Tetyana Golota, a fashion designer born in Ukraine, now living in Coquitlam, isn’t your average fashion designer.

Born and grew up on her grandparents’ farm in Ukraine, Ms. Golota immigrated to Canada with her husband and young son in her twenties. During her career, she was working at a press shop, while running two successful businesses in Port Moody: a used clothing store called La Boutique Consignment and a furniture shop called Around the House Consignments.

But she has her share of setbacks and struggles in life.

6 years ago, Ms. Golota was going through a surgery to remove a brain tumor detected the previous year. She ended up with the tumor removed, but with a scar on the right side of her head. In addition, she also had peripheral vision loss, arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Despite all those setbacks, Golota was determined to make her life the best she could.

She stated as quoted in the Tri-City News article, “I was given a second chance. It’s not that my life was boring but it was not fulfilling. I thought, ‘What is my life? Am I happy?’ I knew I had a good education and childhood but you have a movie of your life in your head and I didn’t want mine to be a black-and-white one. I want it to be in colour.”

She sewed and encased mini dresses made from haute couture material donated to La Boutique in order to not be bored and depressed. Hats and decorative head pieces were also made, despite working with arthritis.

A new business, Happy Lifestyle Inc., was created and Ms. Golota got more involved with her community, being involved in political campaigns, charities and women’s networks.

In 2015, Golota’s world changed again and she found a new passion. Her friend, Mary Zilba (of Real Housewives of Vancouver) invited her to a Vancouver Fashion Week show. She recalls the show fondly.

“I was mesmerized. It opened a whole new world for me.” she stated.

With her techniques learned from her grandmother and help from mentors in the fashion industry, Ms. Golota launched her own designer projects.

Focusing on charity, she exhibited her outfits on catwalks during fashion events such as Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver & Seattle and the Little Black Gala.

Currently, Ms. Golota is preparing for exhibiting her outfits at the Black Little Dress Gala for the third time later this month and competing as Ms. Canada in the Ms. Universal pageant in England (September).

Ms. Golota is proud of herself with all the successes in her life after the surgery.

“I had no clue that this is where my life would lead me. I’m waking up in pain every day and I struggle sometimes to get through it. But I find so much to keep me going: my family, my friends, my new path in life.”


• Little Black Dress Gala is a spring charity at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and will feature 17 local designers’ work on May 26. The proceeds will go to a non-profit organization working with troubled and underprivileged youth, Help Change My City Alliance.

• Tickets ($45) are available right now: littleblackdressgala.ca

Full article on Ms. Golota: http://www.tricitynews.com/entertainment/a-new-life-path-for-a-coquitlam-fashion-designer-after-near-death-1.19961296