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From Homeless Immigrant to Successful: Doe Deere

Doe Deere, otherwise known as Xenia Vorotova. was born in Izhevsk, Russia. When she was seventeen years old, she, her mother, and younger sister, moved to the United States. They hoped, like many immigrants, to find a better life for themselves, and ended up in New York City, a city so grandiose, it has no competition. Manhattan teems with hundreds of thousands of clothing stores, specialty stores, restaurants and small businesses. To get a foothold in New York means you can excel anywhere else in the world, and so Deere and her family tried.

She and her mother worked side job after side job to pay their bills. New York was expensive, and still is today, and though they tried to stay afloat, dog walking and cleaning homes would not cut it. They had to check into a homeless shelter, like many other poor Americans.

After six month of cramped spaces, penny pinching and low quality meals, the family of three was introduced to the Sanctuary For Families non-profit. This non-profit specialized in helping women, and Immigrants, get back on their feet after after facing hardship.

Their luck began to turn when Dorchen Leidholdt, the leader of this non-profit organization, got Deere’s mother a job as an accountant. Not only did Dorchen help her mother find a job, but she helped Deere and her younger sister get into college. Deere went to the Fashion Institute of Technology, and her sister later got into Columbia University.

Deere and her family left the homeless shelter in 2000, and lived in a gang riddled, East Harlem apartment. Though it wasn’t the ritz, the family survived, and went on to be better.

Their hardship taught them valuable lessons, and Deere went on to found Lime Crime, a makeup brand in Los Angeles, in 2008.