For millions of people around the world, the United States’ promise of making dreams come true has provided a source of inspiration for immigrants who strive to make a better life for themselves. One recent success story is Doe Deere‘s evolution from a hopeful immigrant who ventured to the land of opportunity to a household name in the beauty industry.
Born Xenia Vorotova in Izhevsk, Russia, the creative young woman immigrated with her mother and sister to New York City when she was seventeen years old. Forging a new life in a country where anything is possible was more difficult than they ever imagined. In an op-ed with Entrepreneur, Deere explained: “Hardships made us more resilient, taught us to stick together and made us want to succeed more.” The family attempted to persevere through their dire circumstances, saving every penny they earned cleaning apartments and walking dogs.
Despite their conviction, the family’s savings didn’t last and they eventually moved into a homeless shelter on Lexington Avenue. When a social worker connected them to Sanctuary for Families, a non-profit organization assisting female immigrants in grim situations, their lives were changed forever. With the program’s support, the family found employment and they transitioned to another shelter where they had their own apartment. Xenia’s love of fashion and the sketches she drew gained her acceptance to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology.
The passion that inspired Xenia to come to the United States only grew stronger. By the late 2000s, the aspiring entrepreneur adopted Doe Deere as her moniker. After selling makeup on eBay, Deere expanded her online market with a cosmetics line Lime Crime in 2008. Her dynamic Instagram presence challenged the beauty industry’s assumption that customers only wanted to buy makeup after sampling it in person. Inspiring women to express the magic within themselves, her bold and colorful products doesn’t bear a trace of the bleaker circumstances of her adolescence. Even though she started with nothing, Deere has risen to the top of the beauty industry and proves that anyone can transform their dreams into reality.