The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

“Want to know who you are - go to America!”: How a Russian woman created a successful business in Los Angeles


Source: Thememeste

Upon moving to a new place, the most difficult thing is to accept the fact that you will never be the person you were before: neither psychologically, nor in any other way. The main thing is to accept this and not hold on to your past. You will get a new experience, open up for yourself from an incredible angle and certainly understand how it is to start life from scratch.

Photo: Tina Sokolovskaya

The most important thing for an artist, and indeed for any creative profession, is to realize his creative potential. There is an opinion that the best method to achieve success is to leave the comfort zone. As an example, moving to America. This is exactly what Anna did, who moved to Los Angeles, founded her brand Rave Babe and opened the Rave Babe Shop showroom. The heroine told her story to the author of the project Thememeste.

“Anya, please tell me where you moved from and how you ended up in Los Angeles?” Was this part of your plans or was it the case?

- Two in one. On the one hand, the move was planned, but not by me, but by my, at that time, young man. We lived in Moscow, and he decided to settle in America. It was a good opportunity to change my life. And it so happened that for 2 years I have been living here.

“And what was the move like for you?”

- I felt as uncomfortable as possible. It seemed to me that Los Angeles is absolutely not my city. I just was in New York - it seemed to me more suitable. LA seemed a small, boring, incomprehensible place, compared to Moscow and my condition at that time. I constantly wanted some kind of movement. You need to understand that LA is a separate world, a state in a state.

“But soon, are you still used to it?”

- I relaxed. The city has this for you: you begin to understand that living in a measured rhythm is very pleasant. The atmosphere promotes creativity: both the ocean and mountains are close, there is the opportunity to travel. You can work the first half of the day, and spend the afternoon on the coast, drawing or reading a book.

- How did your loved ones react to the move?

- Since childhood, I did not particularly consult with anyone, making any decisions. My family took the news of the move positively. Now of course I miss my relatives, but there is FaceTime, we often chat, so everything is fine.

Photo: Tina Sokolovskaya

- What did you do in Moscow?

- I was engaged in design. There I was educated at the British Graduate School of Design. After that, she worked for different brands for about five years.

“What did you do when you came to Los Angeles?”

- Moving is such a time when you need funds, therefore, efforts and time are spent on their receipt. But you cannot transfer yourself to another country exactly the same as you were in your native places. We have to overcome a lot. In fact, what I just did: I worked as a photographer, at the same time sewed to order.

- Tell us about your brand, you have such an interesting direction - clothes for raves. How old is the brand and how did you start to develop it?

- Brand literally a year and a half. We in Russia do not have a culture of raves - mass parties. Here is the whole world: a huge mass of people are carried away and live it. People even manage to earn, for example, blogging on the topic of rave. At some point, probably due to the fact that the LA atmosphere is not peculiar to me, I felt this creative. Any kind of creativity is accepted here - this is attractive because you, even creating something most unusual, will still find your buyer.

- How did you come up with the idea of ​​creating a business?

- I was just inspired by the materials. Initially, I did not even plan to sew for festivals. I sewed for myself, and sometimes it turned out not casual clothes. I realized that I want to share my vision and ideas with the world. To do this, first of all, it was necessary to get acquainted with the audience. As it turned out, these are the people who constantly use various costumes - even in everyday life. Among them, such clothes are in demand.

- Festival outfits - this is not the only direction of your activity?

- In Los Angeles, there are many vintage markets where you can go with any product. Mostly people sell ready-made vintage clothes. We take these products and customize it: we do embroidery, apply prints and inscriptions, we make drawings with paints - we remake it for a street style.

Photo: Tina Sokolovskaya

- Do you work alone or do you have assistants?

- I work with a partner, the girl with whom we opened the Subject studio. Her name is Dasha, she is from St. Petersburg. We got a great team: I am responsible for the creative moments, and she - for the technical ones. In active periods of activity, we share responsibilities. Dasha and I have known each other for a long time. We met in Los Angeles, worked together in an atelier in Beverly Hills. They wondered why not discover something of their own - and so it happened.

- Do you and Dasha have disagreements?

- This project is personally mine. Dasha has her own, so we don’t quarrel specifically on this project. Creative studio Subject exists in the studio format. Work goes better not when we share responsibilities, but when we do together. We are living people and minor disagreements do happen, but in creativity, the result is above all. We both think soundly: when one of us understands that he is wrong, we switch to the creative process and try to focus on work.

- Please tell about your clients: how do you find each other? What does your client look like?

- If we talk about the brand, now I'm just building my site. Mostly clothes are sold through the Etsy platform. They have very good internal traffic for people who are in search of creative products, so you don’t need to invest a lot in advertising. We also promote the brand through Instagram advertising and bloggers.

- The creative side is great, but what is the business side of your common business?

- From the point of view of the registration part, some serious documentation or large investments are not yet required. This is such a personal project: many products are made by me manually.

Photo: Tina Sokolovskaya

- Before meeting you, I went to your site. Prices seem quite conservative. How do you support this?

- Yes, that is right. The fact is that my clothes are not bought in bulk. There are shops that take individual things for sale, but they have small orders. Manufacturers who make large wholesale can raise prices. Now our products are considered exclusive - this is a big plus. We do not enter a niche and do not compete with the giant enterprises that sew clothes in China. This allows you to save the face of the brand.

- A primitive question, but still very interesting: where do you get inspiration?

- In this project, I am inspired by the materials, and also by understanding the state of euphoria in which the girl is during the festival and listening to her favorite music.

- Are there any designers that inspire you?

- Mostly classics. The same Dior. They always have something to learn. It is not things that inspire more, but the female figure herself and how beautifully she can be taught.

- I saw photo shoots with your products - each photo seems to live its own life. How do you convey the brand message to the audience so that it is correctly understood and accepted by the buyer?

- Everything should be in motion. Studio photos are suitable for online sales, but my things have a special mood, so they need to be shot in the atmosphere or in nature.

- Do you often hold photo sessions?

- Several times a season - for sure.

Photo: Tina Sokolovskaya

“How are you feeling right now in Los Angeles?” Are there any plans for personal development that are not related to the brand?

- I feel very good (smiles). I am almost ready to say that this is my home. If there was even a part of my family here, it would be even better. Anyone who has moved to another country can say that his friends have become his family. All my friends are related to the creative industry. I am so glad that there are a lot of Russian-speaking creative people, not amateurs, namely professionals. We constantly intersect, exchange experiences - thanks to this I feel as comfortable as possible, at ease.

- How difficult was it to adapt to a new place?

- When you come to a new place, the most difficult thing is to accept the fact that you will never be what you used to be: not psychologically, not at all. You need to accept this and not hold on to your past. You will get a new experience, discover yourself from an incredible angle. This way out of your comfort zone is cool.

- And how do you see your brand in 5 years? Do you have a daring dream?

- There is a dream - to create things that I don’t risk doing now, because I’m not sure that they will bring commercial benefits. This is art for filming, theaters, stars. And here is a huge LGBT community that attracts me very much: I would like to create clothes for various shows, with which it will be easier for people to express themselves. I think such things will be appreciated.

- Well, finally, my favorite question: An, is it worth it to drop everything and move to America?

- The country will change you - 100%. If you want to know who you really are - go to America!

Anya Tarasova

Rave babe shop

Photographer: Tina Sokolovskaya

Material prepared Thememeste.

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