To see the light, you need to be the light yourself

Elena Shlenkina, founder of the Elena Shlenkina Representative Office and the beauty salon - Territory of the Neoteric 1 style (Moscow), member of the Heirs of the 21st Century Club. Version 3.0" (Moscow)

A large business is always a reflection of the values of its creator. For more than 25 years, Elena Shlenkina has successfully headed the Representative Office of Italian interior brands in many cities in Russia and neighboring countries. Being partial to the art of beauty, Elena also created the Neoteric 1 Style Territory, combining the skills of recognized beauty specialists.

LT: Elena, how did you manage to establish a business process to effectively manage two companies in different areas of the market at once?

ELENA SHLENKINA: Apparently, you need to be a little crazy (laughs). Seriously, the main thing is to create the right team. For 25 years, our representative office has been a conductor of leading Italian interior brands in the professional environment of cities in Russia, the CIS and the Baltic countries. This is a fairly large share of the world market. Of course, without a close-knit team, an entrepreneur alone in the field is not a warrior. Imagine, some of our specialists have been working in our representative office for 18–20 years. We have a total of 82 employees, and it is important to me that each of them, in any situation, even a pandemic, feels supported and supported by the team. We take the best employees to Italy, visit partner factories and furniture exhibitions. I hope the borders will open soon and we will resume business trips. By the way, my son Giorgio Luigi’s great-grandfather, Alessandro Bezana, was one of the founders of the Milan Furniture Salon. Every year we attend specialized exhibitions in Milan, Paris, Cologne, Bologna, Frankfurt. We plan to resume cooperation with Shanghai, where we previously had a branch. Over the entire period of our work, we, together with Italian specialists and world-class architects, have developed a huge number of design projects around the world, including in Los Angeles, Baden-Baden, Monte Carlo… I am endlessly inspired by the world of beauty and art with which We come into contact every day in our work. We have close cooperation with GUM, Petrovsky Passage, Mercury for the Armani/Casa and Bottega Veneta brands.

I am endlessly inspired by the world of beauty and art that we come into contact with every day in our work.

If we talk about the Territory of the Neoteric 1 style, then this project is still like a little beloved child for me. This is a space where we provide a full range of beauty services. Our pride is the amazing salon masters, world-famous experts, as well as world champions in hairdressing. In the rhythm of everyday life in the capital, services with six to eight hands are in particular demand, helping to significantly save time. In our barbershop, men even conduct negotiations while they are getting a haircut and manicure. In addition, we cooperate with leading restaurants where you can order dishes for delivery – again, to save the client time.

It all started with the fact that clients from other cities and countries came to our representative office. They needed, for example, to do their hair, makeup, and a complete checklist for an evening trip to the theater. And we helped them sign up for beauty salons and offered them stylists. Now all this can be done in our style territory – quickly, efficiently, sophisticatedly, with pleasure. After all, it is important for even the busiest business person to look beautiful, since it is not only an image, but also a balance between internal and external.




in accordance with Art. 87 of the Constitution,

Art. 6 of Legislative Decree No. 812 of March 9, 1948,

as amended by Art. 5 of Law No. 13 of February 3, 2011

got acquainted with the recommendation of the Council of the Order

and at the request of the Minister of Foreign Affairs


with the right to wear his distinctive insignia


ROME, MAY 28, 2020




What else helps you maintain this balance?

Warm communication with loved ones, reading, theaters, cultural activities. For example, I recently participated, together with the Italian Embassy in Russia and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, in organizing an exhibition of the Italian designer and architect Mario Bellini, which took place at the Moscow Shchusev Museum of Architecture for a month. We have an interior space where we plan to hold evenings dedicated to architecture, design, style, hairdressing – various types of art intertwined with each other. In this direction, for example, we collaborated with Valentin Yudashkin and Stefano Ricci, who provided us with their exclusive collections for display.

Elena, what principles do you adhere to in business development? How would you describe your leadership style?

Business is, first of all, communicating with people, so integrity is always my first priority. During my work, I had different situations with suppliers – someone could delay shipment deadlines, some factories even closed. But, no matter what, our representation to the client is always a guarantee of responsibility.

Losing a reputation is not difficult, but getting it back is a big job. In addition, I am used to monitoring all the statistics of our company myself and conducting constant analysis, bringing the work to perfection at every stage.

Working with Italian partners, I see how carefully they treat family business, family relationships and values. And I am close to this attitude not only within the family, but also within my company. It is a God-given desire to care for people. Someone says that I spend a lot of time on this, but I feel calmer when all my employees and close people are doing well, then I myself sleep peacefully.

When giving, it is important to fill yourself internally. What do you see as a resource for yourself?

My eleven-year-old son never lets me get bored – we go ice skating, skiing, and surfing when possible… I love walking in the forest, it fills me with peace and harmony. There are also close friends with whom, if you are tired of talking, you can even just sit and be silent. It is important to be able to give thanks for everything. Today our sky is gray, the sun is not visible, but I am grateful simply for living now, at this time, for my health, for the people around me. You need to be a light, first of all, for yourself, and then you can see the light in everything.

What helps you maintain this light?

Faith. Faith in God, faith in yourself. It’s not for nothing that they say that we make our destiny with our own hands, and although, most likely, it has already been written down, we can adjust our path. After all, as you know, water does not flow under a lying stone.

I am a mechanical engineer by my first specialty, and a practical psychologist by my second, so I understand that we all come from childhood. But you shouldn’t rush to extremes. You can endlessly work through your blocks and settings, or you can simply listen to yourself. And if, when taking steps in one direction or another, you feel inner joy, then you are doing everything right.

You once said that how a person spends his Sabbath can tell who he is. Tell us about your Saturday.

Of course, the Sabbath is sacred. I dedicate this day to my family and communication with my son. I believe that parents should have a certain unison with their children, so it is important to be able to distribute tasks so as to always find time for the most important thing. Whatever I do, first of all I am a mother, and this is my main feminine virtue.

In addition, you are a member of Mila Zhurova’s closed club. What values unite you?

Mila and I have known each other for many years – we are united by our approach to life and prioritization. It is also important for Mila what our children will grow up to be, so she is actively implementing the “Heirs of the 21st Century” program.

In my opinion, Moscow lacks such courses, meetings or even schools – something that can strengthen cultural and family values in children, as well as form the right attitude towards business and parental capital. After all, our future depends on this.

Got a question?
We would love to help you!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.