I was born and grew up in communist Russia and moved to Germany with my parents in my late teens. Being a Christian in a communist country was confronting and challenging but after I gave my life to the Lord as a teenager, I really felt his guidance and goodness in my life.
I met my husband at church, and we have been blessed with five children and now have eight grandchildren. We moved to Australia after my husband got a job as a pastor at a Russian Baptist Church in Adelaide. Moving to Australia with a big family was another step of faith. It was again very challenging, but I also realized that being able to live in a country like Australia, learning about a new culture and a new language, was an exciting opportunity.
As my children grew up, I was able to complete a Nursing degree and work in a job I dreamed of doing in Russia; I was not allowed to study there due to my Christian beliefs. Years ago, I started working in aged care and found that dressing some of our most fragile residents was always a challenge. We are constantly faced with unsuitable clothing options for the residents in my care, so I have created a clothing line with comfortable, functional and beautifully designed garments – suitable for those with restricted physical or cognitive abilities.
The inspiration behind my brand is the memory of my late sister, Lydia, a seamstress herself who raised me in the ways of sewing, hard work, and a love and care for others. ‘Sestra’ is a Russian word meaning ‘sister’ and is a tribute to both my Russian roots and the lessons my sister taught me.
We are the first open-back apparel brand in South Australia. Our garments have been available online from the beginning of 2019 and are now starting to be distributed and sold in South Australian mobility stores.
I am looking forward to connecting with my sisters in Christ who are building up and leading their own businesses on God’s principles and for the glory of God.