Anastasia Ovtchinnikova is the founder of Ana Kova Atelier, a multi-disciplinary design practice that specializes in residential, hospitality, workplace, and retail design.
Her experiences range from high end modern residences between New York City and the Hamptons to working under top hospitality firm, Hirsch Bedner & Associates, in Los Angeles. Notable client lists include Nobu Hospitality, Hilton Hotels, Warner Media, SL Green, and many more.
Q: What's your background, and what are you working on?
My background consists of all things creative. I am a Russian immigrant from Saint Petersburg and grew up in Atlanta, GA. I graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Interior Design. After college, I moved to the Hamptons where I worked on high-end modern residences. I later landed in LA where I worked in the hospitality sector of design predominately hotels, resorts, and restaurants. After a few years, I was brought back to New York City and focused on innovative spaces, luxury retail, and commercial spaces. Over the years I have worked under both small and large firms before I decided to branch out and launch my own design firm, Ana Kova Atelier. Currently, I am working on a residential project for a funky tech couple in the LA canyons, a penthouse in Moscow, Russia, a 10,000 square foot commercial space in West Hollywood for an Australian fashion brand, and a cool upscale hair salon on Venice Beach.
Q: What motivated you to get started with Ana Kova Atelier?
I always had the intention to start my own design firm. Working as a senior designer under a big firm with many projects is comfortable and stable, however, there was always a little something missing. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I was furloughed and then laid off. My level of comfort and stable work had suddenly vanished as New York was at a standstill. I would say the pandemic was a sign that it was time to launch my own company. It threw me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to make some big changes. It has been a challenging but amazing journey to start my own firm. As a result, the pandemic was a blessing in disguise. I have found it to be incredibly rewarding and inspiring to connect with clients and watch my projects blossom.
Q: How have you attracted clients and grown your company?
Most of my clients have all been from word of mouth or a coincidental conversation where someone happened to lease or purchase a new place and seeking a designer, and there I was.
Q: What are your goals for the future?
My goals include taking on different types of projects in different locations. I would love to work on a tropical oasis and something cozy and chic in the mountains. I am looking to grow my design team and gather strong like-minded creatives so we can collectively take on larger and more challenging projects. I want to leave my mark and aesthetic impact on the design industry in a big way. I believe a good design should evoke emotion. It should speak to users in a memorable and timeless way.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you've faced and obstacles you've overcome?
One of my biggest challenges is becoming overwhelmed and stressed out with all the moving parts of a design project while simultaneously running a business. Sometimes doubt sinks in, and you think, oh boy, did I just bite off more than I can chew? Am I good enough? Why aren't there enough hours in a day? How am I going to find new projects? Maintaining a positive mentality, and a solid routine keeps me motivated and organized. In the mornings, I like to take a little bit of time to myself before I fall into my workflow. I set goals and plan how to accomplish them. I allocate my time wisely so I can tackle each task with strategic ease.
Q: What's your advice for female founders who are just starting out?
My biggest piece of advice is to stop doubting yourself and stay confident even when things are rough. Maintaining a confident and positive outlook will not only keep you moving in the right direction but it will reflect onto your clients and users. There will always be challenges so think of it as a challenge accepted and an opportunity for growth.