Eva Kissova: Mastering a New Trade
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAN RAFAEL — After earning not one but two master’s degrees, the last thing Eva Kissova expected was that she’d start a house painting business, but that’s exactly what happened. “I have master’s degrees in education and environmental management,” she affirms. “Unfortunately, I finished college right before the economy crashed in 2008 and spent the next two years trying to find work, to no avail. Eventually, I decided to switch gears entirely and start a business with my father, who is a professional house painter.”
While Eva lacked hands-on experience in the painting trade, she made up for it with an aptitude for management, a positive attitude and a willingness to learn. “I knew if my father and I combined our abilities, we’d make a good team,” she says. “The next few years were very busy for me. I’d spend the early mornings and weekends handling the business side of things, while my weekdays were spent in the field painting with my father and learning the trade. Seven years later, I’m still very busy running the business, but I have a lot more knowledge and confidence.”
Today, as owner of Kiss Painting, Eva says her favorite part of her job is creating positive transformations. “I enjoy taking something run-down and ugly and making it look nice again. In some cases, we’ll walk into a home where the walls are blank, and when we walk out again, they’re covered in beautiful colors. It’s very rewarding to create beauty where there was none before.”
A resident of San Rafael, Eva spends the bulk of her free time with her two-year-old daughter, Isabelle. “Before I became a mother, my main hobby was dancing—particularly ice dancing, which is like ballroom dancing on ice,” she explains. “These days, as a mom and a business owner, I don’t have as much time for that. However, if raising my daughter could be considered a hobby, I’d say it’s a beautiful hobby to have. When she’s older, I’ll have time for dancing, but for now I’m happy with this stage of my life.”
In her life and career, Eva attributes her success to a strong focus and a hardworking attitude. “If you want to succeed at something, you need to work hard and stay focused,” she affirms. “When I first started in painting, I knew nothing, but the more I worked and learned, the more confident I became. It wasn’t easy, but I didn’t let adversity stop me—I just kept at it. Overall, this taught me to trust in myself and my abilities. It makes me feel like I’m capable of anything.”
When asked the first thing she’d do if she were to retire tomorrow, Eva says she would take a break. “I would go to Hawaii and just put my feet up for two weeks,” she laughs. “After that, I would get back into dancing. And if that wasn’t enough, I might start another business.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person?
A: A cat person.
Q: If you could instantly pick up a new skill, what would it be?
A: I’d like to be really good at surfing.
Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Talk radio. I like to learn things.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: I’d take a tour of Asia.
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