How I Became a Woman Entrepreneur | #BeautifulAndCapable by Anna Balkan

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#BeautifulAndCapable! Welcome
to the first episode of the 5-part
video series where I share with you
the story behind Anna Balkan
Designer Jewelry Gallery. I’m Anna Balkan,
and this is MY story. Today
I want to focus with you on my journey of becoming a woman entrepreneur
while overcoming
big obstacles. I was born in a small town in Ukraine when
it was still a part of Soviet Union. One day,
playing with a friend I was given
a label. And for the first time, I heard the word – Jew. .. Even now that word feels heavy to me. You see, in Soviet Ukraine that meant your father was of the Jewish nationality, and you could be discriminated against just for being a Jew. The label stack with me, and for many years it defined my identity
as “different”
and rejected. … I learned to become invisible. That time
growing up was also significant because
I was hit in the face and nearly lost
all my teeth. That experience and its consequences taught
me not to smile. For nearly two decades I didn’t smile and tried to be invisible. Growing up, I endured rejection,
discrimination, bullying, and much pain. In 1992, I escaped USSR during its crush and came to America as a
political refugee. I was young and naive. I spoke no English,
worked 7 days a week, and
was even homeless for some time. Just four years after that,
I graduated from a Big 10 school and
was hired as an IT Consultant. For fifteen years in corporate America
I was struggling with insecurities and doubt. Due to my heavy Russian accent, people treated me often as if I were either
stupid or invisible. Trust me,
rejection and heartbreak, as well as the feelings of
worthlessness and hopelessness are all familiar to me. Later in life,
I went through divorce as a young mom, and that’s when
Anna Balkan Designer Jewelry Gallery
opened its doors in Historic Norcross. I wanted to create beauty in the world and inspire women. That’s what my jewelry is all about. Actually,
I’d love to share this story in great detail with you. Why? My hope is
that as you see my journey unfold, you’ll understand
why I care so much about YOU. Anna Balkan Jewelry and my Jewelry Gallery
are a way for me to say: you
are beautiful and capable. I believe in you. I am here for you. I really want us to get to know each other. I’d like you to see
why it’s easy for me
to relate to women of all walks of life. I’ve been through much adversity
and I know what both pain and
power feel like. I now share my super-powers
with women through my heart. Anyway,
I wrote a blog for you about my entire journey. You can access it at BUT!!! Be careful – it’s over 10,000 words,
so it’s like a small book. There,
I poured my heart out so you know that no matter what you’re going through, I’m here
to understand and comfort you. So,
go to right now and I’ll see you there!

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