Behind The Curtain: 5 Minutes with Yana Fomichova, Associate Videographer

Yana, who came from Ukraine, joined the Sweet Designs team earlier this year. Prior to developing her video and social media skills, she was a middle-school teacher.

Truffles: What’s it like to be a videographer at a chocolatier? 

 Yana: I like my job a lot.  It is what I love to do – creating short videos, making something different, and making people happy with my content.  It motivates me to do better. 

I also like working at Sweet Designs because it’s a nice environment with great co-workers.  I am an artistic person, and I never expected to find a job in America that was such a good fit for me, particularly since I have only been here 3 months. I am very grateful. 

Truffles: Your social media skills are amazing. How did you become so knowledgeable at such an early age? 

Yana: I never wanted to be a videographer in the beginning.  I preferred being on the other side of the camera.  When I was a child, I wanted to be a singer or a performance artist.  When Instagram became popular, I became interested.   

I saw other videographers do things that I wanted to learn how to do.  So, I tried to teach myself.  Once I realized I had a knack for it, I invested in some courses to learn more online about five years ago.  

 After that, I got a job at a food store in Ukraine making videos for their social media channels. I started to get good feedback, but I always want to improve, so I continue to work at it.  My family encouraged me to do what I like, but suggested that I should have a more serious day job.  So, I was a middle school teacher for about 3 years before pursuing my dream. 

Truffles: What’s been your biggest surprise since coming to the U.S.? 

Yana: I prepared for my move to America by watching informational videos because I wanted to be ready.  Everyone told me that Americans are very kind and helpful, which has not always been my experience in Europe.  I was surprised by how friendly everyone has been, and how you are always received with a smile and even some small talk with complete strangers.  

I think this is a positive aspect of America, because when you walk down the street and someone smiles at you, it uplifts your mood!  For instance, I went out with my husband and his family, and when we were walking home, the person walking towards us on the sidewalk apologized for walking near us.  And when I enter stores, people are kind and ask where I am from when they hear my accent.  I tell them “Ukraine” and people then offer kind words of regret and support about the war. 

Truffles: Happiest work moment so far? 

Yana: When one of my videos achieved a lot of views and Ines also liked it.  It makes me happy when people enjoy my work. 

Truffles: How do you like CLE? 

Yana: I think that Cleveland is a very beautiful city.  I have lived here almost 3 months, during mostly winter.  I thought it was very beautiful with the snow.  When I looked at pictures of Cleveland online in spring and summer it was especially beautiful.  I am awaiting spring and summer because there is so much nature and great parks here, so I am looking forward to seeing them myself.  I also had a chance to visit the Art Museum, and thought it was so beautiful, I can’t wait to go back. 

Truffles: Favorite chocolate? 

Yana: Peanut butter cups and salted caramel are absolutely my favorite. 

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