In a city of overachievers, Olga Vidisheva stands out.
The 30-year-old CEO of shoptiques.com, a global indie boutique platform she founded in 2011, came to this country when she was 17, knowing no English and with only $100 to her name. Determined to succeed, Vidisheva got into the super competitive Wellesley College (Hilary Clinton’s alma mater), became a model to help pay tuition, graduated from Harvard Business School, and worked 24/7 as a banker at Goldman Sachs before starting her own firm. Shoptiques.com is a cool, chic and fast-growing site linking independent fashion boutiques around the world—so now you don’t have to hop on a plane to London or Paris when you want some great new label no one else is wearing.
Where were you born? In Kyrgyzstan (just around the corner from here, you know!).
How long have you lived in New York? For over 7 years.
How long have you headed up Shoptiques? More than 4 years.
How many hours do you work each week? Tough question. I work from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep. I absolutely love what I do, so it is hard to ever stop.
What do you do to relax on the weekends? It depends. I spend many weekends working from home. It’s relaxing getting things done I don’t have time for during the week. But I also love experiences: running a half marathon, exploring a new city, reading in a park. The key for me is to change things up, so weekends feel different than Monday to Friday.
Photo Credit: Bridget Badore
Favorite neighborhood: Soho in New York. I absolutely love the energy there—the restaurants, the shops, the people. Everything [makes me] feel like I belong. Each week, there is a new restaurant, a new dessert place, so you can never know the place fully.
Favorite restaurant: Hmmm. Very tough question. It definitely changes. Right now, it’s Obica Mozzarella Bar in Flatiron. You can always count on it for great food and service. Plus it’s near my office!
Best French restaurant: Not overly French, but I love Lafayette at 380 Lafayette Street.
Best Italian restaurant: Maialino. You have to get the Tonnarelli a Cacio e Pepe.
Best dessert in New York City: ChikaLicious Dessert Bar
Best bar: I don’t go to bars often, so I am not the best person to answer this. However, The House in Union Square is always a great (and relaxing) place for a drink after work with friends.
Best Sunday brunch: Lafayette. You can sit outside if it’s nice.
Best place for a power business meeting: ABC Kitchen
If you have out-of-town guests, which hotel would you recommend? Airbnb. Get the local experience. Otherwise, the Standard is great.
Favorite place for shopping (besides Shoptiques): I love strolling in Soho and Nolita for all the cool new boutique shops.
Favorite places for shoes (besides Shoptiques): Stuart Weitzman. I love their basic beige pumps.
Best Gym/athletic facility: Barry’s Bootcamp
Favorite charity: Dress for Success
Night-on-the-town favorite: Soho House
Best museum: Guggenheim
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore: The New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center is definitely my happy place.
Favorite “out of the way” city spot to relax/reflect: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Describe New York in three words: Alive, loud and empowering.
Best aspect of New York: You can be anything.
The secret to your success? Hard work. I moved here at the age of 17 speaking no English and with $100 in my pocket. I really believe in America and this land of opportunity. I believe that if we all work hard toward our goals, we can achieve our dreams.