MOSCOW: Raised in a village on Sakhalin Island, Artem said he moved to Moscow in the early 1990s with this family after the collapse the Soviet Union.
Following the 1998 default, he borrowed a $1,000 to buy a used computer, printer and scanner and started to make books and pamphlets. It wasn’t initially easy as he had to learn the technology.
But nearly 20 years later, his business is still in operation with about 40 people employed and printing books for major publishers.
However, his passion is dancing. He started taking locking dance classes at the age of 33 after having downloaded videos that cost him $600 in Internet charges.
Despite feeling like ‘a tree’ at his first few classes, Artem stuck with locking dance. Today, he teaches others and attends dance battles, juggling his passion with the responsibilities of being a business owner and father. Artem recently opened a cafe that is run by his wife, a former Starbucks barista.
Artem said he wishes he could move back to Sakhalin as he prefers nature to city life. In the meantime, he is building a home outside Moscow near a forest and river.