How to build a successful beauty business in the United States. The story of Oksana Kukalova

Oksana Kukalova is a Ukrainian businesswoman who has been living in the United States for 10 years. Oksana is the founder of the #Proesthetician cosmetology clinic and a new-generation beauty expert who collaborates with top brands in the industry. In an exclusive interview with our publication, she shared her insights and told us how she built a successful business in America in an extremely competitive environment.

Oksana says that, surprisingly, a personal problem led her to success:

“My journey in the beauty industry began with the fact that I suffered from acne. Wherever I turned, everyone just shrugged or prescribed pills, which I refused to take because I knew they had many negative consequences for the body as a whole. The lack of qualified help led me to start studying how the skin works and how to improve it myself. After graduation and many seminars, courses, and academies, I completely cured my skin and decided to go into cosmetology to help other people who suffer but do not receive proper help, at most – prescriptions for pills. I didn’t stop at the acne problem; in my clinic, we work not only with the face, but also with laser hair removal, endosphere, and more.”

Oksana approached her specialized training fundamentally:

“I have been living in America for 10 years. I graduated from the New Age Spa Institute in 2020 and received a cosmetologist’s license, which gives me the right to work legally in Illinois. I opened my beauty studio. During the three years of my work, I managed to take part in numerous specialized seminars, was constantly engaged in networking, and at the same time graduated from the DMK Academy, which awarded me the title of Paramedical Skin Revision Therapist. I also received the award “Awards of Excellence 2023 DMK Midwest Muscle Banding”. Today, I am not only involved in business processes but also teach others how to take care of their skin properly, trying to share my own experience. I am a speaker at themed events, one of which we hold at my spa called “Your Skin”. Also, this year, I was awarded the title of “the most successful beauty business in America” by the Ukrainian magazine CosmoLady. One of the world’s best cosmetic brands, the French Bioligique Recherche, has officially appointed me as its ambassador.”

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Kukalova pays so much attention to training because she sees the future of the industry in it, which is inextricably linked to high technology:

“The future is now” is my philosophy. We don’t just plan, we are always inspired and then execute. We are constantly improving our protocols and standards, and we study regularly because investing in ourselves and our knowledge is the best development. The “Your Skin” training project will be larger, as its goal is to teach as many girls as possible how to take care of their skin properly. In addition, we are planning several other interesting projects that you can follow on our Instagram @proesthetician. I believe that you need to study in the beauty industry all the time, because it is a dynamic field that is constantly evolving, and you need to keep up with it.

For example, the StemZyme stem cell therapy technology from DMK is currently being introduced, which can help you rejuvenate by 20 years for sure. The results will surprise everyone. That’s why we officially cooperate with DMK and Biologique Recherche to keep our finger on the pulse of all innovations.

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According to the founder, starting your own business in the United States is like a challenge you give yourself. “It’s a little more complicated than starting a business in Ukraine. In America, it’s a real challenge. You have to do an incredible amount of paperwork and official inspections, obtain a lot of licenses, insurance, and so on,” says Oksana. “But for us, Ukrainians, nothing is impossible. If you want something, any trials only toughen you up, prepare you better for the realization of your own goal, and set you up for success, because you know how much effort has gone into it.”

“My clients are both Ukrainians and Americans, but there are still more Ukrainians,” says Oksana, who believes that the beauty industry is generally more widespread in Ukraine and that there is a demand for innovative working methods. “To be honest, Ukrainian women are more active in taking care of themselves, wherever they are, and it’s very nice. I am proud to be a Ukrainian woman. Ukrainian girls are among the most beautiful in the world! Due to the full-scale invasion of Russia, a large number of Ukrainians emigrated to the United States, we have increased the amount of work, and we work on a very tight schedule, but we are always happy to provide a discount for newly arrived compatriots.”

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The founder of #Proesthetician says that despite the amount of work she does, she doesn’t have a problem with work-life balance. “I am very inspired by two folk wisdoms:

“Don’t dream, act” and “If you love what you do, you will never work a day.”

I do not fall from fatigue from a lot of work, because love is at the heart of my life. I love what I do, and I also love my family very much. Furthermore, I do not run away from family life to work and vice versa. If there is an element of love, it is not so difficult to find the necessary balance. I don’t even need any sophisticated organizers: I just make a plan for the day and stick to it, regardless of the circumstances.

This is my advice to those who have long wanted to start their own business: make plans, big (strategic) and small (what needs to be done in a day, in a week). And then, if you are a talented, purposeful master, everything is possible, you will succeed.”

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