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Oksana’s Leap: From IT to Dream Salon

Apr 10, 2024 | Salon Stories

Meet Oksana, whose journey from the tech sector in Ukraine to the heart of Amsterdam encapsulates the essence of a daring career pivot. With a background that spans from IT for Snapchat to the fine details of nail art, Oksana’s story is not just about changing jobs; it’s about following a passion that led her to open her own nail salon. In a space where creativity meets business savvy, she has crafted a niche for herself and her clients, proving that sometimes, the path less traveled leads to the most rewarding destinations. Let’s take a closer look at how Oksana turned her dream into a reality, blending art with entrepreneurship in a place she now calls her own.

What inspired you to start your salon, and how did you end up at Gallery?

“I was working at a salon in Ukraine, earning only a small percentage of the revenue. That experience made me realize I wanted to run my own business. I wanted to have control and the ability to change things, not to mention earning more. So, I started looking for a place where I could rent a chair, but most places were cramped and lacked privacy, which I knew my clients wouldn’t like. They wanted a more exclusive atmosphere. Then, I stumbled upon Gallery through an Instagram ad. It caught my eye because the space was exactly what I was envisioning. Interestingly, the studio I ended up choosing was number 13, which has been a significant number throughout my life. It felt like it was meant to be.”

Tell us a bit about yourself.

“I’m originally from Ukraine and have dabbled in various jobs, including a significant stint in IT working for Snapchat. However, my heart always lay with nail art, a passion that began when gel polish first appeared on the scene. After a burnout from my IT job, I found my way back to this passion, confirming it was truly what I wanted to do. I moved to the Netherlands about a year and a half ago, and I’ve already set up my own business, something I hadn’t anticipated happening so soon.”

Can you share any memorable or impactful moments in your career?

“One of my most memorable career moments was participating in a nail championship in Kyiv. I didn’t win, but the experience vastly improved my skills and speed. It was an intense but enriching experience that taught me a lot about myself and my craft.”


How do you balance creativity with productivity, especially considering the long hours you work?

“Balancing creativity with productivity, especially on long days, is a challenge. I keep my creative juices flowing by engaging in various activities, like painting furniture or exploring new crafts. I’m always curious and eager to try new things, which keeps me motivated and inspired. Following nail technicians from different countries and seeing their work also inspires me to grow and try new techniques.”



Does the location of the Gallery contribute to attracting and retaining clients?

Gallery’s central location has significantly contributed to my success. It’s convenient for my clients, and the district’s vibe has made it an attractive spot for new customers. The sense of community here is strong; we refer clients to each other, creating a supportive network rather than a competitive environment.


Anything else you would like to share?

“I absolutely love the Gallery and its concept. It’s provided me with a unique opportunity to thrive and build my business in a supportive and inspiring environment. This journey has been unexpected but profoundly rewarding, and I look forward to seeing where it takes me next.”


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