I didn’t know much about Inna before interviewing her: a beautiful girl, a talented photographer, a creative person who is in love with traveling and with her brand ‘Inna Elsie’. But after an honest interview with Inna, I realized that this fragile-looking girl has an iron will! I am confident she will conquer this world, and her story will inspire thousands of girls on this planet to go for their dreams and not lose heart. This is not a story about Cinderella who met her prince. This is a story about a self-made lady who has achieved everything all by herself and, despite all the obstacles and betrayals, continues to move towards her goals and the worldwide recognition of her ‘Inna Elsie’ brand.
Inna, tell us where you started after moving to the USA?
You know, I hardly remember the first 18 months because it was a crazy period when I worked seven days a week. Every day was a routine to make money because I didn’t have any start-up capital or rainy-day fund. I come from an average Ukrainian family and everything that I have in life, well, I earned it myself. Like many immigrants, in the beginning, I did not work in my field. I was a nanny. And I saved all the money I could because I realized that this was a temporary arrangement. But it was very difficult. Probably, if I was asked to go the same way again, I wouldn’t be able to do it. But at that moment, I knew that if I wanted more, I had to earn money to make my plans a reality. Otherwise, all of my dreams would have remained just that – dreams.
How did you come up with the idea of designing feminine and universal-design robes and launching your brand – Inna Elsie?
Once I met a friend in a café, and during our conversation, we discussed the idea of how cool it would be to start making high-quality, exclusive bridal robes that would still be universal-design. After all, most models on the market can only be used once and are not functional. I wanted to create a beautiful product that would later find its use in a woman’s wardrobe. I remember this thought ignited me, and I focused on this. And I also remember the disappointment when my friend told me that she had no money to invest in this business project. It was a turning point, and I didn’t give up, didn’t betray my dream. You know, it’s probably easy for some people to achieve their goals, but I have always had to achieve everything through painstaking work. But I am sure that all I went through was given to me by the Lord for a reason. It made me stronger, more experienced, and for many people, my path is a source of huge motivation and inspiration. And the most important thing that I realized while building and implementing my brand is how important it is to deal with your inner fears because fear is the biggest rock that stops you on your way to success. Fear paralyzes you, and if you don’t get over it, you will never reach a new level.
How do you create final images: by painting or imagination?
Thank you for this question, Olga. I’ll be honest, I’m not a designer. I’m a visionary. I see and represent the image in the greatest detail. I’m infinitely grateful to my talented team that reviews all of my ideas and brings them to life. It’s amazing that we can come up with unique looks together which will finally captivate everyone. I get tremendous pleasure from my work, from feedback from my clients, from how people appreciate my approach and my attention to detail. Our products are used in various photoshoots, beauty contests, weddings, on catwalks, and just in everyday life. And the biggest reward for me are my clients’ happy faces. Their gratitude gives me more energy and helps me to continue working and creating even more interesting images.
Inna, you are a very bright girl with prominent leadership skills. What kind of man should be by your side for you to fall in love with him once and for all?
You know, this man has to be stronger than me! I’m a one-man woman, and it is important for me that the person with whom I choose to wend my way through life also has a strong vibe. But at the same time, I don’t like aggressors or despots. I see a perfect, strong, successful, and happy man by my side, with whom I can be more feminine and relaxed.
What are your main rules or insights when building business in America?
The first and foremost rule is to be happy when making your product. Quality and attention to detail must be impeccable. Moreover, you always have to put yourself in the client’s shoes and ask yourself, “Are you satisfied with the service or the quality of the materials?” You always need feedback. In addition, when I meet successful and distinguished people, I always ask them for advice on how to achieve goals. And do you know what common denominator all those people possess? They all, without an exception, are passionate about their idea, and money isn’t their goal. Their priority is to serve people, and their desire is to change the world with the help of their product or service.
There are no rose-colored ways. There are always ups and downs, joys and disappointments. What is the biggest disappointment you have encountered on the way to your dream?
The biggest disappointment, perhaps, is that people whom I considered to be the closest could not forgive me for my success. Not only did they not remain by my side, but some even began to openly envy and judge me. Of course, it hurts a lot that people whom I trusted and with whom I shared the most private things behaved this way in the end. But, since I’m used to evaluating and seeing everything positively, I am not discouraged, and I believe that it’s all for the best. People always talk about those more successful than they are, and this shouldn’t stop me from my growth, my goals, and my plans. I’m grateful for the path that He has prepared for me, so mentally I still wish everyone happiness and all the best.
What are you grateful to your parents for and what phrase from your childhood do you still remember?
I am very grateful to both my mom and dad. They are very different. My dad is a rather difficult person, but it was his behavior that allowed me to become the person I am now. He was rugged, very demanding, and internally I always resisted his words. I kept thinking, “I’ll prove it to you!” He often asked me to help him and work in the garden, and I hated it. And I told him that I would live in a big city and wouldn’t shovel that garden. As you can see, this is exactly what happened. The Inner Warrior in me helps me realize the most incredible ideas, and this comes from my childhood.
Now tell us about the five things you always have in your purse. (Вопрос можно перефразировать:
Okay, let me see. Well, always there is a credit card, a hairbrush, lipstick, a small bottle of perfume, and earrings. These are my Must-Haves.
How much money do you need for happiness?
It’s a nice one. I cannot name the exact amount. I don’t think happiness is measured by the amount of money you have in your bank account. Money is just a natural product of you developing your potential. I want to buy a nice house. I love expensive sports cars. I love traveling. Certainly, you need money to have and do all of this, but money is just a tool that helps you to be free and make your dreams a reality. However, it doesn’t guarantee happiness.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
What is your favorite dessert?
Macarons. Another favorite dessert and a weakness is dark chocolate.
What song do you listen to hundreds of times now?
I am a music lover. I love different styles. For example, now it is the song This Love We Breathe by Dan Balan, and another one (among the new ones) is Bestseller by Max Barskih and Zivert.
What quality do you value the most in people?
Finish this phrase: “America is the country…”
This is a country for Me!
Who or what do you miss in America?
I would like to bring my mother here. She is a very hard-working woman who devoted her life to us, her children, and the family in general. I want to show her a slightly different world, what beautiful places and opportunities exist here. I hope that I will be able to make it come true in the near future.
Where would you like to teleport to right now?
I would probably move to Bora-Bora right now. The ocean, the white beaches, and peaceful view are the best medicine for any woes.
What personality trait annoys you the most?
People who complain about life do annoy me. It seems to me that those who choose such an attitude deliberately deprive themselves of happiness and pleasure because complaining is not productive. It makes you a victim, and when you see yourself as a victim, it is very difficult to act as a leader and impossible to take responsibility for your life.
What quality would you like to develop?
I guess I need to learn not only to give but also to receive. I like helping people and making them happy. I can give a lot without asking anything in return. And when people are ready to please me, that mental torpor appears. Certainly, other areas need refinement and transformation, as well, and I am always happy to grow, learn, develop, and conquer new heights!