- Introduce yourself shortly.
My name is Mihhail Kaplin. I am a 12th grade student in EBS High School and 18 years old. I have been doing TeamGym (rhythmic gymnastics) for 15 years already and have reached a very high level. Also, I’m an entrepreneur (companies Portnoy and Tasty Help).
- How old were you when you started rhythmic gymnastics?
I stared with TeamGym when I was 3 years old. Right now I am very thankful for my mum who wilfully dragged me to the practice.
- What are your biggest achievements in sports?
Until now, my biggest achievement is the 4th place in the European Championships. In total I have participated in the European Championships two times with juniors and seniors. We have won Estonia’s biggest gymnastics competition Gymnafest with my sports club Trefoil.
- What do Portnoy and Tasty Help specialise in?
Portnoy is an organisation that deals with producing t-shirts and their retail and wholesale. Our goal is to do something special and colourful. We want individuals to stand out from the gray bunch of people. We are mostly selling the products through our web shop www.portnoy.eu . We are also collaborating with different bloggers a lot. For example, when someone has a very cool design idea, then they could just write to us!
Tasty Help: I am soon going to bring jelly candy to Estonia with very pretty packaging and motivating messages, which are very popular among youngsters right now but we don’t have them on the market yet. Their purpose is in their packages. The products look like a package of pills. They include very awesome instructions like “helps with the work stress”, “before and after sex” etc.
- How do you plan your time between your studies, high-level sport and two businesses?
Planning my time is a big problem. It is very difficult to do all the things on a very good level. I have to skip school occasionally because of a meeting in the middle of the day. I also work during the night quite often and after 3-4 hours of sleep it is very difficult to be at school. Plus I don’t have enough time to work out as much anymore. In EBS High School it is also difficult to find the perfect balance between amount of absences allowed and my businesses.
- Do you have any recommendations for young people who want to start their own business?
I would recommend having patience and confidence. Do not be afraid to write e-mails to big corporations’ CEO’s or other famous people. They are people like you. Sometimes you have to understand the fact that it is very hard and you have to want it very-very much.
Photo: Mihhail Kaplin
Translator: Laura-Liisa Lilleberg
Editor: Kärt Mättikas