Born in the former USSR and raised in Western Europe, Kristina was already a globetrotter from her earliest years. In the early 80’s she and her parents traveled back and forth between various Eastern and Western countries and at an age of five she already spoke 5 languages. Being so openly exposed to the two converging cultural ideologies of the time, she soon realized that she could become anything she wanted.
In her teens she started to actively explore the world by herself, when she combined her modeling career with her language studies. It was during these hectic times that she developed her passion for the fashion industry.
In her early twenties she grabbed another opportunity to widen her horizon when she accepted an invitation to study Chinese at the University of Xian in the People’s Republic of China. After graduating from Xian University and having taught at local Chinese schools, she went to live and work as a language teacher in Riga – the town where she was born. From Riga she moved to Moscow – the town she had so frequently visited during the time her father was working there. After living and working as a teacher in Moscow for one year she went back to Antwerp – the town where she grew up and started her modeling career.
Back in Antwerp she put her cultural and language knowledge to work when she joined the largest Belgian diamond sight holder company. Fascinated by diamonds, she decided to study gemology and in 2009 she graduated as a certified gemmologist from the Antwerp Diamond High Council. As a certified gemmologist and by then already speaking 7 languages she was looking to combine all her knowledge and experience with her long term desire to be part of fashion.
It was in 2010 when, almost turning 30 and thinking back to when she knew she could become anything she wanted, it dawned on her that she had developed a great passion for jewelry design. Living in Hong Kong she discovered her talent when helping her partner who worked in jewelry. What started as helping out a friend and advising her diamond customers quickly turned into more than just a pastime activity. In 2012 Kristina decided it was time to start developing her own label “Kristina Rybaltchenko Jewellery & Design”. Her label is since proudly know as “Kristina Rybaltchenko – Hong Kong” to show her strong connection with this beautiful and vibrant city.
In 2020, after 10 years of hard work, Kristina her happiness rainbow bracelet made it to the final of the 17th edition of the internationally renowned HRD jewellery design competition, the world’s leading design competition in creative and innovative diamond and gemstone jewellery. This recognition is proof that Kristina has made a name for herself as a well established jewelry designer.
As a sign of appreciation for participating in their design competition, she was invited to participate in the HRD jewelry consultancy training. Always eager to learn and to be able to help her customers better, she agreed to participate and has been awarded certified jewellery consultant, making 2020 one of her most rewarding years in business.
Looking back over the last 10 years, and almost turning 40, Kristina remains humbled by her success and is looking forward to see what the future will have in store for her and her ever growing team. Full of ideas and with all the recognition she needs, the future surely promises to be very exciting indeed!