STAFF PICKS: Anastasia Kontchaeva

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Interview by Jillian Marks

Anastasia has been working as a host at Trade for a year. This year she will be finishing school at DePaul University earning a degree in communication and media studies.

What lead you to work at Trade?
I had just moved to Boston and was looking for a job and Trade was the first interview that I got. I worked in a small bakery when I was fifteen which was really fun but I didn’t have any experience working in a restaurant. A lot of my friends had been hosts over the years though so I thought it was something I would try.

What were you doing before coming to Trade?
Before coming to Boston I was living in Valencia, Spain where I was making music. Since I had decided to take a break from school I was free to have this last opportunity to just go and do something fun. I got to be with my family in Spain, write a lot, and work on my music.

Have you always been interested in music?
Yes, ever since I was little. My family is from Moscow, Russia where my mom had attended music school throughout her childhood. She’s really good at playing the piano so she taught me how to play. I started with that and then I learned violin and flute. I also started singing and by fourteen I was writing my own music as well. It was only in the last few years that I started taking my music more seriously though. I learned how to play the guitar and work with software which allowed me to advance and put out an EP (extended play).

Are you working on anything at the moment?
Right now I’m working on a couple of different projects. I have a music blog where I translate Russian music, articles, and interviews into English. I hope that in the future it can be a sort of hub for musical and cultural relations between the US and Russia.

What do you do when you’re not at Trade?
Right now I’m interning at Zumix, which is a nonprofit arts organization that has music programs for kids in East Boston. It started 25 years ago to give kids something to be passionate about. I’m doing marketing and development there so I come up with strategies for social media and content. I also sit in on the youth advisory board meetings which is really cool. The kids have so many great ideas and they’re so smart and it’s amazing to be a part of.

What’s your favorite thing to do around Boston?
Anything is really fun for me right now because everything is still new. I like finding new restaurants and local events like The Lawn on D and Fort Point art open studios. I also love traveling around Boston because there are so many cool and close places to check out like Salem, Nantucket, and Cape Cod.

What’s your favorite part about working at Trade?
Definitely the people. Everyone here is so open, sweet, and fun-spirited. They’re fun to talk to and spend your day with. We all really care about each other and that’s the best part.

What’s your favorite dish here at Trade?
The baked Alaska because it’s gluten and dairy-free. I didn’t even know what a baked Alaska was before I started working at Trade but I tried it here and it’s really good!