Most Jewish parents don’t name their child Kristina, but Ukraine — when it was still the former Soviet Union — was very secular. “So my parents just gave me what was the cool, European name of the moment, not wanting to give me some very traditional and typical Russian name like Tanya or Svetlana.” When she was 9, her family went through Jewish immigration. There was a five-month process where they lived in Italy and Austria, before landing in Los Angeles. She didn’t speak a word of English. They lived in a tiny apartment off of Fairfax Avenue, while her mother worked to support her father in medical school.
Kristina, now 32, went to UC Santa Barbara, where she was pre-law. “Santa Barbara is a very fun place to go to school, a very fun place not to go to class. Then 9/11 happened and I changed my major to political science. I thought I was going to be Christiane Amanpour and hide in the bushes in the Middle East and report on war crimes.” After working for a news station, she realized the road to becoming a reporter would be too difficult, “so I decided to go into PR instead. I started working for a PR agency in Santa Barbara, and then I moved to L.A. and went through the PR agency world.”
She’s a hard worker — and others noticed. She was recruited by a startup, ShoeDazzle, which became very successful. She was then recruited by Match.com to run the company’s PR. After some time, the constant traveling to Dallas grew exhausting. “I decided it wasn’t a fit for me, and with a lot of encouragement from friends, I [started] my own agency. My parents were freaking out that I was giving up a really good salary, job security and working for a big company, in a shaky economy. I had my first client within a month. That was five months ago. Now I have a pretty full roster of clients and flexibility to go to yoga in the middle of the day if I feel like it. I love what I do. It’s a lot of fun. I work with a lot of different clients in a lot of different industries — one of them is a dating Web site called 3 Day Rule founded by two female matchmakers.” As I write that down, I realize she just PR’d her way into my article. Well played, Kristina.
Kristina likes her men well read. “I tend to date people who are entrepreneurs. They have a certain drive that I relate to. Having a good personality is important. Chemistry is the most important. It doesn’t matter what qualities you put down, but it comes down to a spark.” I say, “You haven’t mentioned looks.” She laughs. “I’m 5-foot-7, so definitely tall. I never thought about descriptors. I’ll know it when I see it. When I’m in a relationship with someone, we’re best friends. You can support each other and kick each other’s ass — in a good way. I’m very supportive. I try to make sure the other person feels really good. I’m also really fun. No one’s ever been bored dating me.
“I do want kids, but I don’t need them tomorrow. Probably in the next five years. If I have to think about things that are most important — it’s not work, even though I enjoy work. It’s not hobbies — those can come or go. It’s relationships with the people around you. The people in your life are the most important. I would move for a relationship to another state. I wouldn’t move for work.”
Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.