We had the good fortune of connecting with Lyubov Ivakhnenko and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lyubov, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started out in the beauty industry doing nails when I was 19 years old living in my home to of Rivne which is located in western Ukraine. I worked at various salons and periodically branching out on my own. I came to a realization that I really enjoyed working for myself. I like having the ability to control my own schedule, build my clientele and grow my business as I envision it. 7 years ago, when I moved to the United States I got a good understanding for how the salon and more specifically the nail industry operates. My skills, style and quality didn’t fit in to the parameters already in place at most if not all “high end salons” in and around Phoenix. Thus, it was a very easy decision for me to start my own business and provide a unique new approach to an established nail industry.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Manicures have always been a way for me to express myself artistically. I pride myself on attention to the smallest detail. Throughout my career I continued to try out and experiment with the highest quality and long lasting products. I also offer different styles of nail art where use techniques such as air brush ombré, free hand design and cat eye gel polish to name a few. What I get the most excited about is seeing the smiles on my clients faces when they see the results. Im great fuel for the ability to meet new people and enjoy long lasting friendships with them. I’m most proud of the fact that all of my customers continue to come back which is the highest form of compliment a nail artist can receive. I have been in the nail industry for about 18 years. It most certainly has been a fun and rewarding road, however it had never been easy. I absolutely love what I do, so I welcome and enjoy all the challenges that come with it. The main lesson that I have learned over the last 18 years of being in this industry is if you put your heart and soul into your trade, it becomes a part of you and you truly begin to love it. When you get to that point in your career, your customers can feel it. I think the most important part of my brand are that my customers. Without them I wouldn’t be able to do what I love and so I will be always greatfull for their confidence in me.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was visiting, the first place I’d take her would be for a hike up Camelback mountain. I love hiking and everything outdoors, Camelback mountain presents the most amazing views of the valley. We would also spend a day or two on the water at Lake Pleasant. We enjoy fishing and spending the weekend on our boat. Nothing beats a sunset on the water in Arizona. During the fall, we love going to High School and college football games. If the visit was during football season, we would have to catch one of those. Although it’s not “in the city” showing the beautiful colors of Sedona is always on the itinerary for my guests. Nothing is quite like serenity of the red rocks. It is also a great way to escape the heat. As far as dining goes, we are big fans of a couple places in the valley. The first place we would head out to would have to be “A different Point of View”. I love their food, atmosphere and of course the views of the city in the evening. I would also take her to check out the nightlife of Old Town Scottsdale which offers the opportunity to try out a little bit of everything. Live music, sports bars and trendy nightclubs are just a few options on the table. One of my favorite spots for dinner in that area is Ocean 44, we couldn’t miss a chance at dining there if we are in the area. Phoenix is a beautiful and vibrant community with a ton of diversity which has something for everyone. It’s safe to say that a guest will never be bored visiting us.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, the people who supported me every step of the way are my parents and my sister. They were always there for me with words of encouragement a strong shoulder to lean on. For example, I left architecture school to become a nail artist and to my surprise, they even supported that decision. With regards to my success and the growth of my business in the United States I have to thank my incredibly supportive husband and his family. He helped me get through school and get my license and was always lending a helping hand in making business decisions. I most certainly put his muscles to use when moving into my salon. His parents, grandma, sister and brother-in-law were always there for me helping and supporting every step of the way. We did it together and I’m great full for all the help and support they continue to provide as my business grows and evolves. Last but definitely not least my as I’d like to think of as “success” story would not be complete without the friends that I made along this journey. Their support and their experience also played big part in the entire process. I’m thankful to them for everything and humbled that I have so many caring and positive people around me.