Person of the Week

Lina Chergibayeva

Beauty Industry Specialist

What made me successful is that I had to become creative  by developing better and new techniques.  

1.  What led you to the mission of being a beauty industry specialist?

When I was a young girl in Russia, my mom, sister and I lived together and we didn’t have a lot of money.  Mama wasn’t able to buy beautiful store made clothes.  We did have a magazine that showed us the latest fashion.  Mama learned how to sew and knit and made beautiful things for us to wear.  I started pretending dress up and put on high heels and makeup with what little we had at the time.  I went to some salons in Russia, but couldn’t afford to buy anything.

My feet were always painful and I was suffering.  Mama found a high-end hotel in Kiev and paid a pedicurist to help me.  I moved to Vienna and Italy and started trimming my own nails.  When I came to America, I already had a helping passion because of my own pain and suffering.  I went to school, stepped up to a higher level, got a license, and started taking clients needing pedicure procedures to get them get out of their pain. I could help others by cutting their nails and making it easier for them to walk and even hike.  People started coming from out of town to get help from me.  What made me successful is that I had to become creative, by developing better and new techniques.  Helping people is a gift and one that I developed because of my own pain and suffering.  That was twenty-eight years ago.

2.  What does this mission mean to you?

At the end of the day this mission makes me so happy because it is a success story.  When my clients hug, kiss, and thank me for helping them, I say, “Thank you for coming in to see me.”  There is a joy and satisfaction knowing that I have helped people out of pain. People have told me that after getting their pedicure, they have been able to go back and do the things they love like hiking and dancing.

You can help people in so many ways – opening doors, picking up groceries, and going to the laundry.  I feel so happy because I can help people and bring good to the world.  One way to do this is to be sweet and kind to people.  Sometimes clients give me a “high five”.  I’m so happy to help them.

3.  What was your best day being a beauty industry specialist?

For many years I suffered abuse from my father and then from my husband.  I still feel scared today because it was traumatic – thirty years of abuse.  Fifteen years ago, a client saw me and said, “You are going to cancel your appointments and we are going outside.”  She told me how to get help and I did.  She helped me get the courage and strength to get out of my bad situations.

I went from being a woman who was fragile and lacking self-esteem — to a strong, self-confident person.  This is what is called being positive.  I would say to people today, “Celebrate small successes every day.  Learn how to celebrate every day, embrace yourself, and cherish what you do no matter how small.  Love yourself in that day, no matter what happens.”

4.  What was your worst day being a beauty industry specialist and how did you survive?

Some people are nice and some are not. There are people who believe that money is power and because they have a lot of money, they can be disrespectful and look down on people in the service industry.  They might even look at me as a second-class citizen.

One day a woman came in with an attitude and told me her husband didn’t give her an expensive bracelet she wanted, but rather a necklace.  She came back, threw a fit, and yelled at me.  I did not feel appreciated or respected.  When things like this happened, I used to go home and cry.  My heart would break because someone showed no respect for my job, my dedication, or my life.

I decided that there would be a lot of people in my life – those who were good, those who were bad; those who had a conscience, those who did not; those who help others, those who do not.  I found that I am a loving, respecting person who loves — even if someone is not kind to me.

I read a book called, The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie.  I learned how to let go of unhappiness and anger.  I know some people may not appreciate me, but I can let them go and not be sad.  I visualize that I am like a baby in the womb.  There is an invisible fence or wall around me – my territory, Lina’s space.  No one can get in my space.  If I have some nasty person who wants to provoke me, I do not give any reaction and do not invite this person into my space.

Bad people are not allowed in my space.  I do not invite them in by engaging in conversation. If something negative happens, I get up, take a big breath and remember I am protected.  I believe in my self and think that if I hadn’t been strong in the past, I never would have survived to this day.  This nasty person will allow me to be even stronger.  I am strong, positive, and focused.  I pray to God to take everything heavy out of my life – to just take it up.  I ask God to clean up all the clutter of the day.

I wrote a recipe for healing:  Love, Light, Peace and Being Strong, Focused, Positive, and Balanced.  Without this recipe, I cannot help other people.