Wednesday, June 19, 2024 Jun 19, 2024
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How Nasiba Adilova Created a Successful E-Commerce Startup

The Tot has become a go-to online shop for moms looking for stylish, sustainable goods.
Photo by Elizabeth Lavin

You may recognize Nasiba Adilova from her street-style snaps, which have decorated the pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Or perhaps you follow along with her international escapades on her Instagram account (@naseebs). (We recently tuned in to watch as her home was transformed into a spectacular version of Westeros for a Game of Thrones–style soiree.)

However, she may go down in history as one of the mothers of e-commerce startup The Tot. Here, she and business partner and fellow mom Miroslava Duma curate products, toys, clothing, and accessories that are safe, nontoxic, eco-friendly, sustainable, organic, functional—and always fashion-forward.

How did you come up with the idea?

When I became pregnant with my son, I was overwhelmed by the endless search for registry essentials because there was no central location where I could find all of the information I wanted. Eventually, it got to the point where I had done so much research that I wanted to put all of my knowledge in one online destination. I wanted to build a place where moms could come and talk to one another, find answers to their problems, and also shop the best-of-the-best mommy and baby products on the market.

Who visits The Tot?

Parents of young children who want to shop trusted products for their little ones but also want a place to come and learn about parenting topics. The Tot is more than an e-commerce destination—we want to give mothers (and fathers!) access to a wealth of information geared toward the most important little people in our lives.

What kind of information and content do you provide?

The “Being Mama” section of our site allows parents to read up on what other parents are doing. We try to interview people who inspire us. This could be artists, doctors, entrepreneurs, CEOs, or celebs. We’ve profiled so many interesting mothers and fathers, from Donald Robertson and Jenna Bush Hager to Kimberly Chandler and Rachel Zoe. We want to tell real stories and send a message to other mommies out there that motherhood is the same no matter what background or geographical location you come from.

What’s ahead for the site?

The Tot recently launched a diaper bag collaboration with Mary Katrantzou and a childrenswear partnership for holiday with Oscar de la Renta. We also opened our first ever brick-and-mortar pop-up shop in Highland Park Village for the holiday season, and we’re launching a registry service, which I’m excited about. We’d love to take The Tot international and create a private label. Visit the site at


Up & Away!

Lofty goals and lots of imagination went into designing the play space for Adilova’s own tot.

When Adilova set out to design a playroom for her 2-year-old son Thomas—or as she affectionately calls him, TomTom—she wanted to create an imaginative space that was full of whimsical touches. “I wanted him to feel like he was immersed in an adventure. Because we travel so much, I wanted travel to be the underlying theme,” she says.

adilova-roomShe met local designer Angeline Guido Hall through a mutual friend, and the two were an instant design match. “In her proposal, she put together such a fun play atmosphere that got me really excited about the project,” she explains.

Adilova and her husband, Thomas Hartland-Mackie brought a hot air balloon theme to Hall and her team members Reno Grossi and Antoine Douglas. “[Thomas] mentioned how it would be so cool if you really could sit inside the basket and feel like you were floating in the sky,” explains Hall. “So it was back to the drawing board for us to figure out how to make that work, both functionally and aesthetically.”

Hall called in mural artist Craig Grimston of Muralicious to create a backdrop of floating balloons in the playful, vintage style reminiscent of children’s book and cartoon Madeline. The focal point is a large 3-D balloon made from a cast foam form that fits perfectly around the coffered detail of the ceiling. The design team affixed the balloon to a basket-mimicking seating area using custom-fabricated ropes attached with industrial-strength magnets.

They used the same technique on a smaller balloon-and-basket reading nook that is covered in Ralph Lauren raffia fabric. The team added accent chairs from Palecek, FLOR tiles, and an Eames elephant from Scott + Cooner to finish out the space. TomTom’s favorite toy—an interactive wooden airport and plane table—is the playful centerpiece.

Adilova loves the room so much that she called on Hall and her team to design another children’s play area, this time with a space travel theme inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince. It’s safe to say that TomTom’s playroom passport will be just as adventurous as his real one.