Today we’d like to introduce you to Elena Tushina.
Elena, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My story in design industry began 18 years ago when I started working in the most prestigious Design showroom in Moscow. I met personally the world known masters of design like Paolo Navone, Philipp Starck, Patricia Urquiola. I attended the most important design shows in Milan, Paris, Koln and took multiple educational trainings on the factories producing furniture and lighting in Italy, Switzerland, Germany. So, I totally fell in love with design industry as it has opened to me as world of beauty, elegance, passion, inspiration and unlimited possibilities. As my career was growing, I took a position of Project Management Director in another company where I with my team executed remarkable projects for Ararat Park Hyatt, Ritz-carlton, Walt Disney and many restaurants and luxury residences.
And finally in 2009, I was ready to start my own company of Smartline Design Concierge. We started to provide services of design project and project realization from A to Z. And that’s become our trademark – ability to convert from pictures to completed space and accompany the client through the whole process and years after. Another huge advantage of our company – that we buy products from European and American manufacturers directly, import, export, ship and deliver, which helps us to optimize the process and save money significantly. So, our first office is located in Moscow. Then in 2011, I opened an office in Miami after I moved here. We also have employees in Rome, Italy. Step by step geography of our projects spreader from Russia to Europe and United States. As of now, we have done 70 projects in ten countries and we continue to expand.
And thanks to our clients’ demand and my own vision my company developed into Premium Concierge service in Design field. It means that when can answer any question and find solution for any task related to Interior design. We proudly serve premium residence, yachts, private jets, restaurants, hotels, offices. Usually all our clients stay with us forever, because after one residence in one country they want to decorate yacht, then to buy vacation house in different country, then the apartment for a child who is going to college, then they want to open new office for their company, etc.
Another big direction of our business is collaborating with other designers. They all are very talented visionaries creating fascinating concepts but in 90% of the cases they are not dealing with direct purchases and supplies, logistics and orders management because it’s totally different process. So, we take their project on paper with beautiful pictures, transform into product specifications with prices, lead times, consulting on technical details and customization possibilities and finally make the project HAPPEN. We treasure all the relationships that we’ve built through 18 years and very proud of them.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Running your own business is never a smooth road. With every new project new challenges rise. But also thanks to them we are getting more strong and implement new services and opportunities. As we work in different countries, sometimes we experience currency’s volatility. Sometimes it works for us, sometimes against us, but we’ve learned how to balance it. Sometimes, manufacturers are not performing promised lead times and we are responsible for late fees, but it also stimulates us to monitor the industry and select trusted manufacturers and eliminate risky ones. Some profit losses also happened because of some missing details in product description caused by lack of attention. So, we’ve learned that accuracy and patience is the key skill.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Smartline Global Design Concierge – what should we know?
My company provides Global Design Concierge service in interior design field. We do design projects, project supplying, project management, consulting on real estate brokers, contractors, subcontractors, logistics, art, post-execution support. We become client’s personal assistant in interior design right from the start of our first collaboration.
We are extremely proud of long-term relationships with our global clients, proud of being able to provide premium service in different countries, proud of huge database of suppliers and subcontractors, practical knowledge of widest range of products. We are proud to be trusted one-stop source for our clients. We expand our knowledge and professionalism every day by attending design shows, taking educational courses in different countries, visiting factories. We have excellent taste and style, not only in Interior design but in lifestyle as well.
We are different because we work globally which is on very high demand in times of globalization. We have huge amount of knowledge and international experience, which gives us wide vision on global trends and ability to optimize product selection. We execute big tasks like full projects from scratch as well as small ones like to deliver antique knives from the USA auction to villa in South of France. We purchase directly from manufacturers, import and deliver to project destination which saves money and guarantee accuracy. Holding projects in one hand makes it easier for client by having ONE responsible person to ask all the questions and to be in charge of information, details, lead times and more. We have a profound experience of working with hi-profile clientele, knowing their preferences, tastes, acceptable ways of communication and psychological aspects of their personalities.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I have to thank so many people who were with me along the way! My past bosses, clients, colleagues, professors in Universities, friends, employees, coaches. They all have been my teachers and supporters! I remember one friend once asked me when I was complaining about uncontrolled situation at my previous job: “Why don’t you ask your boss to make YOU a Director and take control of everything?” In a month, I took Director’s position.
Another situation, after big crisis in 2008, the company I worked for has fallen apart. And one of my clients called me and said: “Elena, we need your help with our house, only you know it in detail. If your boss’s company doesn’t exist anymore, why don’t you start your own?” And I started immediately. Just with my laptop and some furniture catalogues left from previous job.
Also, I have to express huge appreciation to all my coaches along the way who showed me clearly that it’s ME who is responsible for my success. I still work with life/financial coach to make myself better than yesterday.
- I usually start with a consultation of 150$ per hour. It is used for identifying client’s needs and creating a plan or strategy of task realization.
- We are most efficient in projects where client is ready to spend from 200$ and up per sq ft for remodelling. in this category we save 30-40% of total costs for the client.
- Good italian high-quality sofa starts from 10 000$ (vs 15 000-20 000$ in showrooms).
- Address: 500 NW 24th street, Wynwood Miami 33127
- Website: www.smartline.design
- Phone: 5618181862
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: smartlinegdc
Olga Reidi, Anastasia Samoylova