Armenian women are exceptional among all women of the world

The guests entering the editorial office of Hayern Aysor, the kind and charming woman and the beauty accompanying her were unfamiliar to me. Even during the interview, Mrs. Jessica was modest and didn’t talk about her popularity, and our conversation was mainly devoted to her roots, her relatives who were saved during the Armenian Genocide, Armenia and the Armenians, the social situation of the people, Yerevan, the events dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s Independence, and then…well, you will read the rest in the interview.

Karine Avagyan: Welcome to Armenia and to the Ministry of Diaspora, the home of all Armenians! Mrs. Jessica, let’s start with your roots. Where are your parents and forefathers from?

Jessica Vartoughian: My full name is Jasmine-Jessica Vartoughian. My roots trace back to Western Armenia, and my parents were from Urfa. My grandfather told me how he lost many relatives during the massacres. My mother lost her two sisters during the massacres, and only my maternal grandfather survived.. They would make metals around Bursa and generally earned a good living. Our forefathers lived very well in the Historic Homeland. They were very wealthy and diligent. Our ancestors had their share of a bitter and cruel fate. They became scattered across the globe, and their generations made up the Diaspora of today. My grandmother’s two sisters went to Paris. My grandparents settled in Romania, which was a very wealthy country where the Armenians were received very well. My father was a shoe designer and had his factory. We had a very beautiful home and earned a good living. In 1957-58, people who lacked a Romanian document or passport would be displaced. Leaving our wealth and our beautiful home, my father left the home without anything…I remember our beautiful home like it was yesterday. Everyone would love it, and it was purchased by the director of the largest prison in the area. We lived in Beirut for a couple of years. My father would design flexible ballet shoes. He earned quite a lot of money, and with that money, we moved to Los Angeles. We lived in Beverly Hills for two years. My father would work 16-18 hours a day. He was raising three children. I was young, but I was also working. In 1964, I got accepted to the University of California, studied English and was hired at a beauty salon in Beverly Hills. For three years, I started learning about nail care and repair, and in 1969, I opened my first little salon…

Karine Avagyan: Mrs. Jessica, it is hard to ask you about yourself…Sona, who is accompanying you, is smiling. Nevertheless, could you tell us what your sphere of activity is? Is it charity or community service? What have you been doing in Los Angeles all these years?

J. V.: I help the Armenians of Los Angeles with employment. I help eight children every month and have been providing material assistance to a family for nearly 15 years. I am a member of the board of the Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA). I work with them and have been helping them for years…

Karine Avagyan: So, what you do is charity…

J. V.: Yes, charity, but I don’t like to talk about it a lot. I want the youth of Armenia to receive a good education and stay in the country. You know, I love old Armenian songs and Armenian culture so much! All that speaks Armenian speaks with my heart and soul.  I want to help my people.

Karine Avagyan: What are your future plans?

J. V.: Oh! I want the children of Armenia to learn a craft since not everyone can get accepted to a university. I want to make sure children learn a craft for free.

Karine Avagyan: Mrs. Jessica, how many times have you visited the Homeland and what did you feel during your first visit?

J. V.: This is my eighth visit to Armenia. When I visited Armenia for the first time 15 years ago, I stayed for seven or eight days and kept crying. It was very painful. Today, the situation has changed quite a lot. I want Armenia and the Armenians to live very well. They deserve it.

Karine Avagyan: What does the Homeland mean to you?

J. V.: The Homeland is my land that gives me strength! The Armenians are unique and talented people, and I am proud to be an Armenian woman.

These motivating and sentimental words were the last word of the interview during which Mrs. Jessica stayed modest and didn’t say that she was the founder of JESSIKA trademark and the first woman to establish a specialize center in Beverly Hills, for which The New York Times magazine granted her the title of First Lady of Nails for having opened the first nail care salon in 1969 and receiving world famous people like the wife of Ronald Reagan, Hillary Clinton and internationally recognized actresses and singers. She also didn’t say that, in 1986, she started selling her own products on television, exporting her products to Japan, Europe, and in 1990, she conquered the whole world. She didn’t say that the French nail care was her idea and that she turned it into a reality. She also didn’t say that she opened the Helios Esthetic Medicine Center and Helios Podology Center for foot care and manicuring, creating jobs for people in Armenia…There is so much to say that the only thing left for us to do is to admire and be proud of such Armenian women and wish that all the dreams of Jasmine-Jessica Vartoughian come true and that she carries out her pro-Armenian programs and say once again that creating Armenian women are exceptional among all women of the world.

Karine Avagyan

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