Sveta Yakubovich had a dream-‐ of being independent, doing what she loved to do and giving her family a better quality of life. This dream brought her to the United States.
As a Russian immigrant, Yakubovich faced many challenges including not speaking English. But her tenacity, focus and a lot of elbow grease- literally- enabled her to grab hold of her dream and today she is the owner of one of Wichita’s leading massage therapy businesses.
Sveta’s Body Therapy in the Bradley Fair Shopping Center, caters to a high-profile client list that includes doctors, bank presidents, developers, stockbrokers and other professionals.
“Nothing is impossible,” said Yakubovich, who in 1993 immigrated to the United States with her husband, Simon, a massage therapist at the Wichita Country Club, her then infant son, Misha, her mother, and her grandfather. She was 22.
Trained in massage therapy and working as a physical education teacher in Gorky, Russia, Yakubovich was earning the American equivalent of about $2 a month. She was determined to give her family a better way of life in the United States and came to Wichita because she had relatives here.
She spoke no English and was unsure what direction to take, but she soon earned her massage therapy certification and began working at The Wichita Racquet Club in February 1994. She worked there for six years, earning a reputation for professionalism and quality service and then opened her own business, Sveta’s Body Therapy, in 2000. In December, 2002, she opened a second location in the Genesis Health Club at 1551 N. Rock Rd., previously the Wichita Racquet Club.
Both locations offer therapeutic massage services including Swedish, deep tissue massage, reflexology, body dynamics and pregnancy, aroma therapy massage, acupuncture and acupressure, deep-heat stone therapy, and parafango wraps. Sveta’s also offers facials, natural nails, waxing and other body treatments but massage therapy, Yakubovich said, is the core of her business.
“People come to me all stressed and in pain,” she said. “One hour later I am sending a whole new person out into the world.”
Yakubovich said she’s grateful to be independent and to be helping other people, including her 14 employees, achieve their potential. She does not define success by dollars in the bank or numbers through her doors, but rather the peace that comes from doing what she enjoys and providing a quality service to others.
“I do what I love,” she said. “I can provide other people possibilities to do what they love to do.”
Yakubovich’s other love is her family and being a mother to Misha, now 11, and Masha, a daughter who will turn 2 this month.
“I have so many things in my life,” she said. “My greatest challenge is to try and balance them all. To be the best mom, the best masseuse, the best wife I can be.”
“I’ve been successful because of all the great people I’ve met here in America,” Yakubovich said. That list includes developer George Laham, Michael Michaelis of Emprise Bank, Rick Mae, who gave her a start at The Wichita Racquet Club, many friends and, of course, her mother and husband.
“I believe that behind every successful person there is a family supporting them,” she said.
Yakubovich earned diplomas of acupuncture from the Kansas College of Chinese Medicine and the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
The Wichita Eagle