It takes time to start this interview, it was planned two months ago. I was a fan of Bolder, and I wanted to meet and get to know you. One day we started chatting to make our first manifesto, working a lot on the concept video call and here we are, dear Masha Nikitina … Bolder and Utopian in a Brand Manifesto for sustainability.
What is your favorite virtue?
Growing up in a big family with 6 sisters in the Ural Mountains, I was continually inspired by my father’s entrepreneurial spirit, boundless generosity, and extraordinary communication skills. He has been a constant source of inspiration for me, exuding an unwavering positivity, a free-spirited nature, and unparalleled kindness.
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
From my early childhood, I remember my father being the lifeblood of our city’s community, actively supporting local schools, initiating social projects for residents, displaying immense generosity towards those around him, he even has built an Orthodox Church for the city. As a passionate lover of nature and animals, he often involved me in his philanthropic endeavors, such as visiting orphanages he supported. Witnessing the stories of these children left a lasting impression on me and instilled in me a deep sense of empathy. In essence, my father’s unwavering support and guidance have shaped the person I am today. His emphasis on generosity, risk-taking, and giving back to the community has propelled me to lead a fulfilling life filled with diverse experiences, challenges, and invaluable lessons.
My father always emphasized the importance of giving back and taking risks in life. Heeding his advice, I embarked on a dynamic and adventurous journey, living in 9 countries, and founding more than 7 businesses. Although many of these ventures met with failure, a few achieved successes.
Describe yourself …who is Masha?
My educational background is in international business management, but the majority of my career has been spent in marketing. While I never had a particular passion for marketing, I discovered that I had a natural talent for developing concepts, visualizing ideas, and crafting stories that resonate with people. One of the most profound lessons I’ve learned is the importance of adaptability and resilience. Through my many ventures, I’ve encountered both successes and failures, each providing unique insights and learning opportunities. Another key lesson has been the power of empathy and understanding in building meaningful connections with others. Throughout my professional experiences, I’ve learned to appreciate the diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and values of the people I’ve met. This has not only broadened my horizons but has also allowed me to develop more effective communication and forge strong relationships with clients and partners alike. My journey has instilled in me a deep sense of responsibility towards the planet and its inhabitants. Witnessing firsthand the impact of social and environmental issues across the globe has reinforced my commitment to using my skills and expertise to make a difference.
What inspired you to create Bolder?
Throughout my career, I’ve worked with a diverse array of companies, varying in size, scale, and industry. However, I often felt a disconnect between my personal interests – economics, social issues, animal welfare, the environment, and the future of humanity – and the companies I was helping to grow. This realization hit me hard when I encountered the concept of greenwashing and unethical practices in my job.
I founded my agency in 2018, which primarily served the fashion industry. While I loved the agency business model for its ability to delve into the core of a client’s company and quickly provide growth solutions, I was disturbed by what I found at the heart of some of these businesses. The realization that I was supporting companies causing massive environmental and social harm led me to question whether I should continue in marketing at all.
This turning point sparked the creation of Bolder, independent creative marketing agency focused on partnering with entrepreneurs who share the same values, purpose, and goals. Bolder now supports sustainable, socially impactful, and tech-driven companies, as well as any business that adopts the principles of generative entrepreneurship – those who genuinely care about people, the environment, and our future.
Could you elaborate more on what you do at Bolder?
At Bolder we build legendary brands that lead the wave of change in tech, sustainability, and social impact. Our expertise lies in helping companies establish strong brand identities, develop well-thought-out strategies, and build thriving communities. We focus on sustainable fashion, EdTech, mental health tech, health tech, food tech, fintech, and more. I firmly believe that businesses must embrace generative entrepreneurship, stand for a cause, and do things differently. The days of growing profits at the expense of our future and without giving back are over.
Consumers are increasingly concerned about the environment, the stories behind products, and the people who make them. Transparency is becoming more important than ever, and companies must adapt. Every day, I see incredible new businesses entering the market and existing ones changing their approach, and I’m proud to be part of this global change. As a marketing agency, we contribute significantly to the growth of companies, and we’re dedicated to investing our time and effort in worthwhile causes.
At Bolder, we take pride in our expertise and our ability to stay ahead of the curve. Our team is made up of seasoned professionals from various backgrounds, who bring a wealth of experience in marketing, branding, and storytelling. Our goal is to empower businesses to adopt generative entrepreneurship and brand citizenship, driving positive change on a global scale.
What is Generative entrepreneurship?
Generative entrepreneurship refers to a business approach that prioritizes long-term, sustainable growth while creating value for all stakeholders, including employees, customers, communities, and the environment. This mindset goes beyond traditional corporate social responsibility, integrating social, environmental, and economic considerations into every aspect of the business. Generative entrepreneurs understand that their success is intertwined with the well-being of society and the planet, and they strive to innovate and collaborate to tackle the most pressing challenges of our time.
And could you elaborate what you mean by Brand Citizenship?
The concept of brand citizenship is a natural extension of generative entrepreneurship. It emphasizes the idea that brands should take on a more active role in addressing social and environmental issues, becoming a force for good in the world. A brand that embraces brand citizenship is not only focused on its products and services but also on how it can contribute to the betterment of society. This means engaging with customers, employees, and other stakeholders in a more meaningful way, fostering a sense of belonging and shared purpose.
At Bolder, we help businesses navigate the complexities of generative entrepreneurship and brand citizenship. We work closely with our clients to identify their core values, articulate their purpose, and develop strategies that align with their goals. We believe that a strong brand narrative is essential in building trust and loyalty among customers and stakeholders, and we leverage our storytelling expertise to help businesses effectively communicate their vision and mission.
By emphasizing expertise in generative entrepreneurship and brand citizenship, Bolder is not only helping businesses succeed in the marketplace but also in driving meaningful change. Together, we’re building a future where businesses are active participants in creating a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous world.
How do you feel about the future of Bolder and marketing in general?
As I look towards the future, my vision for both myself and Bolder is anchored in our commitment to drive positive change through the power of marketing, generative entrepreneurship, and brand citizenship. My long-term goals and aspirations encompass not only the growth and success of Bolder as a marketing agency but also the broader impact we can create within the industry and beyond.
I plan to continue evolving and growing as a leader in the marketing industry by staying informed about emerging trends, technologies, and best practices. This includes investing in ongoing professional development and fostering a culture of continuous learning within the Bolder team. By nurturing our collective expertise, we will be better equipped to deliver innovative and impactful marketing solutions for our clients.
Moreover, I envision Bolder becoming a thought leader in the realm of sustainable and socially responsible marketing. We will strive to produce thought-provoking content, share our insights, and participate in industry events and conferences. By engaging with other professionals and organizations, we aim to facilitate meaningful conversations and inspire change within the marketing community.
As part of our long-term vision, we also aspire to expand our reach and impact by working with an even more diverse range of clients and industries. Through strategic partnerships and collaborations, we hope to amplify our efforts in promoting generative entrepreneurship and brand citizenship, fostering a global network of change-makers who share our values and goals.
I am committed to leading by example and inspiring others to adopt the principles of generative entrepreneurship and brand citizenship. I believe that each of us has the potential to make a positive impact in our own unique way. As an entrepreneur, mentor, and advocate, I will continue to champion the cause of sustainable and socially responsible business practices, demonstrating the immense value and potential of this approach.
How do you stay motivated?
My personal growth and transformation have been a constant source of inspiration and motivation in my work. The lessons I’ve learned along the way continue to shape the way I approach business and marketing, pushing me to challenge the status quo and strive for a more sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future. Through Bolder, I hope to inspire others to embark on their own journeys of growth and transformation, and together, create a lasting impact on the world.
What is an emotion?
Emotions are this awesome mix of biology and how we think. It is the enigmatic essence of our existence, intertwining biology and cognition, coloring our experiences and guiding us through life’s choices. They are the threads that connect us, unveiling the depths of our being. In my journey I learn how to connect to my emotions every day, because I believe they hold the key to self-discovery and the vibrant truths that lie within.
Is society greater than the individual?
Uff, you get very philosophical here. I like it. It has been a hot topic for people throughout the centuries. I’m coming from a post soviet country, where I’ve observed and heard different opinions regarding this debate since I was a child. Personally, I believe in balance, for me it is essential to strive for harmony that considers the well-being of both individuals and the collective, recognizing the intrinsic value and rights of individuals while also acknowledging the importance of societal cohesion and progress.
How can you prove that anything exists outside your own mind?
Proving the existence of anything outside your mind? Oh, absolutely! Just find the universal remote control for the Matrix and hit the “reality confirmation” button or consult the “Intergalactic truth fairies” network.
Is love simply physical desire or something more?
For me love is one of the most mysterious things in univers, of course it is much more than physical desire.
Do we love ourselves more in the virtual world and less in the real world?
It would be very sad if the first one were the truth. I believe in humanity and hope we all can learn to love ourselves no matter the reality.
Your message for the utopian world?
Let’s rise above divisions and cultivate a world where unity and harmony prevail, where empathy, compassion, and understanding bridge the gaps between us.