Founder / Creative Director / Public Speaker

Yana Kirakovskaya


Yana is a Russian Kiwi who isn't a stranger to various themes such as escapism as the way to find your self-identity, the battle between fear and love, interconnection between mental and spiritual health.

Though initially born and raised in Russia, has become a Kiwi through and thorough. Ever since she was 13 years old, she dreamt of living by the ocean. The right time had come, the winds of change carried her across the seven seas, so she landed Aotearoa with no plans. Little did she know that this country of the long white cloud would provide her with the most precious gift - TIME. Time to heal. Time to connect. Time to start all over again.

She brings joy, inspiration, meaning and fulfilment into people’s lives. She works on building strong relationships within communities and helps individuals to unlock their potential to bring more happiness into their lives. Yana studies humans in everyday life by engaging in daily interactions, exchanging smiles, hugs and meaningful conversations. Together with Papaya Stories, she encourages people to start a love affair with themselves and to seek and maintain life balance by learning what it means to look after yourself. She helps people make the right choices, unlearn broken patterns, to let go of ego, fears and blocks that stop people from enjoying life and being present.

Being an advocate for the mental and spiritual health, Yana believes in the evolutionary growth of the Self and is passionate to make that knowledge accessible to many people. Yana shares her life story along with useful techniques and insights on how to get real, and helps people live mindfully and wholeheartedly. She participates in public lectures, talks and workshops. She is excellent at creating stress-free spaces where people feel emotionally and physically free and can let it flow and be in the moment. Find out more about public speaking and workshop opportunities here.


"Papaya Stories is a true essence of my soul that I started growing together with my beautiful soulmate, talented photographer, and gorgeous woman Katherine Brook. Papaya Stories represents a turning point in my career and personal path where I try to connect my skills, passions, gifts, creativity with my life mission which is to inspire people for happy authentic and fulfilling lives. No one else but You can save yourself. And we are here to provide you with inspiration to grow, be faithful to who you are and be with happy with your life no matter what it brings. What will you put in your life memory box? What can you do to feel alive here and now?"

I believe in the transforming and healing power of genuine, honest and real storytelling that inspires individuals to take a closer look at ourselves, life story and experiences that shaped us the way we are. Having a space for self-reflection, support group, community events and inspiring stories coming from people like you and me can push us forward to embrace a long-awaited change and connect with your TRUE self. And this is what Papaya Stories is all about.

I believe that there is an inner kid, naughty or shy, lives inside of every human. But somehow while growing old we lose touch with that precious kiddo. Papaya Stories mission is to help you to reconnect with that child that is full of life, curiosity, joy, lives in the moment and always ready for an adventure.

I am inspired by constant motion, a possibility to see and notice beauty everywhere around, an ability to enjoy the moment, water, music, fearless people, freedom, random acts of kindness, thoughtful conversations, true solid men, a feeling of falling in love and being connected to a person, passion, beautiful  country, unknown place, day or night and the whole world in general.

Love ocean, PAPAYA, avocado, coffee, travel, arts in all its diversity, getting out of comfort zone, self-awareness, ideas, surprises, sing, do something random, dance, swimming, tennis, surfing, going on a date with myself, massage, massage, massage, watching the night sky, having good times with my soulmates, reading, tiramisu, taking a bath, summer dresses, Eley Kishimoto shoes, wandering, a touch and smell of a print magazine and a newspaper, secondhand bookstores.

I can't stand bad and rude manners, passive-aggressive and victimhood attitude, hypocrisy.

Dream interviews are Krill Serebrennikkov, Franz Kafka, Irina Khamada, Alicia Keys, Moby, Taika Waititi, Milla Jovovich, Sting, Dalai Lama, Jamiroquai, Renata Litvinova, Zemfira, and people like you and me.

I Love life because it gives me a chance to find my True self and have more meaningful experiences that make me feel alive! ♥

And last but not the least, I do believe that dreams come true! We just need to believe in ourselves, set up the right intention, act in the direction towards our dreams and let the Universe sort out the rest.

Watch the video below of me singing Kalinka-Malinka (a Russian traditional song) with Donavon Freikenreiter and note that it was one of my wildest dreams everrrrr!