Aleksandra Enterprises Celebrates 15th Anniversary of Russian Pointe®
Chicago-based entrepreneur Aleksandra Efimova is celebrating the 15th anniversary of Russian Pointe®, the company she founded in 1998 to distribute finely crafted Russian ballet shoes, apparel and accessories to the North American market.
Starting in May, the month of Russian Pointe’s founding, Ms. Efimova is commemorating the anniversary through a series of promotions, special events and new product introductions.
Aleksandra Enterprises, the company that now includes both Russian Pointe® and Growing Through Arts®, has grown steadily since Ms. Efimova celebrated Russian Pointe’s tenth anniversary in 2008.
That year, Ms. Efimova began advanced studies at Harvard Business School; she became an alumna of the elite Owner/President Management program in 2010.
“In so many ways, Harvard was instrumental in my growth as a business owner,” Ms. Efimova says. “I learned to clarify my vision and became a better strategist and stronger leader.” Since graduation, she has been able to better align her corporate mission with the realities of daily operations, and she has noticed improvements throughout her business.
“We have a results-oriented alignment with our corporate vision, and our team is stronger and more knowledgeable than ever,” she continues. “We have defined and positioned our brands more strongly and created important alliances. We have always been dedicated to excellent customer service and product quality, but we have improved both to create an even better experience and value for our wholesale and retail customers.”
Soon after graduating from Harvard, Ms. Efimova created Growing Through Arts®, a product line devoted to cross-curricular developmental education, featuring books, toys, apparel and accessories.
“I believe in the power of education in the arts to improve the lives of children and adults, whether or not they pursue artistic careers,” she explains. “Growing Through Arts® fosters children’s appreciation of dance and other art forms, while teaching basics of language, math, motor skills and ethics.”
Growing Through Arts® products have become popular both within and outside dance retail. In addition to dance-supplies stores, current clientele include the Metropolitan Museum, Lincoln Center and many other children’s shops and cultural venues.
Alongside the growth within Aleksandra Enterprises, Ms. Efimova has increased her community involvement. Already active on multiple committees and a frequent host of events promoting the arts and Russian-American business and culture, in 2010 she was appointed chair of the Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International and of Illinois Senator Mark Kirk’s Eastern European Advisory Board.
Ms. Efimova expects Russian Pointe®’s 15th-anniversary year to be full of new developments. The first step has been Russian Pointe® Dance Boutique’s transition from a physical store to a virtual one.
Streamlining retail operations will help the company concentrate more fully on customer service and educational efforts for Russian Pointe®’s and Growing Through Art®’s retail affiliates, who number in the hundreds throughout the world, with the highest concentration in the United States and Canada. The company provides retail affiliates with substantial training, including seminars in the complex art of fitting pointe shoes, trunk shows with Russian Pointe® experts, and informative materials.
New Russian Pointe® products, currently in development with introductions planned throughout the coming year, will include dancewear, wellness products and accessories.
“As we move forward, our goal is to continue offering outstanding, innovative products that make the experience of dancing more fulfilling. In addition, we want to inspire dancers and others beyond the dance floor, to build character and skills in all areas of their lives.”