At 19 years old, Jeniya Penrod emigrated from Russia to the United States, arriving in New York. About a month after she arrived, she traveled to Miami and fell in love... with the city she calls home to this day.
“I remember walking on Ocean Drive with the beach right there and someone had built these huge sandcastles,” Jeniya said. “Beautifully decorated with candles inside them. It was art. And there was music coming from every direction. And there was always movement, always action, always something happening. I thought, ‘What is this place?’ The energy was just so high, so vibrant. It was amazing!”
Not even out of her teens yet, she quickly realized that this was the place where she wanted to build her life.
“I would describe it as love at first sight,” Jeniya said. “After that experience, I decided to stay without knowing what I was going to do and what was going to happen for me. I just kind of trusted that it was the best decision for me, and it was because right now I live in a city that I so dearly love.”
Today, Jeniya pursues a wide range of business and philanthropic interests focused on her local community, as well as several more far-reaching projects, such as volunteering with the Global Empowerment Mission, a nonprofit organization dedicated to being a first responder when natural disasters hit vulnerable populations.
“I started getting really involved in charity work and GEM when Hurricane Dorian practically destroyed the Bahamas (in 2019),” she said. “We have property there and it was completely demolished, completely destroyed. So I flew there a few times in the first couple of months and I saw the devastation first-hand. That touched me on a personal level really, really deeply and I decided that I wanted to be part of the solution.”
Among her business interests, Jeniya expects to announce the launch of a hospitality company with a partner very soon.
“Our company will focus on working with local charities to bring exciting experiences to people while giving back to the city of Miami,” she said. “We have organized a couple of events in the past and it's something we're very Interested in doing. We'll have an announcement soon and provide more details at that time.”
Jeniya also owns Chamillion, a color-changing image editing app that is used to alter the look of clothing, hair, accessories, interior design, logos, and more.
“One of my favorite sayings, something I try to follow as much as possible, is to ‘spread love and positivity.’ Miami has given so much to me and it is truly a city I love, so it's important to me to return the love and positivity in everything I do.”