“From an early age, I opened my eyes to the possibilities of becoming more than my status in life allowed me. I desired success, drawing my source of power from my inner strength, a strength I knew would eventually lead me to my destiny. I knew I would succeed. I knew I would become great!’’ -Lyudmila
Born an orphan and put to work for a wealthy, prominent family from early childhood, Lyudmila was not mistreated, nor was she spoiled by the ladies of the house. Lyudmila was humble, sweet, and, more importantly to the family; dependable and hard-working.
Her regular duties started with sewing and cleaning up after the beautiful ladies of the estate. Lyudmila would watch from a distance, with envy, as these elegant ladies gracefully moved about their lives, attending extravagant parties with other high society members. The grandeur and poise these women displayed came so naturally to them.
As Lyudmila grew, she worked harder to please the family she served in hopes of making more money and being promoted to a higher position in the household. With discipline and dedication to her growing duties, Lyudmila was eventually granted her wish.
Lyudmila was promoted to work directly under the matriarch of the house, which allowed Lyudmila to move on from what she had always considered beneath her. She would be responsible for overseeing that the home looked splendid at all times. Especially for essential parties hosted by the wealthy family.
This new position meant Lyudmila's wages would increase and she would finally experience wearing new clothes; a feeling that only strengthened her resolve to obtain a higher status.
At night, when the other servants were fast asleep in the small, crowded servants’ quarters, Lyudmila would quietly tip toe across the icy cold stone floor toward the only available space in the small room; the doorway entry. With the harsh draft on her back, Lyudmila would begin to imitate the fine, well-bred, high-society ladies she so desperately wanted to become. From their eloquence to each of their graceful feminine gestures, Lyudmila would become better than all of them! At least, that is what she would vowed to herself. Her innate ambition would certainly propel her forward on the journey toward upward mobility.
With time and the immense discipline that Lyudmila constantly demanded from her inner self; she mastered the art of social graces and poise that came so effortlessly to women born into wealth. She had finally succeeded, and it showed.
Lyudmila started to receive attention from high-caliber men who would frequent the large estate to visit the wealthy family and court the prominent ladies who were delighted to accompany these dashing, powerful men on social outings.
With time, Lyudmila’s employers became enraged at the very sight of her. How could this servant carry herself as if she were one of them! She was just a poor orphan who should know her place! How dare she try and elevate herself above what they considered her lot in life.
It was around that time Lyudmila first experienced the sting of hate and mistreatment. She was regularly reduced to menial tasks, verbally and physically abused in hopes of crushing her inner strength. Lyudmila suffered harsh thrashings by the younger ladies of the estate who would leave Lyudmila feeling physical pain and nearly mentally defeated. Nearly...
The breaking point came when Lyudmila was threatened with being sent to prison for allegedly being a thief.
Lyudmila was brutally removed from the only home she had known since early childhood, as she was formally orphaned. With a battered face and a weakened determination, Lyudmila picked herself up and made the decision not to beg, nor to ask for forgiveness for wanting more than those around her thought she deserved. It was then that Lyudmila’s inner strength rose; that power she could wield over herself when she was focused took over her like a tsunami that overpowers even the tallest building. Lyudmila would make it. She knew she would succeed!
Lyudmila set sail in search of a new place to call home. Years of saving her meager salary and promotion; taking orders directly from the matriarch of her former home, had finally bared its delicious fruits. Little did she know what fate, some say destiny, would bring her. As she laid awake on the vessel that brought her even closer to her future. She arrived at the shores of land with abundant natural beauty, but the people certainly lacked refinement and social graces in every aspect of the words.
Lyudmila, with her ambitious nature and innovative mindset, quickly obtained favor from the people, who in turn fell in love with her elegance, poise, and feminine charm, which they all began to imitate, as everyone wanted to establish themselves with the same level of sophistication in the land.
Lyudmila means “the love of the people.” A name that Lyudmila certainly earned over the years in this new land. Lyudmila is The Elegant Founding Mother of the realm, who was very fond of glistening gemstones of every kind. Her obsession with beauty and jewels inspired her to build an entire society on the foundation of what became known as her lifelong passion.
She sought out the most talented artists, architects, and landscapers to piece together a realm of infinite grandeur with feminine touches everywhere, as she had learned from her earlier years working in the service of a wealthy family.
Lyudmila crafted the realm with tender, loving care and devotion to her love of feminine beauty.
Thus, this realm was born, producing hypnotically colorful creations and the radiant Gemstone Towers. All symbols of the realm’s abundant wealth and prosperity.
Lyudmila has been memorialized as The Elegant Founding Mother of this enchanting realm. Generations of elegant ladies in this society are taught about The Founding Mother and her very humble beginnings, although most only care about her lavish life and exceptional style. In a realm as elegant and extravagant as this, what did you expect?
Lyudmila’s illustration was inspired by the kokoshnik, as I have always adored the beauty and elegance of the feminine headdress. I could not resist having my illustration any other way. I wanted to make sure I gave credit to the culture from which they originated. Thank you, Russia, for creating kokoshnik. They are breathtaking Bravo, Russia, bravo!