Today we’d like to introduce you to Roman Protoliuk.
Hi Roman, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I am a 22 years old Entrepreneur, Designer, and Software Engineer based in Los Angeles, CA. My story begins in the small town of Dubno, Ukraine. I was five years old when my parents bought me a computer, and little did I know that fast forward 15 years, I’d be building my very own. When I was seven years old, my parents went through a divorce. When I was 11, my mom, my younger sister, and myself moved across the world to stay with my family in Tacoma, Washington. Growing up in Tacoma wasn’t easy, I had to learn English, meet new friends and adjust to a completely different life than what I was used to back in Ukraine. My life had completely changed, I had to grow up fast. My mom did the best job she could in order to provide for my sister and I. Throughout the tough times, I still had my passion for technology, but I had to do what I needed to do to provide for myself as well.
At an early age, I started working for my uncle. A lot of the jobs I had were small and tedious like landscaping, construction, and office cleaning. Although I didn’t enjoy it, I am very thankful for those experiences because they taught me the importance of work ethic and what I didn’t want to do with my life. When I was 16, I was really inspired by the well-known 90’s clothing brand, Cross Colours, so I started my own clothing brand called ProtoClothing which became well known and successful within my hometown. This is where my entrepreneurship began. Despite the fact that ProtoClothing had some success, I always knew that I was meant to do something more. The day I found out about The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Downtown LA, I knew it would be my chance to move out of Tacoma to pursue my vision of a better life for myself. Once I got accepted as an apparel industry management major, I left to LA right way with no plan B. FIDM allowed me to make great connections with people in the industry and I was lucky enough to land a job with my inspiration for ProtoClothing, Cross Colours.
There, I worked as their graphic designer. During my first quarter at FIDM, I met my girlfriend, Kaitlyn, a talented interior designer. We later started working on projects together which eventually led to us teaming up and launching our full-service design firm PROTOQIT. We focus on guiding startups and small businesses with contemporary and functional design through branding, website development, and interior design. I dropped out of FIDM at 19 and started focusing on my career. I had saved up for a personal computer and built my own and my girlfriend’s which rekindled my passion and technology. I eventually started to expand my knowledge on programming by taking computer science classes online and reading various books.
About two years ago, I had reconnected with my dad from Ukraine. He had told me about his heart condition and how his health was jeopardized. Due to financial constraints, I wasn’t able to come see him until last December when I was told that my dad is no longer with us. I was able to make it to his funeral. It was a bittersweet feeling being back home after 11 years with these given circumstances. All of these experiences had led me to start an R&D company called Protoloq with a main mission to develop tech solutions to help extend human lifespan. I am only 22 and I want to use my passion for technology and dedicate my life to making other people’s lives easier whether it’s through health, finances or any other way I can.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
In my life, I had a lot of obstacles to overcome, but the most significant would be when I was still in Ukraine when I was young, it was hard for me to accept my parent’s divorce. Another time would be when I came to America one of the biggest obstacles was getting accustomed to the culture and learning English. In my adolescence, I was trying to figure out who I was which had steered me to the wrong path. My senior year was also pretty tough because I was second-guessing my decision moving out to LA. After I moved out at 18, I leaned on faith with hope of a better future.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Protoqit, Protoloq?
PROTOQIT is a full-service design firm dedicated to guiding startups and small businesses through contemporary and functional design. Our services include branding, website development, & interior design. PROTOLOQ is an R&D company that focuses on developing tech solutions to help extend human lifespan.
- Email: Romanprotoliuk@gmail.com
- Website: Protoqit.com, Protoloq.com
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/romanprotoliuk