I was born and grew up in Kiev, Ukraine. A city full of beautiful architecture, cobblestone streets lined with chestnut trees and a gazillion cafes that serve the best coffee.
From a young age, I’ve been surrounded by art and by artists. Creating art, drawing and decorating has always been joyful for me. I surrounded myself with visual elements that stimulated my creative energy and brought me a sense of harmony. I also loved moving furniture around in our apartment (clearly an early sign of my future profession).
But growing up behind the iron curtain (Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union until the end of the Cold War in 1991), I did what was expected of me, and millions of others – getting a practical profession to contribute to the economy. A career in the arts didn’t count as such. It didn’t occur to me that I could make a living doing what I loved.
And so I pursued an education in computer engineering – which is about as far away from artistry as I could imagine. My life path brought me to immigrate to Canada, where I settled in Toronto. But no matter how successful I was in my corporate career, something always seemed to be wrong.
For many people a second or third career starts from a wake-up call. Mine was a call from the doctor’s office. I was ill.
Shocked and awakened, I closely looked at my life of a suffocating-in-a-cubicle-long-distance-commuting-dying-on-the-vine-business-analyst.
It didn’t look good.
I realized that I had denied my passion for artistic expression for too long, and it was time to make a U-turn. After a quick Google search, I enrolled in interior design and home staging courses. Very soon I received my Canadian Certified Staging Professional designation.
I am a Home Stager now!
Suddenly, life was exciting again.
My next step? You guessed it: I left my corporate life behind and decided to start my new career on the other side of the country. My husband and I picked Victoria after we spent 3 days in awe here during our West Coast vacations. (It took much less than 3 days to make a decision to move here).
I launched At First Sight Home Staging Solutions in Victoria in September 2009. The process of reinventing myself as an entrepreneur opened the door to making social connections and creative expressions that I’d been denied in my previous career. Since that day I have staged hundreds of homes helping hundreds of home sellers to reach their goals of selling homes quicker, for more money, and with less stress. And to make their life transition faster and easier.I feel very lucky today to be able to do what I love and to express myself while helping others.