The Cinderella story has long been an inspiration for girls all around the world. For decades this fairytale, inspired thousands of young women to believe that someday they might find themselves in a kingdom of their own. The story of our featured guest, Katrina Ponina, is proof that dreams do come true if one is willing to put in the effort to chase them.
Katrina is the owner of BOHO Coats, an exponentially growing start-up that has made a name for itself in the fashion industry. BOHO offers unique handmade faux fur coats that are custom designed for each customer. Like most start-ups stationed in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, BOHO is not only a fashion brand, but also an online platform that allows customers from all over the world create their unique designs by using online fabric catalog and customization tools at the website.
A little over a year old, Katrina’s company has already been featured in magazines, fashion shows, and honored to attend San Francisco Fashion Week 2016. The company has also recently added a full throttle production facility to keep up with the growing number of orders. Launching a successful start-up wasn’t the only milestone in Katrina’s life during this past year. Last November she won the Miss Russian California state beauty pageant and became the face of the Slavic American community for the year of 2016.
How does a girl wake up one day realizing she is a beauty queen and a CEO? In Katrina’s case it wasn’t a matter of luck, it was a steep path that required perseverance and courage to take a huge leap of faith.
Katrina’s story is nothing but ordinary. Artistic, free-spirited, and wild at heart, she was always open for new adventures. When an opportunity came around Katrina took the risk and left her home country of Belarus to explore new horizons in the US.
With great looks, natural acting talent, and effective communications skills, Katrina’s career options were plenty. She successfully tried marketing, acting, and modeling while listening to her heart to find her true calling. It didn’t take long to discover her passion.
Inspired by San Francisco culture that encourages self-expression and conservation, Katrina began to make festival faux-fur coats for herself and her friends. Her little hobby suddenly became a great success. She followed her passion and decided to quit her 9-to-5 marketing job to dive into the unpredictable world of start-ups. It was scary and exciting at the same time.
Katrina’s company Boho Coats successfully combined San Francisco Tech culture and free-spirited festival style. Katrina’s coats made a statement proving that faux fur can be just as beautiful and stylish as the real thing. The styles allow fashionistas look stylish without hurting animals.
Boho Coats’ idea resonated with many. The company began receiving orders from all over the US and eventually got customers from Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, France, and Russia. Katrina believes that this is just a beginning. Katrina’s dreams are big, but you have to dream big to achieve anything great.
photo by: Igor Ilyenko www.CoolStyle.us
MY THOUGHTS ON
I believe in family, in a bond that fills your life with meaning. I believe in love, the kind of love that gives you wings, makes you feel special, and helps you grow.
Such love makes you a better person, enhances creativity, and acts as an endless source of inspiration. I believe in soul mates, the kind of relationship where two people share the same passion, values, and outlook on life. I am blessed to have found a person like that, someone who supports me no matter what it is that I am doing, whether it is going on a hiking trip, taking a yoga class, or launching a new business.
San Francisco- With its overwhelming spirit of freedom, diversity, and innovation is the perfect place to launch a start-up, especially the kind based on the Internet. I embraced this vibe, fueled my hobby with creativity, and turned it into a business model. I view my success as only the beginning of a big career in the fashion industry. My plan is to launch a line of exquisite and elegant City Style fur coats which would eventually win over consumers in other cities and countries.
I know that my plans are extremely ambitious, but I believes that in order to achieve anything great you have to set goals of scaring caliber.
It is up to us to choose the people we let into our inner circle, be it our business partners or the friends we trust with our innermost secrets.
A true friend is someone who can share your sorrows and, most importantly, your happiness and success. There are also people who light up our lives with the mere thought of them making us smile. Sometimes friends come into our lives for a reason and only for a certain period. Don’t be afraid to let people go of friends when your paths part.
To me happiness is composed of tiny daily joys, elusive bright moments, and myriads of positive thoughts. Here are a few:
If you can start each day next to someone who makes you smile – this is happiness. If everyone you care for is well and healthy - this is happiness. If you get breathless watching the sun set over the ocean – this is happiness. If today you are a better person that you were yesterday – this is happiness. If you can do what you love and get paid for it - isn’t this happiness?