When it comes to online shopping we have so many options these days. Everything from shoes, clothes, purses, and makeup can be delivered right to our door. But do you ever stop to think about the person making the product? Chances are you don’t. In the world we live in today, we are accustomed to mass production where the employees are forgotten. This is exactly why it was so refreshing to get a chance to interview Anastasia Miron, Co-Founder of GlobeIn. GlobeIn is an online marketplace that is creating a platform to share the stories of artisans from all over the globe. They are reminding us not to become desensitized but to be informed and contribute to artisans who are apart of a greater social movement. Keep reading to learn more about Anastasia and her journey with GlobeIn.
TEW: What made you move to the Bay Area?
Anastasia: My first visit was 4 years ago when I came as a tourist. I really liked SF but hated LA, Las Vegas and Phoenix – all places where I had friends to visit. After this I went back to Italy, finished my MBA, then searched for an internship at Impact Hub. I came back to SF for 6 months and here I am 3 years later. In between this time I never left and co-founded GlobeIn.
TEW: What is GlobeIn and where did you get the inspiration to launch your business?
Anastasia: GlobeIn is an online marketplace where artisans from all around the world can sell their handmade goods! It has a very strong social mission, as it helps the most vulnerable artisans, that otherwise would not have any exposure to the global market.
My inspiration came from my grandmother who knew literally everything. She knew how to weave, how to make embroideries, how to knit, how to build a house, how to fix bikes, how to drive a tractor and so much more. This kind of handy, self sufficient approach is something I’ve seen only in artisans, to whom I’m very much attracted. I always liked the personal touch of handmade things and cannot stand sweatshops or the fast economy.
Creating an online store for handmade goods combined with the personal stories of the artisans, seemed like an interesting idea. I launched the prototype in Mexico and it worked out.
TEW: These days there are so many options to shop online. How does GlobeIn stand out?
Anastasia: GlobeIn goes the extra mile to find artisans from the most remote regions in the world, promote them and provide stories behind each item.
TEW: What is your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur? Your least favorite?
Anastasia: Favorite – uncertainty and risks. Least favorite – uncertainty and risks! I can’t imagine my life any different than being a social entrepreneur. It’s my nature and I accept it, so I like almost everything about it.
TEW: If an expat woman has a great business idea, what are the three most important steps she needs to take to launch her business?
Anastasia: Surround yourself with men, then make them work for you! Learn everything you can about the local culture, get to know locals, not just what is familiar to you. Make a small scale prototype to test out your ideas, gather data and make adjustments with the results you find.
TEW: What advice would you give to professional expat women trying to start their own business in the US?
Anastasia: Dare to dream big! It’s possible! Overestimate yourself, never underestimate!
TEW: What is a typical day like for you?
Anastasia: I wake up at 7am and drink tons of water. After, I practice yoga and do some meditating for about 30 minutes. Before I start work at 8:30am, I enjoy a healthy breakfast. Once I get to the office, there is no more routine. Every day is different. After work I always try to do some type of exercise like climbing or walking home. Before bed around 11pm, I relax with a cup of hot tisane and by 11.30pm I’m in bed.
TEW: What three things do you like about the USA?
- If you work hard enough, you can make a career, not necessary a happy life, though 🙂
- There are a lot of early stage investors
- 24 hour grocery markets
TEW: What three things have you found most different in the United States from your home country that have also been difficult to adjust to?
Anastasia: The superficial attitudes when building relationships and the VERY short lunch time.
TEW: What are three fun or interesting facts about your home country?
Anastasia: I was born in Moldova and grew up in Italy. Both of these nations are pretty ridiculous when it comes to business. The most interesting thing about both of these countries is that both are great winemakers and now I have ended up in California, another amazing wine destination!
A fun fact about Moldova is we eat pickles with sour cream and a fun fact about Italy is we have more body language expressions than actual words.
TEW: What is your favorite quote?
Anastasia: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness” A. Einstein
Motto – “Smile, it’s gonna be alright!”
Written by Anastasia Miron and Martina Trejo
Photography courtesy of Anastasia Miron