Hello, I am Olga!

Creator of My Colour Home, a color consulting and paint service. Before founding MCH, I lived a different life, what I fondly refer to as my former life—I was a fashion model navigating the vibrant streets of NYC.

My journey began when I participated in a Ford Model competition in Ukraine, leading me to sign with Ford Models NYC. In the early 2000s, still in my teens, I embarked on the adventure of moving to NYC with the dream of achieving it all by the time I turned twenty. The plan was to make a million, engage in modeling, invest in real estate in Ukraine, and venture into entrepreneurship. Life, however, had unexpected twists, and I found myself spending 13 years in the bustling city, modeling and acquiring property, but not realizing the grand-scale dreams I once envisioned. 

As the real estate market in Kyiv soared out of reach after the 2008 crash, my focus shifted to the allure of U.S. soil. I sold a property in Ukraine and, after exploring areas near NYC and Long Island, landed in Durham. In 2011, I purchased a charming house downtown and rented it within a few months. However, I wanted a bigger scale, something that could replace my stressful modeling career for good. I sold the house within a year to invest in an apartment building.

My modeling career took another dip during this time, prompting a semi-break. I returned with hopes of fueling my real estate endeavors, but financial challenges grew as property prices surged. My conservative approach of buying in cash limited my portfolio expansion. After an extensive search, I found a house stuck on the market for obvious reasons. Negotiations led to a purchase at $56K, leaving me with $100 in my bank account and ownership of a badly wounded, 2000 sq. ft. home in Durham, sight unseen.

The journey didn’t get easier; it became harder as I needed funds for renovations. Giving my modeling career another year and a half, I realized the unsustainable nature of my NYC life. It was like beating a dead horse, hoping for a different result. In 2015, I moved from NYC for good tagging along with my mother and her late and beloved dog Funtik, or she would not have left Ukraine without him. However, it wasn’t a permanent departure—I returned frequently for work, making countless trips on “China Town” buses. Just over the summer, I made 15 trips, nine to ten exhausting hours overnight, earning me the status of an honorary customer.

House Demo Diary 2015-2017

There was so much more, but I feel that I shared plenty. Over the next three years, my life became a blend of restoring the house and shuttling between Durham and NYC for work. I even went on two contract trips to China and Singapore for six months total! The house-hacking lifestyle and the demands of a modeling career were challenging. Yet, amidst the hustle, the restoration process and the contemplation of bedroom colors emerged as the creative outlets I had been searching for. From the metaphorical “ashes” of construction debris and countless paint palettes, My Colour Home was born.

Indeed, it was a journey, a roller coaster! Nevertheless, it brings me immense joy to have new horizons to explore and the opportunity to potentially contribute to realizing your visions.

P. S.

In case you are wondering, this tub is not mine!

The image was taken by super-talented photographer Jennifer Cole for the Heights House hotel in Raleigh, for which I was a model.

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