Alumni Q & A: Victoria Mierzwa and Katerina Juskey
We are delighted to profile Victoria Mierzwa (DEL 06) and Katerina Juskey (DEL o8) and their success as young entrepreneurs.
Upon graduating from DEL, where did you attend University? What programs did you study and complete? Did you receive any awards or recognition?
We both ended up studying Chemical Engineering at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Afterwards, Katerina completed a European Fragrance and Cosmetic Masters in France and Italy.
After completing your post-secondary education, describe your progression through your professional career. Where have you worked? What are you currently doing?
Victoria worked at a manufacturing facility in Burlington and then in sales/marketing at L'Oreal. Katerina worked in Quality Assurance at Estee Lauder, and then after completing her Master's degree, she returned to work at Estee Lauder in the R&D department. We connected in 2016 with the idea of starting our own brand since we had industry experience and strong supplier relationships, and a passion for high quality, well-designed products.
What is the name of your company, and what do you do?
Lohn is a Toronto-based candle company that makes high-quality products to scent your journey, as well as Toronto's first custom scent design studio. Lohn means "reward" in Old High German and "scent" in Estonian. We both come from European backgrounds (Victoria is Polish, and Katerina is Lithuanian and Estonian), and we wanted to find a story that brought our roots together. Through our research on ancient trade routes, specifically the Amber Road, the idea for our first candle collection was born.
How did your experience at Del help you get to where you are now?
Del definitely prepared us both for a challenging four years of engineering at Queen's. We are thankful for the incredible quality of education (thank goodness for AP calculus!) and extracurricular activities that allowed us to explore other passions, such as music, sports and fine arts.
What memories of the school are you most fond of?
We love the strong Del community. We still maintain and cherish many of the friendships that we made during our time in high school.
In terms of your life and career, what does the future hold for you?
We plan to grow our company to be an internationally renowned candle brand and to inspire young females in science and engineering to pursue entrepreneurship. Right now, we have three employees, two of whom are female engineering students! We want to share our story and let people know that there are endless possibilities for your career once you have your education in place.
- Winter 2020