Kristin Sitova met her husband, Misha, playing tennis in Florida. He grew up during the collapse of the Soviet Union, and his dad took his family from nothing to one of the largest clothing manufacturers in Russia. The mafia came after his family, and while Misha managed to survive three murder attempts, his dad was poisoned and passed away when he was 18. While Misha’s trauma is considerably more than Kristin’s, they bonded over having PTSD and how therapeutic and life-saving animals had been for both of them.
During her time owning a bakery in Florida, she collected so many unforgettable memories—delivering a life-sized shark cake to the team doctor for the Cardinals, befriending two married retired French spies from WWISHE that fought against the Nazis together, hyperventilating on her kitchen floor because she had just made 25 bourbon pecan pies from scratch and forgot to add the corn syrup. There was also making a wedding cake for George Bush’s granddaughter that repeatedly collapsed and pulled an all-nighter to fix it, not knowing how she was going to pay her rent and bills during the off-season, having the CEO of Y&R advertising say her store branding was admirable.
Eventually, Kristin began to think, “What will be my legacy?” She and Misha had been rescuing animals in Florida, and their family had grown to include 3 dogs, 2 cats, and a bunny, but they felt there was so much more they wanted to do.
Deciding not to have children, they began to work towards opening a foundation to support both animals and mental health. Burned out on cakes, and wanting a higher and more stable income, she closed the bakery and went into sales. They moved to Dallas, and their family grew to include a rescued cockatoo that plucked out her own feathers after her owner died, a wallaby, foster cats, and a baby eastern screech owl that fell out of a nest in their pecan tree, which they nursed back to health before releasing in their yard.
Kristin says she is so lucky. The move to Dallas paved the way for a job in sales that she loves, good mental healthcare, a big yard for her animals, and the financial stability to begin making her dream of opening a foundation come true. She feels it is her time to give back and create positive change in the community around her, for both the furry and human members alike.
The most life-changing moment in her career
In her first year out of college, she stood up to a room full of 2,500 Japanese students, teachers, and parents, and delivered a graduation speech entirely in Japanese. She spoke no Japanese when she arrived in Japan 11 months earlier, and knew nothing about their culture, but had landed an English teaching job in one of Japan’s most competitive high schools. As her students, many of whom she still keeps in touch with today, cheered for her and flooded the stage, Kristin realized she could do whatever she put her mind to.
Her advice to someone trying to achieve success as an entrepreneur
Enter your work with the mindset that failure comes with the territory and it’s in those losses that you will learn the most. You will not be successful without falling on your face a few times. If you stop when it gets hard, you won’t make it.
If it seems too easy or good to be true. It probably is. Ask yourself, is there a reason someone hasn’t done this in this way or thought of this already? Why didn’t they approach it like this, and what might be the hidden risks and obstacles I’m missing?
You’re in sales, even if you don’t want to be. You’re selling your vision, yourself, and often your product, as you get it off the ground.
Connect with her on Instagram: @kristinsitova