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Russian Immigrant Speaks Universal Language of Skin Care

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: February 28, 2012, from the March 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
A. Golub

A. Golub

Anna Golub immigrated to the United States from Moscow in 1994 at the age of 31, knowing just one person in this country and speaking only Russian. Eighteen years later, she not only owns an extremely successful skin care clinic in Providence, Rhode Island, but she also speaks English fluently. Golub was a skin care professional in Russia and the Ukraine, but that part of the world was experiencing difficult times. “In the 1990s, it was really unstable in Russia, and we wanted our 11-year-old daughter to have a different future,” explains Golub.

Her Russian-immigrant father, who works as a scientist in the United States, encouraged Golub to start a new life in America, and so she brought her talents to the East Coast.

When Golub originally immigrated, although she had the knowledge needed to be a great skin care professional, several obstacles were in her way—namely, the need for a license and the inability to speak the language. Her mother-in-law, who is an English professor, encouraged her to apply to an esthetic school and work with a translator for her studies. “The director of Arthur Angelo in Providence, Allie Trait, was incredible; she was like a mother to me, and she allowed me to attend with a translator. It was difficult to study, but I finished school in 1996, and Trait became my client and highly recommended me to other people. My client list grew quickly because of this,” says Golub.

During this time, her English continued to improve, and Golub began working for a well-known area plastic surgeon, Robert Leonard, MD, at Trait’s recommendation. “He realized that I understood skin and believed in me, and that I would be a good specialist, so I was hired,” says Golub, who worked at the office for three years, assisting with laser services and performing facials. “Working in a medical environment was a positive experience for me.”

Wanting to work on the East side of Providence, which is a fashion- and beauty-forward neighborhood, and desiring self-employment, Golub decided to start her own business. In 2000, she opened Renaissance Clinique, taking up one entire floor—about 800 square feet—in a medical building. “It’s not a salon, and I don’t offer hair and nails. Skin care is a priority for me; I like to keep them separate,” explains Golub.