She Overcame Tragedy and is Pursuing Her Dreams

Barbora & Hugo-2 - Copy

Barbora was raised in Slovakia and came to America just 15 years ago to be part of an exchange program. During her time here, she lived with a host family and studied English. Her plan was to return home after a year, but while she was in America she met an amazing man who became her husband. Together they stayed in America, but 15 years later Barbora is still here but without her husband who recently passed away from cancer.

Naturally, there was an emotional healing that needed to take place after her husband’s passing. “It’s been a long time since I felt fulfilled and happy. This new opportunity and experience at Heritage has given me the spark for life again.”

Barbora always had a passion for unique furniture and spaces. “As a child, I used to drag furniture across the room just to get a different look or to do a room makeover.” She grew up in a communist regime where there was a very limited selection of pretty much everything – let alone furniture, window treatments, and accessories. Even though communism ended before she came to America, she was still overwhelmed by the vast amount of options that were available here to make a home personalized and unique. “After seeing this variety, my passion for design started growing.”

“My husband and I had lived in many different styles of homes, and I enjoyed decorating every single one of them with a great passion.” They even bought a fixer upper which taught them a lot about remodeling since they did most of the work themselves. “In general, there are only a few things I feel passionate about, and interior design is definitely one of them. Whether I get my hands on painting a piece of furniture or decorating a space, I feel excitement and joy.”

Barbora didn’t consider going to school for interior design until about a year ago. “I was studying to get my Associates in Business Management and as the end of my schooling approached, I knew I wanted to do something else.” Barbora began to think about where her life and career was headed. “Even though I always loved interior design, I thought you needed a 4-year degree, which at that point in my life didn’t seem like a striking idea.” By coincidence, her friend Natalia Makarenko who is a recent Heritage grad, mentioned the school to her. “My heart jumped with excitement and I told myself: why not give this a shot? It was perfect timing and I was in the right stage of my life when I found out about the school.”

Barbora is a single mom of a 6 year old boy who is the absolute center of her universe. Prior to becoming a stay at home mom she worked in the fashion industry for a swimwear manufacturer as a design assistant on a product development team. After graduating from Heritage, Barbora will be opening her own staging and styling company since she also enjoys the dynamic nature of real estate.

“I am not going to lie; being out of work for six years makes re-entering the marketplace a bit intimidating. But what matters is that I feel great about the direction I am headed, and I believe Heritage will give me the confidence and skills I need to succeed. It is time for me to chase my dreams and find passion for life once more. I want my loving husband and son to be proud of me.”

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