Published on June 12th, 2019 | by Ramona Sarac0
Grazyna’s new life, from Poland to Norway. Her own business started from scratch, in love with norwegian nature and people’s smile
More than 10 years ago, when she saw a documentary about Norway on TV, Grazyna Lewandowska (43 years old) simply fell in love with the country. And she started applying for a job here, although she had her own hair salon in Poland. She came to Norway ten years ago, worked hard, at the beginning with two jobs in the same time. But she succeeded in opening her own business quite quickly, two years after she came, brought her family and built not only a new business but also a new life from scratch. After ten years here Grazyna is happy, good with herself, grateful for the whole system she found in here. And in love with the norwegian nature, long summer days and people’s smile.
Grazyna is a hairdresser and had her own hair salon in Poland, worked a lot, yet she was searching for a job in other country wishing for another kind of system, a better start for her children. She had many offers when she started applying, but one day, when she saw a documentary about Norway on TV, simply loved it and felt that that was “a place for her”. “I saw a documentary on TV and it was a wonderful country and I told myself that if someone from that country will call me I will come. And when they called me, I came”, she remembers, laughing.
Ten years passed since that moment. She still keeps in mind her first impression about Norway, when she got here – day time in march, the norwegian girls wearing converse and light clothes, all blonde, “like Barbie girls”.
From an employer who didn’t pay her to her own business
With her first employer, an arabic guy, there was a big problem with payment. He actually didn’t want to pay her so, after 5 months, she just left the saloon one day and never came back. “I wanted to go back to Poland, but I got to a hair salon and they offered me a job”, she remembers. Certainly, one of those things than don’t “happen” in life, simply come at the right time. Then she found a second job at a catering company, and kept both for one year.
After a few months, she rented a chair in the hair salon where she was working, and two years after she got to Norway she succeeded in opening her own business, Frisor KAOS, in Stavanger. “Of course it was hard, but I met good people and they helped me very much”, she says. Meanwhile, she learnt Norwegian – actually, she says she keeps on learning it every day, even after so many years in here. One year and a half after she came she brought her family. Children went to norwegian schools directly, Veronica, her daughter, attended hairdressing courses both in Poland and Norway and now she works with her in the hair salon.
At the beginning, their clients were, almost all, polish people, but now they are from very different nationalities. The atmosphere is good and relaxed, people are satisfied and most of them keep on coming after having their hair cut here for the first time. “We have a friendly relation with our clients, and most of them come back”, she says.
Poland and Norway from the heart
“Do you miss your native country?” is, for any, expat, I think, a question with a more than predictable answer. It doesn’t matter how bad the system in your native country was, or how big the difference in the new country is, homeland will always be a part of your soul. Grazyna misses speaking polish, and old polish markets where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables from local producers and feel the spirit, the heart of small local communities. And she sometimes misses the weather, which is not so windy and so rainy.
But she also loves her adoptive country very much, she is very grateful for all the chances she had in here. “I just love the nature here in Norway, the stability and the smile on people’s faces. In Poland you don’t see people smiling. I also love long days – first time I’ve seen that it was a shock, but now I really love them”, she says.
The courage to give yourself a chance
Grazyna gave up her own business in Poland and came to a country where she didn’t know the language, she didn’t know anybody. Just started over, with everything from the beginning. She had the courage and risked, and that’s her advice for everyone who is not happy with his situation but doesn’t do anything to change it.
“You have to want, you have to try, you have to risk, all the time it’s a risk but you have to take it, to find the way and do something. Someday, you might discover that it worth it. And you can go back every day if something goes wrong, or go to another country and start there from the beginning”, she says.
You can find out more about Grazyna and her business on their Facebook Page, HERE
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