In a recently available guest post for Entrepreneur, Poppy Angeloff and Lime Crime founder, Doe Deere, opens up about her personal immigrant experience. Deere’s family came to the United States to live the American dream and through hard work and perseverance, they achieved it.
This inspirational story shows people from all different backgrounds how hard work can pay off. It also speaks to Deere’s courageous spirit and ability to overcome adversity.
As Doe Deere stands on the threshold of motherhood, a new company launch, and turning over the reigns at Lime Crime, she is looking back at how she got where she is today.
A Family United in a Shared Dream
Deere begins her short memoir with a personal view into her childhood dreams.
I was born Xenia Vorotova in Izhevsk, Russia. As a little Jewish girl living in Russia, I idealized the United States as the place where anything is possible. I got that message from popular music, magazines and movies I saw about America. I obsessed over American culture and the English language, often wondering what it would be like to actually live there. At age 17, exactly 20 years ago, my world turned upside down — my mother, younger sister and myself moved to the infamous U.S.A. in search of a better life. – Doe Deere, Entrepreneur
The family embraced the opportunity and hit the shores of America full of hope. They would have to fight hard and show incredible commitment to keep that sunny outlook however. Life New York City was anything but easy.
The small family was adrift in a sea of people, a crushing number compared to her hometown. Deere’s mother had difficulty finding work, in spite of her accounting education and training. Without her higher education transcript, no one would hire her. The transcript was tragically slow in coming, leaving her no choice but to clean houses to make ends meet.
Her daughters pitched in doing small jobs to help support the family. Sadly, they eventually ran out of money and had to seek refuge in a women’s shelter. Instead of letting this experience leave them depressed and downtrodden, they pushed forward together to realize a better life.
Thanks to the intervention of a social worker and a program called Sanctuary For Families, Deere and her sister both enrolled in college. Her mother got an accounting job and they were able to move out of the shelter and into a modest apartment in a government housing facility.
This difficult time foreshadowed Deere’s eventual success in many ways, however. She cared for pets as a side job before becoming the strong advocate for animal rights that she is today. Her acceptance into FIT provided many of the skills she needed to start her own businesses: first making clothing and eventually, makeup with Lime Crime.
This reflects my personal attitude towards things like animal testing as well as the goals of the brand. We do a lot of animal related charity work, so it made sense for us to be completely vegan and cruelty free. – Doe Deere, Stylist
From the Shelter to the Top of the Cosmetics Industry
Doe Deere’s entrepreneurial spirit started in her home country and traveled with her across the world to the US.
Entrepreneurship is such a huge passion of mine. I would say look for gaps in the market and always think about the next innovation. Listen to your inner voice and pay close attention to what you like and what you want to exist. Then go out and make it happen! – Doe Deere, Stylist
In the late 2000s, Deere took on her current name and started building an online empire. Her very first venture was selling her clothing designs on Ebay, but she quickly progressed.
I began with designing and making my own clothing designs, creating an independent clothing line online. I got the idea to create my own makeup to complement my outfits when I modeled them for the website, and since I couldn’t find the exact bright colors I wanted, I decided to start making them.
Now I have always been in love with two things: fairy tales and makeup. I decided to combine my two loves to make an imaginative, cruelty-free make-up brand that’s fun for everyone to wear. Lime Crime’s mascot is a unicorn, and it represents individuality, rare beauty and compassionate kindness to all animals. Naturally, the brand is purple because it represents creativity. – Doe Deere, Inspirey
Doe Deere’s Vivid Vision for Poppy Angeloff Boutique
In fact, Doe Deere is a visionary in many respects. Not only did she dream of a better life and imagine realizing her dreams, she innovated the cosmetics market as well. She was one of the internet’s first influencers, one of the first companies to create and market matte liquid lipsticks, and one of the internet’s first indie cosmetics brands.
Her incredible community building instincts were ahead of their time as well.
Although Deere has stepped down as the head of Lime Crime, she plans to keep on with the organization as a part of the board of directors.
This transition will give Deere more time to launch her next project, a jewelry brand called Poppy Angeloff.
[A]s a perpetual thinker & tinkerer, I’m already working on a new project — POPPY ANGELOFF is a collection of fine jewelry for those who want something different. There’s a big emphasis on color and symbolism in my designs, as I believe that jewelry reveals something about us, often acting as a ‘secret handshake’ to like- minded individuals. Our Invisible Online Boutique will only be accessible to those with a KEY in the beginning. – Doe Deere, Instagram
Poppy Angeloff is presently an invite only experience. Each ring is uniquely designed with an antique influence. Deere’s other major inspirations for the line are nature and colors.
Why the Entrepreneur Piece is Important
This guest post is a must read because it personalizes the experience of so many Americans. It’s too easy to see immigration as a spreadsheet of numbers or a political talking point. It’s important to remember that there are real people behind these sound bites and statistics.
By sharing her story, Doe Deere provides one more piece of the puzzle. She also deserves recognition for her efforts regardless of the country she was born in.
She is a strong woman with an entrepreneurial spirit and close ties to family. Please go read her story as she tells it.
Read our last article on Doe Deere here.