Polish immigrant finds home in El Paso
POSTED: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 9:35am
UPDATED: Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 5:47pm
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — Poland during the Cold War was not easy on anyone. It was especially hard on the young Sophie Polls.
"Everyone wanted to leave the country. There was not a person who wanted to stay in Poland," said Sophie.
Sophie left for America. Getting to the U.S. was easy, but surviving here was hard for Sophie who had no money, no job and couldn't speak English.
It proved difficult in the beginning in cold Chicago where she lived.
"Chicago was not easy with no language, no references, no driver's license and no money. You take any type of job you can get," said Sophie.
Eventually the spirited and tenacious Sophie began to turn things around taking odd jobs and learning the language.
"I would actually study while I was working. Talking to little kids made it much easier because they don't judge you, they don't laugh at you," she said.
She was almost an overnight success as one of Chicago's leading estheticians. Sophie was leading the city as her methods were taking Chicago by storm.
"As humble as I wanted to be, I have to say I was very good and very popular thanks to the people I was around. I was blessed with a wonderful group of people," Sophie said.
Hardships returned to Sophie as her first-born child almost passed away. Sophie said the only thing that saved her son's life was prayer.
"He was very, very sick. He spent three months in the hospital. It was a very tough time, probably toughest time of my life. We prayed a lot he was very very sick," she said.
Just when things turned for the better with her son, and her business skyrocketing, hardships returned to Sophie. She didn't plan on getting ill, but this illness required the family to move. Within weeks, Sophie and her husband, Robert, left her incredibly successful business to El Paso.
"I was very sick. I had to either be on medication, or not work be in bed," she said.
The return to the spa business began knocking European Touch by Sophie was created again.