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Check Out Diana Staver’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Diana Staver. 

Diana, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My name is Diana Staver, I am a hairstylist and makeup artist with over 13 years of experience. Currently, I am working on opening my own school or online course, where I can help others get started or improve themselves in this area. I want to tell you the story of my professional path. I took my first course in Russia, in 2008. When our class finished the course, our teacher told us that finding the first job will be a big hassle, that we will have to apply to different jobs, in different places, until somebody will pull the trigger on somebody junior as us. Fortunately for me, I got accepted at the first spot where I have applied, and the owner told me I can start from tomorrow. I was very surprised, and, asked her why did she take me in, because I had no experience, and just finished school. She told me that she took the decision based on: 

1. She liked my personality

2. It was hard for her as well when she started, so, she knew how it is in the beginning.

3. Her strong side was men’s haircuts, and she wanted someone who would complement her, and help with women’s hairstyle. I told her during the interview that I love hairstyle, even since I was a teenager, I was doingall ofmy family and friends’ hair anytime they would need one. 

I have worked with her for 1 year, during which I have gathered tons of experience and become more confident in my skills. After 1 year, I took a vacation and went to Moldova for a couple of months, to see my father’s side family. The vacation finished being a couple of years, after meeting there my future husband, and I decided to not return back to Russia. 

Initially, I did not know the official language, Romanian, and it took me a good couple of months to learn the basics. But I was not afraid to go out and look for a job, even though I knew just a couple of words (we had a deal with my boyfriend later: when we speak, I would try and speak only in Romanian, and he would speak back to me in Russian, so, this way, we would both improve our least strong language skills). I got lucky again and got a job at the first salon I had an interview with. The salon manager told me that she would not have hired me usually, because I had not a lot of experience with men’s haircut and they needed someone who can work with both men and women, but, since she liked my personality so much, she decided that they can help me with the language and men’s haircut. 

After working for a couple of years in different salons, I have decided to learn more in-depth about hairstyling, cosmetology, and makeup. After more than 2 years of studying, while being pregnant and taking care of my firstborn, I have successfully got my cosmetologist diploma from a Moscow college, which allowed me to tremendously grow as a professional. 

In 2017, we won the green card/diversity visa lottery, which allowed us to be able to relocate to the US. We had no one in the states, with no credit/rental history, so, the first period here was really harsh. Initially, we have lived with roommates for a couple of months, but later we had to move out. The only apartment that agreed to take us with no history, required us to pay 3 months + security deposit upfront. We have scrapped all of our saved money, went to the bank to put it on a money order, and, the bank told us that the money order costs an additional $10. I had to look for change in my purse so that we were able to pay for it, and, after we left the bank, we had absolutely no money left for 2 weeks, till the next paycheck. In the apartment we had nothing except a mattress to sleep on, no other furniture, or even plates and silverware to eat with. So, this was our start in the US. 

In 2018 I took part in the Miss Russian San Diego contest, as a personal stylist for a contestant, and she took the title “Miss Elegance”. Later, in 2019, I took both the theoretical and practical cosmetology exams in LA and got my California license. Soon after, I started renting a studio in downtown San Diego, and between work I took part in different projects, the biggest one for me was with a Portuguese production studio, “Gaby Correa Productions”, where I have participated as a personal stylist for a photoshoot in Carlsbad, CA. 

In 2020 I had to close my studio because of the pandemic and me getting pregnant with our second son. I decided to use the time of stay at home to improve myself even more, and took numerous courses from some of the best stylists and teachers in Russia and Moldova, one of them, Gulnara Chekoeva, is a world-class master and mentor, being the winner of ONESHOT HAIR AWARDS 2021. 

I am extremely happy that I made the decision to work in this area. I love helping people get the look they dream of, and I am friends with most of my customers. I have thought a couple of times of what other career could I choose if I would not be a hair and makeup artist, and I just cannot see myself doing anything else. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
The biggest struggles were when I had to start from scratch in a new country or state, having to learn a new language and culture, and grow my client base, again and again. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
For me, the most important is the quality of my work. It does not matter if it takes a lot longer to get that perfect result, as long as the customer is happy. I was one of the best hair stylists in the whole San Diego Russian community, and I even had customers who came from as far as LA, San Francisco, and Sacramento, because they could not find a local master that would suit them. 

How do you think about luck?
My biggest luck was meeting my husband, which was the one to support my path during all these years. I have dreamt of true love and a happy family for my whole life, and meeting him made my dream come true, another big luck was winning the green card lottery, which allowed us to move to the US. After living half of my life in Siberia, where temperatures can get down to -50 in the winter, I always wanted to live somewhere near the ocean, with great beaches, warm weather, palms… And, having the chance to live in San Diego for more than 4 years was another dream of mine come true. 

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