Fanny Chen (Svakom) interviewed on Thaifest

Astkol-Alfa , svakom , interview , exclusive , ThaiFest , thaifest 2019

Fanny looks as lovely and energetic as the products of the company she presents. Talking to her, one can’t help catching up with her enthusiasm and positive mood.

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How did you start your cooperation with Svakom?

I joined Svakom three years and a half ago. I had never worked in this industry before. And I thought sex toys were something like those cheap, Japanese, battery ones. And I remember the first day when I arrived in the office of Svakom and a saw a big round table full of toys displayed on it and I thought: ‘Wow, sex toys are looking different!’ I expected to see something ordinary, battery one and now there are rechargeable ones, of silicone and beautiful-looking. And I thought: ‘Ok, working here is going to be a lot of fun’. I tried it. I thought it was going to be interesting. I started a journey with Svakom a month after I met them and decided to join them. After more than three years now, I found out it was amazing! Wherever I go, people ask me: ‘What do you do for work?’ I say: ‘Sex toy.’ Wow! Conversation starts right away. It is a lot of fun.

How do your friends see your job?

I have two kinds of friends. One group are just people I know from before, like university mates. They are a bit shy to talk about sex. But I have another type of friends that are very close to me, we talk everything, I give them toys for free, they try them, they love them and we just talk forever about sex. They are really cool. And they think what I am doing is cool. And the Svakom team, especially, is cool because I always post something on Facebook and they say: ‘Your team is amazing!’ I am very happy to know that, they are very supportive, very open-minded about it.

What’s your position in Svakom?

I am a Sales director for overseas markets. In Svakom I started as a salesperson and I got promoted after a year or something.

This is my fourth or third Thaifest. I started from the Thaifest in Moscow, so this is my third one. Yes.

This year, this is a little bit different. Before it was in a big room and we all went together. And this time we are set up in a private room, so it is more private, for the customers and for the vendors as well. I like this kind of setup. Thaifest is always amazing because I really love to see the Russian customers, they are always so lovely. When I first started in Thaifest, during the first several meetings, I felt a little nervous because I thought: ‘They all are looking very serious, Russian people are really serious.’ They were asking a lot of questions. And then I found out that Russian people are amazing: they are serious in business but after the business part Thaifest always has some event, some party: there is music, there is food, there is vodka and we are all having fun and a big party together. I really enjoy it. And I enjoy to see the customers here. I like it a lot.

During the training you mentioned two parties to be held in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Could you be more specific about them, please?

Fuck taboo is a party that we organized to start from last year and basically we have the idea about holding a sex toy party. No one has ever done anything like that in the world, we believe. There we have sex parties, a swingers’ party, I mean, where people have sex. So many people ask: ‘Can we have sex during the party?’ No, this is not the kind of party we are having. The party we have is more education, lifestyle way. And we are gathering people from any industry, any people are welcome to the party. And we, Svakom team, we do workshops to educate people about sex toys. We do games with a lot of fun with people over there as well, and this is just like club, DJ time and a party with everyone together. This concept is like we just provide a place people can come over to get education and they feel very free, they have the possibility of discussing the topics that are unlikely to be openly discussed in the society. We want to have a party for people to come over from all the different places in the city and open up for themselves where they can talk about it. If they have questions about sex and anything, Svakom people are there and for them, they can explain things to them and at the same time they can have a good time, a social meeting. This is basically about this party. We plan one in November, we are not 100% sure. (Editor’s note: the interview took place in June, we are going to check the details and ask Fanny about the current state of affairs)

We will try our best to make it happen. We want to make one party around the fair-time for the business people in the fair to have somewhere to go after the fair in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, top cities in the country. We just want to be closer to our Russian clients with our brand and let people know about us. It is memory for branding.

Your company is known to have taken part in a variety of events, awards and distributing gifts to celebrities. Are you going to hold similar events in Russia?

Yes, we took part in the events like Awards in other countries. However, in Russian market we have certain difficulties because we don’t speak the language, we are not really so familiar with the market. The European, the Spanish-speaking markets and English-speaking countries are ok, we have representatives there, but for Russia we don’t have a specific one yet. But I told the distributors, like ‘Astkol’, for example, that we are open for this kind of events, if they have anyone to introduce to us, we are also open to work with bloggers, influencers and magazines, just like we are doing ‘Cosmos’ right now in Russia. And I think that is approaching to us.

Can you say some words about ‘Astkol-Alfa’, please?

They are really, really good. Very professional. Especially the owner, Leo Fishman. He is really a cool guy. We had long conversations with him every time I met him. I think he is really cool, with a lot of experience and very professional as well. We had had good partnership with each other for a long time before I started in Svakom. And each year we are getting better and better, we increase a lot. They are really helping us doing a good job for Russian market, our communication is very good. We have Tanya and Marina, they both speak English, language is very smooth between the two companies as well.

As for the organization of Thaifest, we, vendors, had had a talk about it before I even came for Thaifest, many people from other brands were talking about it and they were asking: ‘Are you coming to Thaifest?’ And I said: ‘Of course, I am’.

Here, on Thaifest, it tends out to be great opportunities. Not only for the customers to meet vendors, but, at the same time, for the brands to get together and communicate with each other, that is very good for this industry. We do like ‘Astkol’ a lot. And we have very good cooperation with each other.

What’s your opinion about the Russian customers?

With Russian people this is a funny thing. In the city I am from we have Russian people as well. And I am very surprised they know Svakom when I meet them. I can remember the last time when it was even more funny, I was in Moscow, down in a subway station and one of the girls saw my bag with ‘Svakom’ and she came to me, she could not speak English but she said: ‘Svakom! I know Svakom!’ I was very surprised and very happy. Every time I see Russian people, they always give us a lot of suggestions, a lot of communication feedback. And I remember that also when I started the training for Russian market, during the training a lot of girls were saying: ‘We, Russian, like bigger toys’. That is why we have two toys, Emma and Adonis, they are doing pretty well, very well in Russian market and in the European countries as well. I would say, another plus is that in Russia, in most places, it is very cold and we have the warming function. People like it very much.

I am honored that you came to interview me. I thank you very much!