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In Focus | Sara Zarkoob

Meet Sara. Sara has lived in Kelowna for five years. She is the owner of an aesthetics company and is passionate about the Kelowna community. Sara sure is an inspiration to businesswomen and aspiring entrepreneurs!

Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kelowna?
I am from Iran and I have been living in Kelowna for five years now.

Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
Do you mean by that all my clients? Omg, I have very too many favourite people in my Life, OF course my sisters which are my only family here, but I have an amazing friend whose name is Cindy Shaw. She is not only one of my best friends, also she has been my mentor in life and business and has helped me through life in the last five years since I've lived in Canada.

What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
My favourite store in town is LBV lifestyle on Pandosy street. I just have a huge love for art, beauty and fashion. The store itself is so stylish and plus it is run by a young entrepreneur “Jasmine Randhawa." She is one of the most inspiring new generation of entrepreneurs in Okanagan Valley. She is absolutely smart, strong and an inspiring young woman in our community.

Describe yourself in one word.

If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
The north of Iran, right now in Iran is the beginning of fall and north of Iran is so fascinating. It is beautiful.

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
I love hiking in Kelowna. It just is a must for my mental health. It really helps my creative aspect of my personality.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
Nothing really embarrassing. There have been things that for sure I don’t want to experience again, but I really don’t feel embarrassed about. They all have been life learning lessons to me which are valuable.

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
Well there have been opportunities that were offered to me while I was at school or working in the finance industry or running my own business which inspired me make a difference in others' lives by empowering them, but I think really being able to wake up every day is the most inspiring thing that happens every day. We could be anything other than human but the fact of being able to live the life and experience our journey and being the writer of our own life story is pretty inspiring to me.

Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
The day that my youngest sister was borne 23 years ago. I was in grade one and it was the last day of school. My mom was in the hospital for delivery and we had one-week of partying, going around in my parents’ house for our new born and it was at the same day as finishing of school for me. She is one the best gifts that the universe has gave me so far.

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I have been always involved with the community and have had many voluntary jobs in my life. When I attended university in Iran, I was a human rights and women rights activist. While I was finishing my second degree in Okanagan college, for two years, I volunteered in the Okanagan business students’ association and was the president of OBSA for the full last year of my schooling at OC.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
To stop war and violation against humanity which is definitely not a solution for bringing peace for humanity on the earth.

Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
Hiking Knox mountain.

Where would you like to see positive change in Kelowna and why?
I would like to see Kelowna build more variety of lifestyles for younger generations in town and feed different types of people with different lifestyles. Especially social life styles and different aspects of it for new generations in town, or international students. I think this will be amazing if we can feed different types of people with different lifestyles and expectations from where they want to build a future.

What do you think makes Kelowna great?
I have been living and travelling many places but to compared to Kelowna, with a huge variety of nature and seasons which has been combined with beauty of Okanagan lake and wineries, I can say Kelowna is very unique from different places.

What are 3 things on your bucket list?
I can share one of them which is travelling and exploring different places Canada.

How do people connect with you, personally, through social media?
Mostly social media “Instagram.”

What is the name of your business/organization?
RoSa Lash Extensions

Why did you get into/start this business?
For sure there are several reasons that build the why behind my business. I can say one of them was to empower other women and have something to offer them to make them life a better place for them to live, and to give them a drive to build their own emoire and be the queen of their castle!

What is the goal of your business?
I usually set my goals every five years. In the next five years my goal is to establish one of the most highest standards the lash extensions academy in Canada. I am currently working on producing introducing my own brand of lash extensions to the Canadian market and I am not far from the finished product.

What has been your biggest struggle either at work or in life?
Creating work and life balance, leaving my ego behind the doors, being humble about different ideas and staying positive through life daily challenges.

If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
Of course, some of the things that I would do would be different than from what I did, because we all learn from our mistakes.

Tell us your best piece of life advice.
As Will Smith says, “Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.” Don’t fear of doing things or being someone. Fear doesn’t exist, it’s just in your mind.

Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
I do believe it is an absolute must to support the local businesses in order to keep the smaller scale of economy of the bigger community financially healthy which will lead to healthier, bigger society.

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
I am proud to say that I migrated to Canada as young girl who started her journey here as a student not fluent in English. I started working right when I moved to Canada, got fired from my first job for lack of communication skills but I never gave up on my imperfections. In addition to that, I attended college with no financial help and finished my degree in 3.5 years, earlier than many of my classmates. I worked so hard seven days a week and didn't even have a chance to enjoy the beautiful lake during the summers. I spent the the last two years of school working two jobs, plus was very stressed during my voluntary job as president of the OBSA. I also launched my business in the last month of graduating from school which happened during the same week of my last final exams.

Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
I would like to say my prof from OC Devin Rubadeau, who really helped me to know my intention in life and helped me realize what I want to be. He pushed me to the “ocean” of fear and responsibilities while he thought me to learn how to swim and get my way up to a safe island by letting me make mistakes and learning from them. He definitely helped me work on my self-confidence and leadership skills in the business world. He taught me that my weaknesses can turn to in to strengths as a professional woman in western society. I am sure he changes many lives as he has changed mine!

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In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition of the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great. Thank you, Kelowna!

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