#MembersOfHotspot – Interview with Ana Stanescu, Co-founder PlaYouth

We continue our series of #MembersOfHotspot interviews with entrepreneurs and freelancers who have chosen to work from the creative space of Hotspot Proxi. These talks with the people from Hotspot community inspire us and motivate us to offer the best solutions for the development of the business environment in Romania.

Today we talked to Ana Stănescu, a brave entrepreneur, who started her own business at the age of 24. She is the co-founder of PlaYouth, an NGO that through its projects supports non-formal education, the development of the relationship between children and parents and brings alternative solutions for the development of teachers. Moreover, PlaYouth has in its portfolio CSR and employee loyalty projects.

Hello, Ana! Please tell us a few words about you and PlaYouth!
Hello and I’m glad to have the opportunity to have this discussion with you!

About me? I don’t even know what to start with 🙂 I am a mother of 1 year and 11 months, but even if it is a demanding and beautiful role in my life, I find solutions to efficiently divide my time between the professional and the personal side. This new role also motivates me professionally, because it makes me aware of the importance of PlaYouth’s mission, but it challenges me to find alternative workspaces that meet the constantly changing needs of mine and my team.

PlaYouth is the business I created from scratch, together with a team of talented and ambitious young people and which, after more than 6 years, remained my soul project. Through it we want to change the way children, parents and teachers develop and interact with each other, this important “triangle” for a solid foundation in our society.
At the same time, the demands on the corporate side have increased, the managers understanding the importance of connecting people and extra work activities, which helps them get closer and maintain a balance between personal and professional, and we facilitate such actions.

How did PlaYouth’s activity change with the pandemic?
It has changed enormously, I would have really wished for this not to have happened, because now most of the activities take place online, but we believe that this was a business lesson, that of being able to adapt to the market context and to the reality of which we are a part of.

Most activities now take place with adults, parents and teachers. If at the beginning we tried to hold activities with children, we quickly adapted by proposing a very flexible calendar in the market because nothing corresponded to what we were used to, many events were planned and canceled due to restrictions, so we changed the target audience and the activities we offer. But now we are delighted with the switch that the business has made and we have met many teachers eager to learn.

We have adapted many of our activities and created workshops for employees, through which they can spend time together, from which they can take energy and inspiration and through which they can get to know their team better.
In addition, we carry out CSR projects for the benefit of children in day centers or placement centers, adapted to the new conditions in which we can work with them.

Why did you choose to work at Hotspot Proxi during this period?
This space fits very well with me and the team. Personally, when I need inspiration or peace, I choose to go to a bookstore – I usually read or just walk among the shelves. I can do this here, but I also have a space equipped with all the tools I need when I work. I can focus here, and the decision-making process is much easier. It is definitely a place that inspires you and has it all. Also, after I leave the “mobile office” I can buy something nice as a surprise for my kid.

In our family, we have never been fans of combining the “home” space with the “office” space, but in the current situation we have to do this, so Hotspot Proxi is a real help when you feel the need for alternatives.

How did you like the atmosphere here? What caught your attention?
Another important place for me, after the bookstores, is BCU – the Central Library in Cluj – where I studied for college exams and where I like to come back whenever I have the opportunity. There is a lot of peace, there are books and people studying. I had the same feeling here – I have a space dedicated to me, where I can solve everything related to PlaYouth tasks and processes. Moreover, it is in a central area and I have everything I need for the professional part – professional facilities, ergonomic furniture and a meeting room with the “different” vibe.

I really liked the design, the arrangement of the tables, the atmosphere – it’s a very interesting mix between study and relaxation. You feel good when you work here and ideas flow more easily, discussions are more energetic, even if some are only online 🙂 I also noticed the very good sound background – I heard here one of my favorite songs of all time.

Describe Hotspot Proxi workspace inside Verso Carturesti in 3 words.
Artistic, Practical, Inspirational.



#MembersOfHotspot – Interviu cu Ana Stanescu, Co-fondator PlaYouth

Continuam seria noastra de interviuri #MembersOfHotspot cu antreprenori si freelanceri care au ales sa lucreze din spatiul creativ de la Hotspot Proxi. Aceste discutii cu oamenii din comunitatea Hotspot ne inspira si ne motiveaza sa oferim cele mai bune solutii pentru dezvoltarea mediului de business din Romania.

Azi am discutat cu Ana Stănescu, o antreprenoare curajoasa, care si-a lansat propriul business la varsta de 24 de ani. Este co-fondator PlaYouth, ONG care prin proiectele sale sustine educatia non-formala, dezvoltarea relatiei dintre copii si parinți si aduce solutii alternative pentru dezvoltarea profesorilor. Mai mult decat atat, PlaYouth are in portofoliu proiecte de CSR si de fidelizare a angajatilor.

Buna, Ana! Te rugam sa ne spui cateva cuvinte despre tine si PlaYouth!
Buna si ma bucur sa avem ocazia sa discutam!

Despre mine? Nici nu știu cu ce să încep 🙂 Sunt mamica de 1 an si 11 luni, insa chiar daca este un rol solicitant si frumos in viata mea, gasesc solutii pentru a-mi imparti eficient timpul intre latura profesionala si cea personala. Acest nou rol ma motiveaza si profesional, deoarece ma face sa constientizez importanta misiunii PlaYouth, insa ma provoaca sa gasesc alternative de spatii de lucru care sa raspunda nevoilor constant in schimbare ale mele si ale echipei.

PlaYouth este business-ul pe care l-am creat de la 0, alaturi de o echipa de tineri talentati si ambitiosi și care, dupa mai bine de 6 ani, a ramas proiectul meu de suflet. Prin el ne dorim sa schimbam modul in care se dezvolta si interactioneaza intre ei copiii, parintii si profesorii, acest ”triunghi” important pentru o baza solida in societatea noastra.
In acelasi timp, au crescut cererile pe partea corporate, managerii intelegand importanta conectarii dintre oameni si a activitatilor extra job, care ii ajuta sa se apropie mai mult si sa mentina un echilibru intre personal si profesional, iar noi facilitam astfel de actiuni.

Cum s-a schimbat activitatea PlaYouth odată cu pandemia?
S-a schimbat enorm, mi-as fi dorit extrem de mult sa nu se fi intamplat asta, pentru ca acum mai toate activitatile se desfasoara online, insa credem ca a fost o lectie de business, aceea de a reusi sa ne adaptam contextului pietei si a realitatii din care facem parte.

Cele mai multe activitati se întâmplă acum cu adulți, parinti și profesori. Daca la inceput am incercat sa tinem si activitati cu copiii, ne-am adaptat rapid propunand in piata un calendar foarte flexibil pentru ca nimic nu mai corespundea cu ce eram obișnuiți noi, multe evenimente au fost planificate si anulate din cauza restrictiilor, asa ca am schimbat publicul tinta si activitatile pe care le oferim. Dar acum suntem incantati de switch-ul pe care l-a facut business-ul si am cunoscut multi profesori dornici de invatare.

Am adaptat multe dintre activitatile noastre si am creat workshop-uri destinate angajatilor, prin care acestia sa petreaca un timp impreuna, din care sa isi ia energie si inspiratie si prin care sa isi cunoasca echipa mai bine.
In plus, desfasuram proiecte de CSR in beneficiul copiilor din centrele de zi sau de plasament, adaptate la noile conditii in care putem lucra cu acestia.

De ce ai ales să lucrezi în această perioadă de la Hotspot Proxi?
Acest spatiu se potriveste foarte bine cu mine si cu echipa. Personal, cand am nevoie de inspiratie sau liniste aleg sa merg intr-o librarie – obisnuiesc sa citesc sau doar sa ma plimb printre rafturi. Aici pot sa fac asta, dar am si un spatiu dotat cu toate instrumentele de care am nevoie atunci cand lucrez. Aici ma pot concentra, iar procesul de luare a deciziilor este mult mai facil. E cu siguranta un loc care te inspira si le are pe toate. Apoi, pot sa ii mai iau si celui mic cate o surpriza cand plec de la “biroul mobil”.

In familia noastra, nu am fost niciodata adeptii imbinarii spatiului de ”acasa” cu cel de ”birou”, insa in situatia actuala suntem nevoiti sa facem asta, asa ca Hotspot Proxi e un real ajutor atunci cand simti nevoia de alternative.

Cum ti s-a părut atmosfera de aici? Ce ti-a atras atentia?
Un alt loc important pentru mine, dupa librării, e BCU – Biblioteca Centrala din Cluj – unde invatam pentru examenele din facultate si unde imi place sa revin de cate ori am ocazia. Acolo e multa liniste, sunt carti si oameni care studiaza. Aceeasi stare am trait-o si aici – am un spatiu dedicat mie, in care pot rezolva tot ce tine zilnic de task-urile si procesele PlaYouth. Mai mult, este intr-o zona centrala si am tot ce este nevoie pentru partea profesionala – facilitati profesionale, mobilier ergonomic si o sala de sedinte “altfel”.

Mi-au placut mult design-ul, aranjarea meselor, atmosfera – e un mix foarte interesant intre studiu si relaxare. Te simti bine cand lucrezi aici si ideile curg mai usor, discutiile sunt cu mai multa energie, chiar daca unele sunt doar online 🙂 Am remarcat si fundalul sonor foarte bun – am auzit aici una dintre piesele mele preferate din toate timpurile. Ce-ti poti dori mai mult?

Descrie in 3 cuvinte spatiul de lucru Hotspot Proxi din incinta Verso Carturesti.
Artistic, Practic, Inspirational.

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