Us, our children, we wake up in the morning at our home and touch the floor with our feet — this is how our day begins. What will be the moment of contact with the base is important for a man who likes his dwelling. You can economize on the other interior objects but the floor should carry the breath of nature and remember the history of generations, that's what our columnist, director of Finex Company Groups Marina Melekhova is sure about.

Let's say our business started from my great grandfather in the XIXth century. He worked at the sawmill with his son, my grandfather who was 9 by that time. It is amazing but we, his descendants, do his craft today continuing the tradition. When my grandfather grew up he became a scientist with a world known name. Ivan Stepanovich Melekhov was a Forest Scientist, Doctor of Agriculture, Academician, Gosplan deputy chairman, first director of The Institute of Forrest USSR Academy of Sciences. His activity fell to the moment of industry flourishing, it was what he loved, his destiny. He wrote scientific articles to the end of his days and students continiue to use his textbooks today.

My father had a Ph.D in biology but fate brought him to the forest too. Private business developed actively in 90-th in Russia but the financial support of science almost stopped. So my dad had to keep to the flow: he was a success in different businesses. Crisis broke out in 1998 and our family suffered much same as others. My father lost everything he had, it was a disaster. But a few years before it he bought several hectares of lands with a plant processing timber. We decided to make a woodworking factory. Thus the family fate lead us back to the field our great grandfather was working in.
We launched the factory, took a small office and things went not so bad at all but fate interfered once again — built on the old burnt woodcut's place our manufactory was destroyed by fire. By that moment I was graduating from school and my brother studied finance in New York.

This setback didn't break my father and he found strength to go on and fight. My brother and I decided to help to restore the business. It took two years to rise up and rebuild the manufacturing just on our own, counting on ourselves and a team of twenty factory workers and eight managers. While I was a second year student I started working in the business, the only disadvantage was we only spoke business in the family. I took advertising and PR to rise up selling and at the same time I controlled services, assembling, following trends, attracting new partners, made office settlements. I actively worked with designers and artists to create a unique collection. We first joined the ARH Moscow exhibition. That's how our company started to work with architects and designers. Working for years in company I started to trust myself, my intuition always gives me insight of the way we should follow and my prayers were not ignored.

The failure helped us to fulfill the idea of doing everything by our-selves, starting from providing materials and up to the final version of the product. It is a long and difficult process because the main thing for wood is to be dried and this could take up to 3 years. The inner tension of not dried enough plank leads to the loss of quality and fragility. We took into consideration every detail: how to process the wood, what material to use for covering — these are ecology questions: to cover wood with chemicals or not. Maximum natural oils and coverage help timber to breath and give health to families and their members. We managed to patent our own method of cold drying which also helps wood to live long. We wanted to reach the quality of those planks which lay in French Palaces for centuries becoming better from century to century gaining their history. You can give a flat or home with floors like this to your children and grandchildren without thinking of repairing.

We were successful and took first rates in the market. But in 2008 fate played a bad joke on us once again. I was working for several years in our company when suddenly even a stronger fire happened again. My father took it hard and lost his health, he had to leave the business. My brother had to move to Moscow completely and we took a decision with him that we will rise up a family business once again. There was no way back. Fewer people stayed with us this time, it was so hard to start everything from zero again. But nevertheless two and a half years later we built it all now in the new place with new scale and new technologies. A few loyal co-workers, our knowledge, faith in success and diligence stayed with us. Now we are on the top once again: they take us as an example and copy us, it's not a rare thing to meet a fake of our parquet in market.
We took not so profitable business model but it was unique and interesting — personal attitude — the most important is the will of our client to make something special: in colour, size or technology. Manufacturing is a long chain and when you change something other parts should be also changed, this is complication and we have to plan and synchronize everything. Our place in the market and the way I see it many years ahead as well is the atelier-manufacture, though our possibilities are of a big scale taking the product volume into consideration. We can change anything and build the unique product our client needs.
I am happy with our way we follow and I got my reasons for that. The main thing life teaches, is that with trust empathy and compromises, we are helped forward. We as a family share same views and values, always help each other and appreciate knowledge and traditions we inherited. The way we went through is priceless because no money can buy knowledge and experience.