IRYNA VARAGASH: I found my secret of womans happiness

IRYNA VARAGASH: I found my secret of womans happiness
In the life of every woman it comes to the moment when a woman should connect family happiness and career. Not everyone is able to keep this balance. Iryna Varagash is one of those amazing women who managed to do it. Today she is a bright example of a modern business lady, the head of a big company on production of Econia mineral water and baby food (mothers recognize this Company due to Maliatko Baby Water), and at home - she is a loving wife and caring mother. A stylish-dressed young woman came to the café. Something warm and motherly in her look reminded me childhood. Maybe, because every day, both at home and in business, she spends in care of children. At the cup of coffee Iryna Varagash told our readers, how she managed to combine all these roles and how one day childbirth has changed all her life.

Iryna, what was the beginning of your business story?

My business story began from motherhood. Fifteen years ago I gave birth to my first son. I vividly remember this inexpressible state “I am a mother”. This fascinating feeling of joy, endless love to a tiny little man and this absolute natural wish to give your son the best you can. The best health, the best life, the best destiny. I remember, that at the same time with these wishes a fear appeared: and what if I can’t manage to do it? Probably, every mother knows this fear.

Could you manage to do it?

I think I got it (she is smiling). You know, actually this fear is constructive. It changes your attitude to life, makes you to set new objectives. It happened so, that in the hospital I could not breastfeed my baby. And I had to use bottle-feeding. Together with my husband we were bringing baby food from Russia, and noticed that mixture shall be diluted with special baby water. We began to examine, why ordinary water is not appropriate. We found out that excessive amount of mineral salts and elements, which ordinary or boiled water contain, change mixture composition and can be harmful for baby health. There was no such water in Ukraine.
At that time my husband and I were working in the water business, and, of course, we didn’t want to buy such water abroad. And I, like mother, began to understand, that not only I need such product. Because there are thousands of mothers in Ukraine, who every day face the same problem as I do. Just then I got an idea to make such water here, in Ukraine, for my son and other babies.
It means that water business for you wasn’t new?
You know, at that time I had already experience in this sphere. I came to help my beloved person. He was building water production plant in Truskavets. Both for me and for him it was a new territory, and we had got no support. But we had each other. I remember my first working day. I was given a task to deal with customs declarations. I didn’t understand much, but I had a strong wish to obtain a result, and I delved into every detail to explore, how one declaration differs from another one. Now I think of it with smile.
Then I got into the swing of things. When I told my husband, that I was going to produce baby water for the Ukrainian kids, he supported me. I got my second wind.
Did your dream quickly come true?
No, it was only the beginning. I understood that we needed a special water formula. When I faced this problem, I gave the Ministry of Public Health and sectoral institutions a hard time. We had been conducting researches for 2,5 years, and we got it! We found this unique water formula, which provided the basis for the first baby water in Ukraine. The plant, governed by my husband, was equipped by all necessary things for the release of such product.
By that time I gave birth to my second son Pavlik. When we produced the first bottle of water, he had been one year old. Pasha was first, who tested this water, and he pushed the “start button” of the new production line of this baby water. I was completely convinced in success, and I made Pasha the face of the brand without any doubts (my baby is still smiling at you from the bottle label). And this is not only my joy, it is also my mother’s quality guarantee of the product. We had been thinking a lot, how to name the water – there were a lot of variants. But when I heard, how tenderly and with love our workers at the plant called it “maliatko”, there had been no doubts any more.
From the release of Maliatko Brand the new history began. We were making a market of baby water, explaining its uniqueness to moms.
Did the answer, how to combine business and family, come to you at once?
You know, it came not at once. I, like obviously many of your readers, dreamt to fulfill myself as much as possible. I really wanted to leave something meaningful behind me. “Maliatko” became a third child for me, who also needed a lot of love and care. But to be honest, it also required a lot of time. Because I understood this enormous responsibility, which I had undertaken, when I decided to manufacture a product for children. I thought it would be easy to combine business and family. But I didn’t escape this feeling of guilt. When I was completely steeped in work, I got this feeling of guilt before my family. When I fully gave myself up to children, the unfinished work projects didn’t let me sleep. In such whirl I had been living for several years. But one day I stopped and asked myself – who am I really? What is my life purpose? I have seen many pictures of me: me like a head, me like a mother, wife, simply a woman, friend, daughter. And do you know what I did? I placed priorities and accepted myself. And when I did it, I felt myself much better. And what is the most amazing, both my family and employees felt it. And everything ran good.
Sometimes these priorities change. But the most important thing for me is to harmonize with myself, to do everything with pleasure, to get the most out of everything and to pay attention to every detail. There are no trifles for me both in business and in family. As soon as I achieve one purpose, I set myself another one. I understood: I am interested not in the purpose, I am interested in the way, which my family, I or my team have to pass through in order to achieve this purpose. Because it is the most amazing adventure.
Are children jealous of mother’s work?
Of course, they are jealous. But I know exactly, that they are proud of me. All the more, they have been driving me hard since their childhood: “Mama, you must read two tales – for today and for yesterday”. Today elder Olexii is 15 years old, and younger Pasha is 13 years old. They are my support and my tower, my assistants and advisers in everything. They know very well, what does it mean – family business, they often visit the plant and are interested in its professional life.
Perhaps they are going to continue your business?
They have already more or less influenced on the business. Pasha is face of the Maliatko Brand. Elder son Olexii has given me an idea of making drinking water for children and teenagers «Teen Team», when he came to me and confessed that he was not a baby more and he didn’t want to drink baby water. 
As a head I want someone of my children to carry on with the business. But as a mother it’s more important for me, that my sons would become accomplished and happy. I don’t care how they will achieve it. Pasha, when he was very small, had spent a lot of time with me at work; in travels he stepped on the footboard and stared at road. Today he is a carting champion of Ukraine. Elder son Olexii is fond of business, art and cooking.
Probably you don’t have enough time for relax because of such schedule?
Business is a sort of thing, which is strongly result-oriented, and there is a risk to suppress your creativity. That’s why from time to time I allow myself minutes of solitude. And I get a woman’s wish to create something. Then I cook or take lessons in drawing by my elder son. 
And what would you like to wish our readers?

I would like to wish you to remain women. Love yourself. Because a woman, who is filled with love, is absolutely another woman. She is reached for, she is listened to. Such woman you can see from far away, she sparkles. Find your vocation, believe in yourself, learn how to inspire your nearest people with your example, and then you’ll achieve real success. The success of a woman, who exactly knows the secret of her woman’s happiness.

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