LIFE FROM SCRATCH: SUCCESS ‒ WAR ‒ AND NEW START
The story about an extremely talented, strong-spirited woman. A woman who was able to start her life from the scratch and say goodbye to the horrors of war.
Meet Yana Dolia. She had her own business in Donetsk, but had to quit everything and start her business from scratch in Polohy (Zaporizhzhia Oblast). She opened her own nail design studio "YAD", actively participates in the Nail Art Championships, has her own school and students to share her knowledge to, and has become a judge at the nationwide level.
First nails: it was horrible
Yana was born in Donetsk, but then together with her parents moved to Polohy. She graduated from school and then entered the Melitopol State Pedagogical University to obtain a degree in "Music, Choreography and Vocal".
“As a child, I dreamt of becoming a teacher, teaching children and giving "F" to those who abused me”, Yana recalled with a smile. “I enjoyed studying at the University. At the same time, I was still teaching at school, and spend summer in camps. But I had one dream that I could not fulfil in any way. I wanted a beautiful manicure and long nails. Since I was studying at the music department, long nails were a taboo for us (because a long manicure interfered with playing the piano). And then the last state exam on vocals has come. Shortly before that, I went and made long, long nails”.
At that time, the fashion for them was just beginning, and they were made at the dentistry. Yes, you heard correctly, next to the teeth and drills, I got a set of nails. They were thick and bumpy, but those were my first nails.
During the exam, Yana stood on stage and performed a song. As you know, all singers are actively gesticulating, and she was no exception. She passed the exam perfectly, the whole audience applauded her. But then the teacher approached the student and commented rather strictly on the following act:
- Yana, it was horrible!
And she fearfully asked:
- What's the matter?
The teacher only answered:
- Your nails. They are awful. You look like Baba Yaha!
However, Yana did not care. It is a dream, and dreams should come true!
After graduation, Yana returned to Donetsk with her husband and began working at a local school as a facilitator. Meanwhile, it was time to do nail correction, and she had to look for a nail master already in Donetsk. She was very surprised by the stucco, artistic painting of tips. Prior to that, she saw something like this only in a magazine, back in Melitopol, but she was told that nobody does it in Ukraine at all.
“It's no secret that the teacher's salary is not very high. I spent a lot of time at work, often traveling, because I had to accompany children to various competitions and contests. And one evening my husband suggested that I choose another, more profitable and quiet profession. He was willing to pay for any training or preparatory courses. Without even thinking, I said that I wanted to do manicure. And my husband supported me,” said the nail master, as she decided to change her profession.
At the manicure courses, Yana Dolia really surprised her teacher with the desire to learn everything at once (painting, acrylic, gel polish, modelling). She was trained for three months and attended various master classes at the same time.
“I was so fascinated by it that I even worked out the technique at night, developed new designs. Then I went to work in a hairdressing salon, where I got my first experience. My first clients were my mom and friend. At that time not everything worked out, but it was through my efforts and practice that I managed to achieve perfection”, says the owner of the nail studio about her first steps.
No matter what they say, but Yana is sure that if a person has a desire and makes every effort, everything will work out. And most importantly, she is constantly feeling the support of her husband, who is worried about her and her team, which appeared very quickly.
This charming woman, like a magnet, attracts people with her bright energy. Soon enough she started her business in Donetsk. But she didn't limit herself with the opening of the manicure salon. Yana Dolia enjoys the tremendous pleasure of traveling to championships, participating in master classes and teaching her to do a masterpiece manicures. She became one of the best nail masters with the achievement of skills and improvement of skills, and later she was invited to championships as a judge.
The war came when it was not expected
May 2014. Pregnant Yana with her husband and son still lived in Donetsk. They hoped until the last minute that there would be no war. Yana recalls how sceptical she was that in our time children of war could be born. “It was a terrible time; I had to go with two flags, Russia and Ukraine, because no one knew what kind of unrest could be.” As if now a terrible picture stands before her eyes:
“I had a course with girls; our nail school was located on the 6th floor of a business centre with large panoramic windows across from the Donbas Arena. Suddenly, I turn my head - and at the level of my eyes, a helicopter flies by. The owner of the business centre calls me, said that I needed to escape, run away. Then the most terrible words: "Tanks entered the city, the war began!” Imagine, I am pregnant and I do not fully understand the situation. Soon my husband called and said that he would come to me. And I stand and tell him that I have a course, nails. "Yana, don’t you understand? We need to run!", I heard via phone. And it was this evening that we started to talk about moving.”
She was against moving because it was at that time that she was preparing for childbirth and she was sure that it would all end soon. But what happened next made her radically change her point of view regarding the move.
“We had a very serious conversation with my husband that it was time to pack things and move. But I was not ready to leave what I had been building for years: a manicure business, a home, my favourite city. We even argued for a bit. After that, I sat at night, looking through the news pages and it came to my eyes that mother and her baby happened to be under shelling. The article was supported by bloody photos. Only then I realized that I had no right to endanger my family”, the woman recalls with tears in her eyes.
While packing, they did not even suspect that they would say goodbye to their home forever. They collected a minimum of things for 2 months and went with her husband's sister to Polohy.
“We did not even turn off the refrigerator because we were sure we would be back soon. We were almost not examined at the checkpoints; they saw that I was pregnant. And the feeling of fear did not leave”, continued Yana.
The choice is obvious - only Ukraine!
For a while they lived with parents, and then moved to a rented apartment, where they live now. Yana gave birth to a boy. And they returned to Donetsk only after the New Year in order to pick up things and move to Ukraine forever.
“We didn't even have personal belongings before the New Year. Friends gave us some warm clothes. We didn't even have spoons and forks.”
“It was especially difficult for the eldest son to adapt to a new place. He believed that he would return home soon, because there, in Donetsk, were his friends, classmates. But still he went to study in school in Polohy, in order not to miss a year. When it came to the war, the ATO, son started crying right in the classroom. I understood how difficult it was for him. He woke up, yelling and crying every night for a year. For two years I also could not calmly speak on this subject. I just had tears in my eyes,” shared the memories the mother of two wonderful boys.
Yana and her husband have always been for Ukraine, they were not even faced with the choice of where to go, although they had repeatedly heard nasty words. The young woman does not get tired of proving her position:
“We are for Ukraine! We have never supported the DPR and LPR authorities. And many people who did not have the opportunity to leave are also for Ukraine. It was insulting and painful when, right in our eyes they told us that we were separatists. I tried to disengage myself and did not respond to this.”
“The main problem is that Ukrainian TV and radio companies ceased to exist in Donetsk and Luhansk. And people have to listen to what they say on Russian TV channels.”
Yana still maintains communication with her family and friends via the Internet. Now she recalls how they were getting used to the new place:
“The worst part is that the war divided families! When we moved to Polohy, we received payments for the displaced persons. I remember going to some kind of IDP training and it was so strange to me that they started teaching us how to brush our teeth, and that we need to wash our hands with soap. Thus, we were not taught how to adapt to new life, how to deal with stress.
As displaced persons, we were also given “NaboryZhyttia” (life kit). The kit consisted of essential products. But even then my husband and I made enough money for a living, so we refused help because we knew there were people who needed this kit more than us.
Polohy has become a second home
It was not easy for Yana to open a business. Twice she lost her business in Donetsk, and now she had to start from scratch in Polohy. But she worked tirelessly and is now in the top of the best nail masters in Ukraine.
“Homeland and home are two different concepts. Donetsk was the city where I was born, and Polohy has already become my home. My husband is opposite: he wanted to return to Polohy in his old years. And so it happened that we are here now, and Polohy has become a small Homeland for me.
I really like it here because the people in Polohy are much more sincere, always ready to help you, there is no such crazy rhythm of life as in the big cities.
But the hardest thing for me is that there is gossip in the small town, and it's still hard for me to get used to it,” admits the owner of the nail studio "YAD".
Success and family
One of the most important roles in the Yana's formation, as an individual, was played by her parents. Dad was the person for whom she worked and who constantly proved that everything would work out for her.
There was of course dispute with her husband about the fact that he travels a lot and often was not at home, but frank conversations helped to resolve conflicts. Husband understood Yana and now supports and helps her in everything, and she says with pride and great love:
“He is my guardian angel. I feel behind him, like behind a stone wall. If it wasn't for him, I probably wouldn't have achieved anything.”
Like all busy people, a businesswoman tries to keep up with everything, sometimes she forgets about things, but she likes that life.
“If I was not so active, I would just sit at home, probably, would be bored,” thinks the woman.
Of course, there are times when Yana wants to do nothing, there is no inspiration, but it rarely happens. Now she has a period of creative excitement. She is full of ideas and tries to bring them to life. What about the envious people? She has her own recipe for dealing with them:
“I try not to pay attention to those who put sticks in the wheels. I feel sorry for such people. I am extremely motivated by wise parables that I read with pleasure and rethink my life.”
P.S. This war broke the lives of thousands of people, but, like Yana, I believe that one day such desired words will be heard: “There are no more Russian units in Ukraine. JFO is over. Donetsk and Luhansk are fully controlled by Ukraine. "
Kseniia STORCHAK, winner of the Grand Prix X of the All-Ukrainian competition for student creative essays “I am a journalist!”, Polohy, Zaporizhzhia Oblast.