I was born in the country of roses, but live in a time in which synthetic rose oil is ubiquitous.
Throughout school, I kept dreaming of becoming a scientist. The idea of contributing in some way to unveiling nature’s secrets was the most exciting job I could imagine. Following my dream, I graduated from university and earned a doctoral degree in chemistry. Experimenting in the lab, I was gradually discovering the endless possibilities the science of chemistry offered in my field of interest, plant polymers. Together with colleagues at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, we registered six patents.
While trying to find a solution how to address heavy metal pollution by creating natural materials (cellulose), I was closely following scientific publications on soil pollution, and the growing problem with plastics disposal. Once, while travelling to Prague, I visited an organic store for the first time and realised that there were alternatives to our synthetic additives laden food and cosmetics. A key moment which made me wish to know more. Question upon question, I came to the “how” and “why”. How do we make our food, our cosmetics, our clothing, how do we build our homes? Why do we make and consume plastics, is life even imaginable without them?
And the more I read the more I became convinced that adopting the principle of Cradle to Cradle and redesigning our way of making stuff was the only way to solve the gigantic problems of pollution, solid waste, and unsustainable use of resources.
Slowly I came to the conclusion that time was ripe for a new challenge into which I could put not only rigorous scientific mind but my heart as well. Finding a way to apply my knowledge for the improvement of humans’ and nature’s health felt as a logical step forward in the course of my academic work as well as my personal development.
Together with my husband Dr. Ivan Ginev, descendant of a family who had cultivated precious Rosa Damascena for generations, we decided to start doing what we were best at – making essential oils and flower waters. Thus we created an authentic Bulgarian brand for aromatherapy and phytotherapy. ARMINA – organic, authentic, with cause.
The brand provided an opportunity to invest our combined experience and expertise in a business contributing to preserving medicinal and aromatic plants. From the very beginning, the essence of the brand was focused on retrieving long lost traditional knowledge while applying up-to-date, evidence-based science. This opened new horizons allowing for sustainable farming practices and sustainable production methods.
Ivan’s family expertise in rose cultivation dates back three generations. Here in this picture from 1938 from left to right: his uncle (a sailor); his grandfather (a farmer); his father (a musician); his aunt; his grandmother (a housewife).
ARMINA’s purpose is to help create a world in which people have access to information and resources they need for making the best ethical and healthy choices for their families and the environment. We realize that this cannot happen in the short run but we are sure that we can achieve it.
Hence, ARMINA is a health and beauty company which focus will always revolve around providing consumers with products meeting the highest standards of 100% food-based, safe and certified organic. Honesty at every step of the production process helps us keep our feet firmly on the ground and curiosity enables us keep up with times. And sometimes even be ahead of them.
And we love what we do. Working together with farmers we are helping them secure their livelihoods. Making high quality organic products we continue educating consumers while offering them genuine, sustainable products. And deep in our hearts, we have remained scientists. The curiosity, which was such a vital part of our work as scientists, is still driving us toward exploring unchartered lands. Our latest adventure is already in the pipe. Stay tuned for new updates.
Eng. Svetla Nikolova, PhD – ARMINA founder and CEO