First came research...
For the past two decades, our founders have been traveling to the most challenged parts of the world to conduct social research, and help private foundations and aid organizations design better, more targeted humanitarian support programs. And while they were often crushed by the pain and hardships of the communities they visited, Dr. Anastasia and John could not but admire the kindness and generosity of the people they met, and the colorful culture of their communities, the marvelous art and craftsmanship that gave the communities joy and resilience in the face of adversities. The founders started accumulating unique works and building their private art collection.
Then came an idea...
However, they soon realized that they want to do more than just buy a few artworks during their business trips. The idea for Glitter Trotter was inspired by a close friend, who kept asking about good places to eat, shop and sleep in various countries. In turn, the friend was sharing the tips with their own friends and acquaintances spreading the word and inspiring new visits. “So, why don’t we do the same,” -- said Dr. Anastasia and John, -- “But at a much bigger scale and also bring the artists into our world, so they can speak for themselves.”
And now we are here!
And so, Glitter Trotter was born. We do not see ourselves as travelers, so this is not a travel blog, although we talk about our experiences in different parts of the world. We are also not retailers, we do not chase volume sales, although we do sell a curated collection of works on our site. We truly and deeply appreciate the dedication, creativity, honesty, authenticity and pride of the many artists we meet and become friends with, and we want the visitors of our website to share the joy of colors and cultures that make the world a wonderful place to be. And if you want to visit some of our favorite places or find unique gifts for yourself and your loved ones – we are here to organize a trip, a tour, or a deliver that will create memories for many years to come.
Meet the Founder
Dr. Mirzoyants was the only child in the family of a heart surgeon of a Polish descent and an Armenian civil engineer. From her mother, the surgeon, Anastasia inherited her intolerance for injustice and human pain. From her father, the engineer, she got the passion for “building” better lives, cities, communities, which brought her first to the development sector and then to Glitter Trotter.
Carrying the name of the last Russian princess, Anastasia’s childhood was far from princess-like. She was raised in the rough terrains of Eastern Siberia in a small town called Bratsk, where her parents arrived (separately) in 1960s, during the global era of youth romantism and civic awakening. In the US, the civil rights movement was taking shape and youth protested the war in Vietnam. In Russia, youth were conquering the wild desert lands and the freezing cold of Siberia. Anastasia’s father came to Bratsk to build the Bratsk Hydropower Station, which until now remains the second largest hydropower station in the world. Anastasia’s mother came to fulfill her mission to save lives. They met in 1970s, got married, got a child, and saw a little camp of young enthusiasts and builders grow into a modern town of over 250,000 residents.
Bratsk -- the town lost in the snows of Eastern Siberia – is the place where Dr. Mirzoyants’ and Glitter Trotter’s story started several decades ago. Anastasia grew up a bookworm, happy to be left to her studies and books. She graduated high school first in her class and went on to get her Bachelor and first Master’s degrees with honors from Irkutsk State Linguistic University, mastering English, French and Spanish. She started her career as an administrative assistant, moving on to being a marketing agent, then a head of a marketing department.
Yet, Dr. Mirzoyants felt there was more to life than a predictable career track. So, she changed her path in a sudden decision to go back to school – first in Germany, and then in the USA. Her family was far from wealthy, so Dr. Mirzoyants worked her way through her MBA, her second Master’s in English, and a Doctorate degree in Educational Sociology and Research. After graduation, her new life took her to some of the most remote and difficult areas of the world. Her job was to study people, communities and countries to advise on relevant and relatable development programs. Her passion was learning about people’s lives, cultures, traditions, fairy-tales, legends, and stories.
It’s been more than a decade since Anastasia started her journey as a global trotter, studying the world and learning from its diversity. She conceived Glitter Trotter as a personal diary to keep memories of the people and places she met and loved. But just like her parents saw a Siberian tent camp growing into an important industrial and trade hub, she wants to see Glitter Trotter grow into a space bigger and better than what she can ever imagine.