How I got started

Yelena Kalendareva

Posted on June 02 2018

How I got started

Hey my Beauties!

I'm so happy I finally created "How I Got Started" video.  Oh boy, it was a long time coming. Why I procrastinated? Simple, I thought no one cared.  Yep, that's exactly what I thought.  Sometimes in life you realize that there is a disconnect between the reality and what we tell ourselves.

Don't misunderstand; it's not exactly the self-esteem issue.  I believe it’s the mundane choice of everyday that doesn't allow us to raise our head high enough above our workstation to realize that others look up to us, get inspired and wait for more to get produced.  

As I'm writing this, my heart is racing.  Why? I guess because I never really open up to anyone, ever.  Not even to close ones. I do however, have this "explosion" of emotion (I'm guessing I'm not the only one), where I burst into tears randomly and just scream it all out in the car, while driving or parked in the rain.  

Wow, what on earth am I sharing with you now! If there was an emoji to express my current facial expression.  I don't feel shame for admitting my feelings and experiences, it's more like guilt. Guilt of becoming who I am, what I had to overcome to be here.  Also, still believing that no one really will care.  

I wonder how many people feel this way after achieving something they thought they would never achieve.  If it's you and you are reading this, please let me know.  I would love to read/hear all about it!

Starting out was not easy AT ALL.  I was single at the time and just had one focus, and that is to get my salon to a certain financial level.  I was doing alright, really can't complain.  There were ups and downs.  However, everything changed at 4 am when I received a call from my landlord where the first thing he said was "Yelena, everything burned down!!”  This phone call changed me.  Something inside broke and I thought this was it for me.  

Just the day before this fire, I washed my gate, equipment.  Reorganized my colors and was ready for another beautiful hot summer day.... Well, that never came.  It was over before I could enjoy that freshly washed gate.  

Just 3 months before that I got an idea to create a line to apply on clients right after facials that I was doing so much.  

I guess the universe had other plans.  

About 2 weeks after that, I printed out resumes and went to Manhattan (NYC) to look for a job at a salon.  I was confident in my skills so I knew what I wanted.  I started working at a salon across the what used to be Twin Towers.  Watched the construction of the new Freedom Tower being built daily.  Met amazing people that were building it.  

Then I met the love of my life.  My amazing husband, Daniel.  Oh lord!! He was the most hilarious date I have ever gone on.  Ever!!

He changed my life.  He showed me that love can be innocent and simple.  We got married 6 months after we met.  I remember being about 6 months pregnant with our first son, sitting at home one day and thinking, “will I ever be able to have my own line of makeup that I thought of?” Things were very tight financially. I worked until I was about 7 months pregnant and then we hit a very deep pothole that almost caused a miscarriage that caused me to be on bed rest for 2 weeks.  I had to quit the salon in Manhattan. At that time my dad just opened a barbershop in a very religious area in Boro park, Brookly.  So, I began working part time there.  There were no women stylists so started there.  I completely revamped the place.  Made it into a cute little boutique style ladies salon.  There I began doing pretty much everything.  Hair, nails, facials, waxing.

The idea of having the makeup to apply immediately after facial, was in the back of my head and was seriously getting to me.  So one day I told my husband, “babe, I have to do this! I just can’t wait anymore.” He was fully supportive. At this time I had a 1 in a half year old and a 6 months old. I searched all over the internet for a line to bring in for after facials, but was not successful.  So I decided to go to different expos.  After a few, I saw an ad for one more that was coming up in May of that year.

I told Daniel, that I will be going to that one.  The night before it, my husband decided that he wants to go and play basketball with his friends. Ugh! When I’ll tell you that the universe was testing, I am NOT kidding! At around 9 pm his friends are helping into the house, he fractured his foot and needed a cast.

I just burst into tears! I started screaming and crying.  I told him that there was no way, I was putting my dream on hold.  I told him that he needed to figure it out.  So, the next morning I left him alone at home with 2 little babies and went to the expo.  

Was I selfish? Maybe. But, he was a trooper and handled it like a man.  He knew that he was wrong and that I have sacrificed so much to be where I was. So, I never felt bad about that.  That was the expo where I found the manufacturer that was able to understand what I wanted and that is how Aneley Cosmetics started.

Of course, we did not have the budget to offer all the cosmetics at once. So I started small.  Foundations! The powdered foundations that we first introduced were my Pure Mineral Loose Foundation! I was FINALLY able to apply them on my clients face after facial treatments.  As the time went by, I realized more and more that I was meant to do what I do now.  There was no Plan B for me.

Fast forward, Aneley became a favorite among beauty bloggers and vloggers, clients and professionals. I was able to go to VIP Red Carpet events, sponsor many different charities, and share my knowledge with young professionals. And of course this amazing thing happened.  I was one of the goodie bags sponsors for the Secret Room after party for the 2017 Golden Globes.

My advice to all who dreams of something big, give it your all.  Only begin the journey is there is no plan B. Remember, you will hard whether you will work for someone or for yourself.

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