Hello, my name is Galina Achkasova-Portianoi. I was born & raised in Moscow, but moved to London in my early teens, where I went to a British state school & loved every minute of combining my learning experiences on the intersection of two different educational systems – in post-Soviet Russia and the UK.
After studying International Economic Relations at MGIMO & Banking & International Finance at London’s City University, I interned & worked at several companies & banks, including Barclays, N M Rothschild’s & Euromoney Publications. But after having my son, I decided to switch direction & focus on my love of writing.
With a postgrad journalism degree from London School of Journalism under my belt, I launched a website Curious Russian In London ( now The Curiosity Gap ) at the end of 2009. I write on a variety of subjects, putting spotlight on brands, products & creative people that are worthy of your attention in the information-overloaded world. My aim is to help YOU make informed choices that can positively impact daily life & business practises.
I also work as a consultant with beauty & wellness brands ( both in the UK & internationally ) and share my perspective based on years of practical experiences coupled with vast amount of industry research. Often I spotlight niche brands that go on to become the pioneering example within beauty or wellness segment. My approach to consultancy is tailored to the individual or brand’s needs and ranges from one-off consultations to working with the brands in the longer term capacity, focussing on packaging, formulation, retail, international expansion, social media, content and customer service. I also have the experience of taking a UK brand and launching it in Russia, doing INTERCHARM trade show, pitching to press and retailers, as well as doing training staff. My other invaluable experience was consulting Four Seasons team in Russia on the spa concept that was launched successfully when FS opened its first hotel in Moscow.
Galina Achkasova-Portianoi ( Galina AP )