Tatiana von Saxe

Tatiana von Saxe is truly an entrepreneur, being a hugely, successful business woman in many fields.

Her interests include marketing, finance and publishing. She is currently in pre-production of two feature-length films and was Assistant Director/Producer of When The Lilac Blooms, My Love, a new play by New York playwright Jane Huxley, staged earlier this year at Leicester Square Theatre and is now co-producing the world premiere of Less Than Kind by Terence Rattigan at The Jermyn St Theatre from 14 January – 12 February 2011.

Tatiana is the senior partner of Von Saxe Associates and the brains behind the People’s Book Prize.

Tatiana started our conversation by saying that she was “networking before networking was invented!” Working across a wide variety of industries she identifies problems and finds a solution. When she doesn’t have the answer herself, she can call on a network of over 6,000 experts.

Tatiana believes that women have an intrinsic ability to communicate and to share and can call upon ‘common sense‘ in a way that most men can’t in order to reach sound business decisions.

“I don’t agree with everything in womens lib. I think that it some ways it has been detrimental to women. I have no problem if men stand when I walk into a room or if doors are held open for me. Women are different to men and we should allow women to grow by building their own confidence and self-esteem rather than by trying to compete as a man.”

“One of my business ventures was to start Cafe Delancey in Camden Town. It was difficult then for a woman to go out and eat alone. I wanted to create somewhere where women would feel comfortable, where they could relax and have a coffee. We were open from breakfast time until midnight. There were free newspapers – this is commonplace now but at the time it was very new. We created the continental cafe culture in London. The business closed when the property was sold but I feel that we were the starting point for Starbucks and the like to develop in the UK.”

“Even though Cafe Delancey no longer exists I’m really pleased that the idea has grown. When you have had one great idea, like this one, it gives you confidence that you can do it again!”

Tatiana’s latest venture is The Peoples Book Prize, a national competition aimed at discovering talented authors with no panel of judges – the winning book being selected solely by public vote! The late Beryl Bainbridge championed this venture, as patron, and each quarter the 9 new titles, 3 in each category fiction, non-fiction, children’s, which get the most votes on the website go forward as finalists for the annual People’s Book Prize Awards.

“What do you do when you see flaws in the system? You go and fix them! I was touched by the plight of first-time authors so I founded Delancey Press with the objective of publishing quality work by new authors. I came up with the idea for The People’s Book Prize to give new authors equal opportunity in the marketplace, based purely on their talent and ability.”

“If book stores stock only one cope of a book then the author will never be able to generate sales and the book prizes are monopolised by well known authors and big publishing houses. By allowing all publishers to submit books to the site and allowing the public to vote on which books they like best we can create opportunities for new talent.”

“The prize also looks to raise the profile of libraries, encourage young readers and support independent publishers.”

Finally I asked Tatiana about entrepreneurs.

“Women entrepreneurs have the natural skill to take calculated risks and are well equipped to tackle new challenges which include the importance of image to business growth and identifying areas that bring better productivity: I took the decision to switch from conventional office space to take a virtual office with Executive Offices Group. This has added value to my business by reducing overheads, freeing up capital and supporting my company’s reputation though its quality service and locations.”

“As women we need to unite to move forward. As entrepreneurs we need to trust our instincts. As women we weigh up how much we can afford to lose and take a calculated risk. This skill comes naturally to women but it is something most men have to learn.”

Thanks to Tatiana for sharing her entrepreneurs experience and advice with the3rdi magazine.

You can find out more about The Peoples Book Prize at http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/

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