Victoria, you are a successful and famous architect and designer in Ukraine. Tell us, please, where did your journey begin? I was born into a family of hereditary physicians, I graduated with the specialty of a psychiatrist-narcologist, but I couldn’t but cherished my dream of becoming a designer and architect. I knew it was a difficult path, that I had a lot to learn, but I never give in to difficulties, so more than 17 years ago I created my personal interior design office, with which we implemented almost 500 different projects – from apartment and houses interiors, to the creation of spaces for clinics, beauty salons, spaces for children. And, not only in Ukraine, my projects are popular in Europe and in America, in particular, there are realized orders in New York and Florida.
I like to step out of my comfort zone, so I do not want to be a focused specialist, this is my pleasure – in the dynamics and constant personal growth. I participate in the process of creating a project from the beginning and to the end: from an individual approach to each customer, development, search for style, to the presence on the construction site. Of course, sometimes it’s not easy, my success implies hard work, but I’m not looking for easy ways. I like to show by my example that there is no longer a division into exclusively male and female professions. In America, for sure, they know this better than in any other country. A woman can become a vice president, lead large corporations, editorial offices, fight for her rights and defend them in your country. Ukraine is only on the way to that, but I like to see that our country have made certain progress in this direction. And I like that I can be an important part of that progress as well.
Tell us, what is the most important thing for you in your profession? What principles do you follow? My job is my life. At that, of course, I devote a lot of time to my family, I have two wonderful children. Recently, I have created a third child – this is a social project and the realities of “The Right to Comfort” and I will tell about it too. But a huge part of my life is a design office, because it is my dream that have become a reality. Perhaps the most important thing for me is the quality of my work, individual approach to each customer, exclusive designs, because I often practice mixing architectural styles, I like to find something special for each customer, and love for my work and respect for my team. Without this, I believe, business will be no success. I help people realize their wildest desires, create for them homes and spaces in which there appears a desire to live and create!
You have mentioned your charitable project “The Right to Comfort”, tell us a little about it, what is its mission? You know, the decision to create my own charity project is definitely not spontaneous for me. For many years I have been involved in various charitable projects of other people, while nurturing my own. “The Right to Comfort” has become, in fact, a unique project in Ukraine, since no one here is involved in transforming the housing of children from disadvantaged families. However, the place we live in greatly influences both development and mental health, and even physical health. I can say that as an architect with 17 years of experience. The stories that my team has encountered since the beginning of the project are striking to the core. I select them personally, therefore, I let emotions from knowing the lives of each of the heroes through my body. For example, in one of the episodes we helped little Rostik, whom both his mother and grandmother gave up, and now his great-grandmother is engaged in raising him. They lived in terrible conditions: a small apartment, with poor communications, mold and the lack of necessary conditions for the development of the boy. In addition, due to the actions of his family, the boy has developmental problems. It is impossible to hear such stories without tears. Therefore, my team and I decided to help, and in a short time we completely changed their apartment, replaced all the furniture, bought the boy everything he needed for development, and sent him to psychological rehabilitation. And our project still has a lot of such heroes, people constantly send applications to our site. In Ukraine, about 19 million people are living below the poverty line, and among them there are a lot of orphans, children of war heroes who died in Donbas, orphans who need help. I believe that thanks to our project, the lives of these little Ukrainians will change, they will receive not only new apartments or furniture, but also a chance for a better life, self-confidence and a stronger psyche. One of the heroes of our project, for example, after participating in it, won a sports competition for the first time. What does this mean? That our project really changes lives.
With such a busy schedule, you also took part in the Mrs. Ukraine International 2020 and have now become a finalist, why did you need this contest? To show that Ukrainian women are not only beautiful, but also smart and successful in various fields. Well, besides, it will help me in the further implementation of my charitable project. For me, this is definitely not about a beauty contest, I believe that this is an important stage in my life, which will help in the realization of many of my ambitious goals. And I am glad that I am in the final of the contest in the USA. This is not a foreign country to me in spirit and values, in addition, my dear people live here.
Interview by: Yuliya Zabelina