also dressed with taste. After all, the way we look is part of the picture that surrounds us daily, and we need to learn to color it from young nails. Children's shoes are just the beginning. Gradually, I’m thinking of doing children's clothes as well. And over time - to establish the production of our own line, the good of ideas - a lot!
- You opened a showroom in the midst of a crisis. There was no doubt?
- Some say that the crisis is over. And some - that this is the best time to start (smiles. - SR).
- What difficulties did you encounter at the opening?
- Oddly enough, I will not talk about the financial side of the issue. After all, the main resource of any business is people. It was hard to form a team. I had to learn to be tough. Dismissing employees is the most unpleasant thing, which is what circumstances force us to resort to. But, unfortunately, even professionals with excellent resumes often disappoint.
- By what principle were shoe brands selected for the showroom?
- The brands we have presented are GIANNI BARBATO, MOMINO, TONINO LAMBORGHINI, SIMONE, BI KEY, NINETTE, LES COPAINS, IACOVELLI, WALK SAFARI and DUNA orthopedic shoes. I myself am the mother of a seven-year-old son, and when choosing brands, I was mainly guided by his preferences. In addition, the reputation of the manufacturer was important to me. I mean not only product quality or pedantry in delivery times, but also the "sanity" of those specialists with whom I communicate.
I just decided to supplement fashionable and beautiful shoes with the most modern and high-quality orthopedics, which is so lacking in the Russian market. And the children who need it, sadly, are very many.
- Italian children's clothing - out of competition. Can the same be said about shoes?
- Of course! I am very familiar with the technological process of manufacturing shoes, I saw how shoes of all brands presented in the show room are made. Partly this is manual labor. In small factories, craftsmen put their souls into each pair. Well, hardly anyone can boast such a wealth of experience in tailoring, as Italians! As for the Turkish and Chinese firms, it seems to me that the price-quality ratio there is very eloquent. I don’t know whether it is worth saving on children? After all, foot problems provoke diseases of the spine - the core of our health.
- The skate of Italian shoes is still a summer collection. In winter, especially cold, Russian parents prefer Finnish shoes or high boots. Is this so, or did Italians start making collections adapted to the Russian winter?
- It seems to me that in Russia they began to “make” winters adapted to Italian shoes ... (laughs. - SR).
- What will be your rating of factors influencing the decision on whether to place an order in the show room or not: price, design, order conditions, atmosphere in the show room, its design and placement of samples, the availability of POS materials?
- POS materials are very effective. I can not say anything about the conditions of the order - we have the same for everyone; We try to minimize prices, without going beyond the law and common sense. Placement of samples does not particularly affect the decision to work together, as our customers are mostly experienced buyers who clearly know what they need. The atmosphere in the showroom is certainly important, because often placing an order takes a lot of time, and a cup of coffee and a good joke help to pass it away!
- And the last question. In the short time that has passed since the opening of the showroom, how did you see the children's shoe market in Moscow and in the regions?
- Moscow was surprised by the complete absence of conceptual children's stores. I do not mean something for the little “freaks” - I'm talking about stores with a well-thought-out concept, and not a random selection of goods.
And the regions were unexpectedly promising. And they completely destroyed the myth that a hundred kilometers from Moscow, the quality of life is radically changing. I came to the conclusion that where they work well, they live well there. Love, give birth and delight!
- What are your expectations (optimistic and pessimistic) for 2010 year?
“I'm not a market analyst.” And not a fortuneteller (smiles. - SR). I prefer to do my own thing. In good faith and with pleasure! firstname.lastname@example.org
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