What’s the best business advice you ever got—and acted on?
If you believe in your idea, develop it, even if it is way different from what everyone else is doing! My whole business history is an example of how I followed this motto. As an electrophysical engineer with a dream of jewelry design, I founded a company and followed my dream to design, manufacture, and promote my jewelry. Now more than 20 years later, the rest is history.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in business, and what did you learn from it?
My Kado brand is well known in Russia and doesn’t need promoting any longer. However, when my family started Drukker Designs here in Virginia, none of us appreciated that nobody here knew me, and low sales really let us know that this was a problem. We neglected the need to promote our brand in the media—now we’ve learned from this and are catching up as quickly as possible. We’re working with a branding and PR company assisting us in rebranding so we’re on the right track now.
If you could invite three people into your shop/business for the day and pick their brains, who would you choose and why?
• Peter Carl Fabergé for the secrets of his intricate designs in jewelry and for his business talents.
• Coco Chanel for her vision in fashion and courage in disregarding contemporary traditions.
• Kenzo Takada (a great Japanese clothing and accessories designer who use of shapes and colors I love) to delve into the source of his inspiration.
What’s the best book you ever read that served as a source of inspiration to better your business, product, or personal outlook, and why?
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry for the endless kindness that the author shares with the world; for the flight of imagination with no limits. This was a book that my generation read in childhood, and it is one of the formative books for me. It taught me to trust my heart, allow myself to dream, live out my dreams, and to not be afraid of everyday kindness.
Tell us your secret to success—in 10 words or less.
Do what you love, and love what you do.