Doe Deere has made a success of herself in the United States, but it is a journey that began thousands of miles away in Russia. She was 17 when she moved from her hometown of Izhevsk to America. The only knowledge she had of America was from the music and films she had watched as a child. New York was a big part of that popular culture, and so it was with optimism that she arrived there. The sheer size of New York was something Xenia Vorotova, her name before she changed it, noticed. It was a far cry from the town she grew up in. The movies she had seen did not prepare her for the scale of New York City.
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While Deere’s mother had a successful career in Russia, she was not able to obtain the same type of work in America. She had to work as a cleaner which meant that the family could not survive in a city like New York. Deere did what she could to help, and she walked dogs to contribute. While it was work the family did not want to do, Deere dreamed of one day working in the fashion business. They were forced to move into a homeless shelter when they met someone who would change their lives.
Dorchen Leidholdt was the leader of Sanctuary for Families. Not only did Leidholdt help Deere’s mother get a better job, she also helped Deere begin her career in fashion. When Leidholdt saw some of the drawings Deere had done while in the shelter, she helped her get into the Fashion Institute of Technology. It was a pivotal moment in Deere’s move into fashion, and by 2008 she had started her own fashion company, Lime Crime.
Although it took a while and it required many hard times, Deere knows that anything is possible in America. She also knows that it is not possible to achieve that dream without some help. As with most immigrants, Deere is grateful for the help she received, and she is truly one of America’s great success stories.