Before the full-scale war, Olena Barkova began creating natural cosmetics and candles. She had planned to open her store in early March 2022.
However, her candles did not provide aesthetic pleasure. Instead, they provided warmth and light in the basements of Mariupol. They were also useful for heating water and baby food.
She decided to evacuate after the situation in her hometown deteriorated.
Olena now resides in a small village located in Poltava Oblast. She is currently renovating an old house and restoring her business. Additionally, she produces candles for the military to keep them warm in challenging conditions.