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Diana Yusufov first learned about the beauty industry from her uncle, who made his living as a barber. That field of work interested her as a child, but when it came time to go to college, she went with what seemed like a more practical route: a marketing degree. During her first few years after graduation, working a corporate job, she started a small, freelance makeup business on the side. “That work really made me feel alive,” Yusufov says. “After several years, I just thought, ‘Why am I fighting this?’” She quit her job, went back to school, and got certified in aesthetics. She opened GÄDIS Beauty Studio in 2019. In the three years since, she’s doubled her studio space and expanded GÄDIS’ services to cover makeup, cosmetic tattooing, brows, lashes, skin care and more. “My business reflects my personality and my journey,” she says. “As we grow, I want women to come in and feel like the strong goddesses that they are.”
“Feel the fear and do it anyway. You’ll either win or you’ll learn.”
Where does the name GÄDIS come from?
It’s the phonetic spelling of goddess. The name Diana actually means goddess. When I started the business, it was a one-woman show for several years. At the time, I was on my own spiritual journey. I was going through my own journey of empowerment and growing into who I am. To me, it meant a lot that my business reflects my personality and my journey. So I wanted everyone who’s working for me now to understand that and to embody it for women who come in. I want them to leave feeling like the strong goddesses they are.
What are some of your goals for the future?
We are currently expanding. We’re doubling the size of our space, so we’ll be able to continue to grow our services and offer more. Last year, we added areola restoration tattooing, which I’ve been passionate about learning for a while. It helps women who have gone through breast cancer and had mastectomies. We’ve also started a foundation called GÄDIS Gives Back to work with hospitals to provide those services without cost. The foundation also raises scholarship for the aesthetics trades.
What advice would you have for women who’d like to start their own business?
I think fear holds a lot of us back from doing what we want in life. It’s always scary. Feel the fear and do it anyway. You either win, or you learn.