Kseniia Chursina is Expanding her Business and Empowering Women

From Moscow to California, Kseniia Chursina is Expanding her Business and Empowering Women to Pursue Their Dreams

Meet Kseniia Chursina, an entrepreneur who founded the highly successful marketing communications agency, STUDIO 2112, as well as the premium offsite restaurant, STUDIO CATERING.

Originally established in Moscow, Russia eight years ago, both ventures have since thrived in the competitive business landscape. Relocating to California was a strategic move that allowed her to expand her company’s footprint and contribute to the local business community.

Hi Kseniia! Can you start by introducing yourself and telling us in your words, about your inspiring story? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.

Hi, She Owns It magazine. My name is Kseniia Chursina, and I’m delighted to make your acquaintance. I am a woman entrepreneur and the founder of STUDIO 2112, a respected marketing communications agency, and STUDIO CATERING, a premium full-service catering company. My journey began in Moscow, Russia, and since then, I have devoted myself to developing my businesses and establishing strong partnerships with well-known global corporations, gaining extensive international experience along the way.

At the end 2021, seeking growth and new opportunities, I made the decision to come to California to further hone my skills. After thoroughly researching the market and being inspired by the stories of local entrepreneurs, I took a bold step and expanded my business into Orange County, California, opening a branch of our company. With the unwavering support of the dedicated STUDIO 2112 team, we have developed a strategic marketing and PR plan to propel our premium catering service, STUDIO CATERING, which specializes in delivering exceptional experiences for outdoor milestone events.

As we continue our journey in California, immersing ourselves in new cultures and gaining valuable experiences, our love for this country and its people has grown. We have witnessed an incredible demand for our services, which serves as a tremendous inspiration, and we envision a bright and prosperous future here.

Beyond my entrepreneurial pursuits, I am deeply committed to advancing women’s entrepreneurship. I firmly believe in the immense potential women possess and the importance of empowering them to pursue their dreams. Through active involvement in initiatives like the NAWBO community, I strive to make a meaningful impact and inspire fellow women to fearlessly pursue their ambitions.

What made you decide to go into business for yourself?

Several factors influenced my decision to start my own business. Firstly, I aspired for financial freedom and independence from employers. Secondly, I already had extensive experience in the field of business communications and desired to invest in projects beyond the constraints of my job authority. I strongly believed that marketing tasks and corporate meetings should be more authentic and creative and that investing more in external and internal communications would make the corporate brand more appealing to stakeholders and employees. Bringing these principles to my own brand, STUDIO 2112, earned me excellent reviews and gratitude from loyal customers. Later, as our STUDIO 2112 team gained more expertise, we ventured into a new direction – STUDIO CATERING, offering premium catering services for events.

None of this would have been possible without the unwavering faith and support of my husband, Aleksey Chursin, who believed in my strengths as an expert in marketing communications. His remarkable financial management skills laid the foundation for our business’s success. We started from scratch and have now built a thriving international business. We continue to work as a cohesive team, having overcome numerous challenges and gained valuable experience along the way.

When did you know it was time to become a full-time entrepreneur?

In 2014, I made the bold decision to leave my employment and venture into the world of freelancing. Over the next few months, I took on various freelance projects, gaining valuable experience and honing my skills as a marketing communications expert. In April 2015, with a clear vision and unwavering determination, I officially registered our marketing communications agency. From that moment on, I dedicated myself entirely to building and growing our agency, working full-time to bring our vision to life.

What social media platform is the best for business growth and why?

In our business, social media serves as a powerful tool to showcase the essence and accomplishments of our agency. We utilize platforms like Instagram and Facebook as digital business cards, effectively presenting our portfolio of current projects and showcasing our wealth of experience in the marketing communications industry and catering service.

Moreover, social media allows us to connect with our audience on a more personal level. We actively engage with our followers by responding to comments, messages, and inquiries promptly. Building meaningful relationships with our online community not only fosters loyalty but also helps us understand our client’s preferences and needs better.

Overall, our social media presence plays a pivotal role in our business’s growth and success. It helps us reach a broader audience, attract potential clients, and reinforce our reputation as a trusted and innovative agency. Through these digital channels, we stay connected with our clients, partners, and fellow entrepreneurs, fostering a vibrant community of individuals who share our passion for creativity and excellence.

How did you market your business when it was brand new?

Now is a moment when our business feels new again as we venture into a new country for us – the USA. However, this time around, it’s easier for us because we have prior experience. We’ve harnessed all our forces and teams to devise a comprehensive development strategy. Currently, we’re actively exploring new promotion channels, like Yelp, for instance. Yet, just like at the very beginning of our journey, we continue to place primary emphasis on customer recommendations.

The nature of our business sets it apart from everyday services. STUDIO 2112 operates as a provider of business services catering to major international brands. Typically, such customers don’t come through traditional advertising methods; most of our clientele is acquired through recommendations. Therefore, our main focus is to maintain exceptionally high service quality with every order, as working with clients of this caliber leaves no room for errors.

As for STUDIO CATERING, our current focus is on private clients, offering catering services for their special events. Nevertheless, our service is far from ordinary; we provide a full-service experience, catering exclusively to the most significant moments in our clients’ lives, such as weddings and anniversaries. In this realm, in addition to relying on recommendations, we also incorporate advertising to attract potential customers.

We all face challenges, but looking back, what are the biggest challenges and pitfalls you have faced?

The most challenging part for us was executing our initial projects outside of Russia. It was truly demanding because we had to familiarize ourselves with numerous financial management and documentation rules when dealing with a different currency, as well as navigate taxation related to foreign currencies and transactions. Simultaneously, successfully implementing projects in each new country required immersing ourselves in its culture, carefully selecting specialized personnel for each project, and, of course, overcoming language barriers. In particular, the language barrier was the primary reason for my arrival in the US, as I realized that conducting business with my English proficiency at that time was quite challenging. Therefore, I came here to improve it. Effective communication forms the foundation of our business’s success.

Can you share some of the most important lessons you’ve learned from your business successes and failures?

The biggest lesson we’ve learned is underestimating the business environment. In the sense that for a long time, we believed that we could handle everything on our own and didn’t seek help from anyone in the industry or our network. However, there’s no need to be afraid to ask for assistance. When starting a business, the support of colleagues or other entrepreneurs who have already gone through this path is extremely important and helps to avoid many mistakes and burnout. Just knowing that you are not alone and that other entrepreneurs face similar challenges at the beginning of their journey can be incredibly comforting. So, don’t hesitate to ask for help!

What advice would you give to a new business owner?

Never give up. Believe in your work until the end. I genuinely believe that there are no unsuccessful businesses. Don’t let setbacks stop you; instead, assess the situation, try to find a new approach, and keep trying again and again. Running a business is like working a muscle (just like in sports). With regular practice, you’ll become the person you want to be.

How do you use technology and innovation, such as artificial intelligence, to stay ahead in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape?

In our creative business environment, we always stay on top of the latest technologies and fully embrace their potential. This includes utilizing applications for time management, project planning, accounting, creative proposal development, presentations, and design projects for our clients. When it comes to the latest trends, we certainly leverage artificial intelligence. AI has been a valuable addition to our text work, copywriting, and illustrations, and overall has significantly streamlined our proposal preparation process for clients. We truly appreciate the benefits AI brings to our world, and we see no drawbacks in adopting it.

We live in a fast-paced world, and to remain at the forefront, we immerse ourselves in continuous learning and never stop exploring new possibilities. We keep a keen eye on what’s happening in our industry, not only within our country but also on a global scale. It’s crucial for us to know about emerging technologies, how leading companies in our field are utilizing them, and how we can apply these innovations to stay one step ahead for our clients. We call this approach “high oversight,” and it genuinely works, earning high praise from our clients.

What initiatives or actions do you think are critical to creating a more supportive and inclusive business environment for women?

Creating a more supportive and inclusive business environment for women requires a multifaceted approach that considers various aspects both within and outside the workplace. In addition to equal pay and equal opportunities in the business environment, I would like to emphasize the importance of flexible working hours and, perhaps most importantly, work-life balance for women, enabling them to thrive personally and professionally.

As a woman entrepreneur, I find the participation of women in professional communities to be highly significant, as these communities provide protection, support, and valuable advice for both aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs.

Investing in women’s leadership development programs and establishing formal mentoring initiatives can also enhance their leadership skills, self-confidence, and ability to progress into higher positions within organizations.

State support is undoubtedly important in promoting women-owned businesses, which can lead to collective efforts to advocate for women’s rights, gender equality, and inclusive business practices.

How do you set your business apart from others in your industry?

The main advantage of our business has always been and continues to be its adaptability. We have the ability to constantly adapt and form effective collaborations with specialists who are needed at the right moment for each new business task of the client. We are flexible in this regard, which is extremely convenient and effective for the client, as they are never limited to just one specialist and one perspective. Each new team member matches the tasks of each project, bringing their own fresh perspective, unique experience, and background. This ensures that all our projects are distinct and diverse from one another.

This approach demands careful consideration and certainly requires more effort from us, as we hold the responsibility for the quality execution of each project and the performance of each team member. We must consistently build effective communication anew with each new project and team while remaining steadfast in complying with the project requirements and contract terms. We have been successful in doing so for many years, which means we are doing everything right.

You can find her on Instagram at:
https://www.instagram.com/studio_2112/
https://www.instagram.com/studio.catering/

Kseniia Chursina
Kseniia Chursina

Want more inspiring interviews? Read about Angela Gargano’s Guide to Meaningful Entrepreneurship and Dr. Sonia Chopra’s Toothaches to Triumph Story of Struggles and Success, part of our interview series spotlighting successful women in business.

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