By Corinne Dorsey
Nastassia Ponomarenko is all about living for the long term and creating brands that are built to last. Truly the epitome of a girl boss, the 20-year-old California native built a social platform that supports young women to find their purpose through her advice and guidance from her numerous business endeavors. Ponomarenko, known for her fitness routines and entrepreneurial spirit, surprisingly did not start her career in the fitness world. Beginning her journey as an influencer, Ponomarenko started building her brand at the ripe age of 13 when she created a Youtube channel based around makeup tutorials. From “Get Ready With Me” videos to “Summer Must-Haves,” she has been in the makeup sector long before it became the biggest trend. Yet, her interest in makeup videos began to shift when she reached high school.
Although always athletic growing up, Ponomarenko remembered seeing fitness influencers and models on social media and immediately becoming obsessed with their lifestyle. “It’s literally like I had a spark and then that spark just grew bigger and bigger,” Ponomarenko emphasized. Once she decided her new obsession was going to the gym, Ponomarenko immediately combined her two passions—filming content and expanding her fitness journey. In fact, the main thing Ponomarenko is looking forward to after quarantine is being able to workout at the gym again.
Although Nastassia's social media presence began to reach a whopping 600,000 plus, Ponomarenko knew she wanted to build something more tangible for her brand.
“I’ve always wanted something that belongs to me that I could start and do myself and grow.”
In 2018, Ponomarenko created her athleisure line Nasty Fit which is focused on fashion-forward fitness apparel. Nasty Fit is based on a shorter variation of her name, Nastassia, and her passion for fitness. Once realizing her interest in the line, Ponomareno knew that she wanted to create one that would stand out from other athleisure brands. “I needed a custom design, I needed something that when you see somebody wearing my leggings, anyone could differentiate, ‘Oh that’s Nasty Fit.’” With this in mind, Ponomarenko hired an apparel designer and began producing original and standout pieces that authentically represented the Nasty Fit brand. The brand was essential for Nastassia’s journey into entrepreneurship because she knew she wanted to have something that was completely created and cultivated by her. “I had full control over doing something original, something that belonged to me,” said Ponomarenko.
Ponomarenko is the definition of a long term thinker and is always brainstorming about what next steps in her life she wants to take. While planning out her goals for 2019, she thought of the idea that would take her career to the next level.
“In 2019, when I was writing down my yearly goals, I wrote my last goal, which was “Write a book.’”
With the launch of her clothing line, Ponomarenko knew she wanted to tackle her next big business venture, which was releasing her book, “From Dust to Discipline in 2020.” With a long history and interest in self-improvement books that played a huge part in enhancing her level of self-awareness and consciousness, Ponomarenk knew she wanted to help impact people's lives through a similar style. “I had a great message to share with young adults,” said Ponomarenko. Her message focused on “chasing long-term happiness over the short term.” She described her book as “game-changing” because the book takes every reader to the next level of their lives and ability to reach self-awareness. In the future, Ponomarenko sees herself writing another book as she continues to grow in her personal experience.
After launching a successful athleisure brand and book, Nastassia has now moved on to her next business endeavor in 2020—launching an app. The app is focused on offering a social network for young adults that helps build entrepreneurial and professional connections. When describing her reason for wanting to create an app she said, “I had a huge void in my life which was finding like-minded friends because it's difficult to connect with young driven individuals who are ambitious in the whole entrepreneurial spirit.” Realizing that she could feel the gap in the industry, Nastassia built a platform that young entrepreneurs, freelancers, mentors and other creative fields could go to when seeking connections. The app would offer the ability to not only build connections but also cultivate job opportunities and a hub to help establish and grow network connections.
“It [the app] is driven by emotion, it’s driven by a void. It’s something I feel so passionate about.”
Natassia strives to be a role model for young adults and young women especially throughout all of her business endeavors and her growing social media platforms. She wants to inspire a wave of creativity and self-awareness that will propel generations coming after her and be a true catalyst for change. She wants everyone to better themselves and she wants to help influence this change.
Check out more about Nastassia Ponomarenko on her website https://www.nastassiaponomarenko.com and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nastassiaponomarenko/?hl=en
Corinne Dorsey is an editorial writer with a focus on black womanhood, culture, and fashion writing.