Lindsay Snider Grows Business
Lindsay Snider works in business development for St. Petersburg Global Tradehouse in Brooklyn, NY. The company imports Eastern European goods like toys, apparel, books, and music, and resells them to American consumers. Its Lindsay’s job to promote the business, and help them break into the American retail market.
Lindsay is incredibly passionate about what she does, and I jumped at the chance to talk to her more about who she is, what she does, and why she loves to do it.
Your official role with St. Petersburg Global Trade House is Business Development Coordinator. Can you tell us a little about what that means?
Business Development Coordinator is the title of the position Natalia gave me. The company I work for, St. Petersburg Global Trade House, is a Russian importing company that operates in Brighton Beach.
I am the first American that has been hired here and the position didn’t exist before me. Basically, the owner wanted an American take on things such as what appeals to American New Yorkers and how to break into the American retail market.
My job here is to get us out there, let people know that we exist and that we have super unique merchandise that’s imported directly from Russia and other former Soviet countries. Not many other businesses can say they have exclusive hand-made merchandise imported for their customers.
Working for a small business, you have to wear a lot of different hats. What are some of the other things you find yourself doing on a daily basis?
In addition to tasks that a person in my position would traditionally handle (like social media and barter marketing, getting the business registered and advertised with the local Chamber of Commerce, BBB and so forth), I also get requests from the entire enterprise to proof read documents that need to be written in English and to go out to the sales floor to speak to American Tourists.
Sometimes I get to price items based on how I would spend my personal money and such. Its really great because I don’t really have a set of requirements that my position has to accomplish- I have the freedom to help in every aspect that I can and Ill never get bored because I don’t know whats around each corner.
You were laid off after the economy tanked in 2008. Can you talk a little bit about what you were doing before?
My previous position was as the Collections Administrator for 5Star Bank in Colorado Springs. I had a team of about 7 collectors that I looked over as well as handling all of the departmental reports. It was a normal office job at conservative military bank that was ran very strictly. Almost opposite of what I do now in regards to office culture and rules/ requirements.
After you lost your job, you made a series of cross country trips that changed your perspective on a lot of things, and you ultimately ended up relocating to New York. Can you tell us how that came about?
The process of being laid off was rather drawn out. We were very lucky in the sense that it wasnt an immediate unexpected thing- we had about a year to prepare ourselves. So after the actual layoff, one of my best friends took me to a festival in Nevada that changed my perception of reality drastically. There, I met the man of my dreams and we started a long distance relationship. After deciding that it was a bit too heavy to continue that for much longer, I packed up most of my things and moved to New York City- Brooklyn to be exact.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Well, I was hired here sans a degree in Sales or Marketing, however, I did get a degree in Business Management, so its not like I was completely clueless. But even with all that in mind, having a strong, successful woman who owns a blossoming business sense something in you is very fulfilling. Knowing that someone has enough faith in you and your talents to put you on salary is insanely lucky and more touching than I know how to express. That in and of itself is enough to make me get up each morning happy and willing to apply myself to the fullest.
What does a typical day at the office look like for you?
The day itself is much like any other persons day who works in an office. I make sure to have my coffee and go through my emails and tasks as well as the next worker. The only difference between the average worker and myself, I would assume, is that I look forward to seeing what I can do by the end of the day. In my previous jobs, my day was spent counting down the hours until I could clock out or get my paycheck whereas now, I measure my day based on how proud I think my boss would be, or how much I accomplished.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
My mother once told me, I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up and I’m 45 years old. This is the most solid, inspiring career advice I believe one could hear in this day and age. To me, it means don’t dwell on what you think you should do, just do. And if you’re not happy, well, simply change it.
If you were hiring a recent college graduate for a junior business development position, what are some of the accomplishments and qualities you would look for?
That’s a tough one! I think its wise to look at the whole package a person offers when interviewing. If they have a degree- great! But just because they have one, doesn’t mean they know how to apply themselves in a specific position. I believe that for a position like mine, a general business degree in combination with an ease for communication, desire to be social, a decent amount of common sense and logic, and excellent problem solving skills would just about do the trick.
Thanks so much for your time!
You got it! Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity!