Aleksandra Efimova is a Russian-American entrepreneur and leader in the arts, business and the Russian-American community. Ms. Efimova is dedicated to building access to and enjoyment of the arts and to forging cross-cultural bridges, particularly in the education, arts and business sectors.
Early Life and Education
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Ms. Efimova attended the renowned Art School of the Hermitage State Art Museum, trained in classical dance and visual art and enjoyed rigorous academic studies from an early age. After moving to the United States in 1993, she pursued a bachelor’s degree in international business and marketing at Eastern Michigan University while becoming a competitive ballroom dancer and exploring interests in business and fashion.
Before graduating from university, Ms. Efimova had already founded Russian Pointe, to import and market pointe shoes from Moscow, handcrafted in the grand tradition of Russian dance shoemaking. Her commitment to excellence in every aspect of the business – from production to marketing to customer education – helped Russian Pointe grow rapidly throughout North America. Today, the brand is internationally recognized for providing the highest quality in products and services, and Russian Pointe products are available throughout the world.
Russian Pointe’s remarkable growth has reflected Ms. Efimova’s attention to detail, dedication to customers’ needs and commitment to the arts. She maintains consistent contact with dancers, instructors and retailers of her products, to make sure that Russian Pointe’s designs and collections remain current, always providing what dancers need.
In recent years, Russian Pointe’s product line has expanded to include dance footwear, apparel and accessories, as well as educational resources. Ms. Efimova has also developed the Growing Through Arts collection of books and toys that introduce children to dance, theater and music performance while teaching academic and social skills.
In 2010, Ms. Efimova graduated from Harvard Business School’s elite Owner/Management Program for executives.
Ms. Efimova is a high-energy creative thinker and driven entrepreneur with a unique blend of executive acumen, team-building skills and community leadership. She approaches each challenge with an inherent flair for innovation, strategic development, creative problem-solving and measured risk-taking, and the consistent ability to see a project through from visualization through execution to outstanding results. Ms. Efimova’s vision, commitment and creativity have guided her company in its long-term growth and established her as an expert in entrepreneurship and international relations.
Public Service and Philanthropy
Alongside her professional activities, Ms. Efimova is highly dedicated to public service, especially in the areas of Russian-American relations and culture, performing arts, business development and education. In 2010, former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed her chair of the Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International. In 2011, Illinois Senator Mark Kirk appointed her chair of the Eastern European Advisory Board. In 2014, she was appointed vice president (Midwest) of the U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce.
Ms. Efimova’s activities – in these roles and as an independent citizen and business leader – include creating and hosting events and initiatives that promote advancement, awareness and intercultural exchange in business and the arts. She has served on boards and committees for many arts organizations and has made a particular contribution in the area of Russian cultural experiences. She has collaborated with the Russian Embassy, the Russian agency Rossotrudnichevstvo and artists of Russian music, dance and theater, along with Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre, Adler Planetarium, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Goodman Theatre, Joffrey Ballet and others.
Ms. Efimova is consistently involved with philanthropic endeavors, donating funds, services and Russian Pointe and Growing Through Arts products to myriad organizations.