We hear a lot of rich to rags stories and most of them refer to individuals from America who travelled there with a few dollars in their pockets and a lot of big dreams. America does seem the land of possibilities.
Our story in fact is also about a rags to rich stories set up in Portugal. Did you know that the most important chain of beauty spas in Portugal is owned by a Romanian woman? How did this happen?
Mirela Suta has left the town of Satu Mare and moved to Portugal 17 years ago. Her brother already worked in constructions there. Once she arrived she got a job as a dish washer, but after a week she gave up because she wanted something better for herself.
As her brother worked in construction work she proposed to him to set up a construction business. They did not have any money or connections. They worked hard, distributing flyers at night and working in small construction sites during the day. Mirela says that she has learnt how to set up tiles and bricks. They started with construction work in Estoril, where they lived and then they renovated properties. The construction business slowly took off. Together with her family Mirela wanted to set up a construction business in Romania as well, however due to many obstacles she has given up. However, she came up with a new idea to promote Romania.
Mirela wanted to change her field of work and started importing Romanian cosmetic brands like Ana Aslan and Gerovital. The beginnings were hard as most investors or customers did not trust Romanian products, so she needed to explain the story behind Ana Aslan and to grow a confidence in the quality of Romanian products. She has worked hard to promote Romanian products and slowly she has gained customers’ trust. She has had to explain the fact that the treatments that Ana Aslan has developed were used by many celebrities such as Salvador Dali and Charlie Chaplin.
These brands have become well known and popular in Portugal. After becoming an importer of Romanian cosmetics, she has opened the first beauty treatment spa and in a few years it has grown to a chain. These days there are 6 centres in Portugal and her centres focus on weigh loss and anti-aging treatments. Indirectly, her centres also promote Romania as a tourist destination as Mirela has placed many Romanian objects and decorations throughout her centre.
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