Women Who Inspire: Yoanna Gouchtchina

by Amy Nicholson

Women Who Inspire: Yoanna Gouchtchina

The granddaughter of a fighter pilot, a mother of two, and the inventor of the world’s first at-home serum atomiser, Kozhya, Yoanna Gouchtchina is a force to be reckoned with.

As she prepares to descend on the beauty world with one of the most innovative devices it’s seen in years,  we discuss her secrets to success, her biggest challenges and what it takes for her to feel comfortable in her own skin.

Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you get to where you’ve got to?

I came from an air force family, starting with my grandfather who was a fighter pilot in the Second World War. My Dad followed in his  footsteps and joined the air force at age 18. I spent my early childhood on a military base watching the fast fighter jets take off for the skies.

That sense of freedom and testing the limits was instrumental to my character and life development thereafter. At age 16, I left my parent’s home in the South of Russia and moved to the US.

Everything else, including my professional career, is a result of those bold early moves that helped me to believe in my personal abilities.

Everything else, including my professional career, is a result of those bold early moves that helped me to believe in my personal abilities.

With Kozhya, you’ve created not only a brand but you have invented an entire new product. What inspired you and gave you the confidence to go for it? 

After my second venture and my second child I took some time to reflect. I was tired and stressed and noticed that it really affected the way my skin looked. As started to search for a more active solution for my tired and ageing skin, I came across salon pressure technology and enjoyed the invigorating and aftermath effects.

However, it seemed excessively invasive, the equipment was bulky, expensive, stationary and inconvenient to use at home.  I knew that with my lifestyle there was no way to accommodate this technology, so I decided to create a technology that could accommodate me.

After 2 years of working with engineers, cosmetic chemists, and aestheticians we developed KOZHYA AIR.

The confidence and inspiration that I get is from people that surround me.  I was fortunate to meet and get on board some amazing individuals and the KOZHYA vision became possible based on enormous amounts of positive and smart energy.  

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be? 

Don’t agonise so much about how things will unfold. The universe takes care as long as you keep on moving and doing.

Don’t agonise so much about how things will unfold. The universe takes care as long as you keep on moving and doing.

You’ve obviously had a really successful career, what do you think the secret to success is? 

A few things:

  1. Persistence and belief in what you are doing.
  2. Defining the goal otherwise you can get sidetracked.  
  3. Disconnecting or resolving your issues with anyone whom holds you back.  
  4. Lose fear of failing.  The journey shall be enjoyable in itself.  

What is your proudest moment? And why? 

Birth of my kids (Chantalle and Violetta), their first achievements and performances. My proudest moment are the proudest moments of my girls.

There is something magical in seeing them conquer their little mountains and it makes me much happier than my own achievements. 

What one women who has impacted your life? 

My Mum. Number one always. She is the strongest, wisest, most loving and carrying woman that has always been there for me.

She gave me the freedom to make my own decisions from very early age, and taught me values of family, motherhood, compassion, perseverance, and love.  I hope that can give my girls the same love as got from my Mum.

She gave me the freedom to make my own decisions from very early age, and taught me values of family, motherhood, compassion, perseverance, and love.

What are the biggest challenges you face at work? And how do you overcome them? 

The biggest challenge is to know when to adjust. In order to overcome that you constantly need to evaluate the current state of matters and work through different scenarios to assure that the efforts are put in right places.  This is especially critical when resources are limited in the startup phase.

Do you feel that being a women at work has ever has its challenges simply because you’re a women? 

I faced a few situations in my earlier carrier where being a woman felt like a disadvantage.

However, now, at least in my world, that is not the issue any longer. There will always be arrogant and weak men trying to bring you down but there is not one reason why your internal strength to stand up to them shall suffer because of your gender.  

In terms beauty products, what impact do they have on your life? 

My skin condition influences the way I feel about myself. The saying “comfortable in your own skin” to me would translate into “comfortable in your own HEALTHY skin”.  If the skin suffers, so do I.

The saying “comfortable in your own skin” to me would translate into “comfortable in your own HEALTHY skin”.

If you were on a desert island, what 3 beauty products would you take with you? 

I would like to imagine that the desert island that I would land on would be warm and tropical and would be filled with wonderful botanicals.

The isolation would give me inspiration to make some wonderful new natural products for my needs of moisturising, cleaning, and active skincare treatment.

What’s the best piece of beauty advice your mother gave you? 

Moisturise and take care of your skin from early age.  My mother hardly used colour cosmetics, but she always cared for her skin condition. That transferred to me as well.

I am not a big make-up fan but am constantly on a look out for products that will help my skin to stay conditioned and healthy as it ages.

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