Ukranian Entrepreneur Iuliia Pugach on Entrepreneurship, Perseverance and Business During Wartimes & Turmoil
“...To be honest, I still do not fully understand what is happening to my life because of the war. For the first two months, I, like many Ukrainians could not sleep and was constantly reading news updates where the alarm in which city is being bombed, how many missiles arrived, how many were recaptured; life has turned into a nightmare.”
Iuliia Pugach, a female entrepreneur from Ukraine is the Founder of brand, My Perfect Illusion where she leads as designer and curator for the beauty, jewelry, and wellness collective promoting architectural, contemporary, and refined style. My Perfect Illusion appeals to a new generation of women who go beyond the obvious cues of status.
My Perfect Illusion was a creation started many years ago in Monaco prior to the pandemic of 2020 with a fast-growing start. When COVID-19 hit the world and undoubtedly uprooted many startup businesses across the world, she took the opportunity of pause to reevaluate and pivot her entrepreneurial vision. “Immediately after the pandemic we opened a branch of our company called LOVIT, a line with focus on beauty and health and opened a studio in St. Tropez.” Iuliia’s perseverance through the pandemic to launching a new business was commendable, but sadly only merely prepared her for what was to come. During this time expansion for the brand, the world was hit with yet another tragedy: the war in her homeland of Ukraine.
Amidst the war, many Ukrainian business owners struggle to keep their employees, and for businesses that focused on the local market, there's no business because there is no market. Not to mention the cost of evacuation to safety for many businesses and their employees, costing some hundreds of thousands of dollars in resources, all while leaving behind battered offices, storefronts and homes unknowing of what condition they might be in upon return. Other business owners have picked up weapons to join the volunteer territorial defense force.
For Iuliia, the beginning of the war coincided with the signing of a contract for the season, but Pugach did not to move forward with the contract and instead focus on helping her home country. Iuliia Pugach launched a new salon where she has opened her arms to Ukrainian refugees of the beauty industry to apply their skills and work. “This way I can be of service to them in the way of an employer.” The brand is also working with the fund, Modern Ukraine, which aids victims and restoration projects such as destroyed playgrounds, kindergartens, and schools. Lending support to Ukraine has become a new core mission of My Perfect Illusion and all their business initiatives.
The strength of this displaced community of Ukrainian business owners, both at home and around the world is profound and not realized enough, but amid the chaos of the war, Iuliia like many entrepreneurs say they’re holding tight to their visions for the future of their business.