SAN FRANCISCO and YEREVAN — Many upscale skin care and cosmetic brands now tap into the power of nature, leading to the creation of many creams and potions that not only are gentle on the skin but provide real benefits and smell fresh, without harmful chemicals.
Now, an Armenian brand, Nairian, has jumped into the organic, all-natural, cruelty-free market, and it is aiming for worldwide reach.
Ara Markosian, the CEO and co-founder of Nairian, along with his wife, Anahit, recently spoke more in depth about his latest endeavor. Both he and his wife grew up in Armenia before moving to the US, and both have backgrounds in science.
“The inspiration for Nairian came to my wife when we were taking a family road trip through Southern Armenia. Anahit was very impressed with the biodiversity of the native plants that grew abundantly across the countryside, and thought it was a shame that no one was utilizing this natural treasure. At first the idea to start an all-natural cosmetics company in the highlands of Armenia was voiced jokingly, but the proposal very quickly grew more serious. Then in 2012, it really took shape when we set up an experimental lab in Yerevan where we began a three-year research and development process, trying to understand if the line of cosmetics we envisioned would really be feasible. In 2015, we officially launched the Nairian brand and opened our first store in Yerevan,” Markosian said
“The decision to move back to Armenia was not hard to make. Both Anahit and I had been working as engineers in the tech industry for over 20 years, and we felt it was high time for some change. Since Anahit has a background in physics, the research involved with developing formulas and building a lab was not hard to make. Both Anahit and I had been working as engineers in the tech industry for over 20 years, and we felt it was high time for some change. Since Anahit has a background in physics, the research involved with developing formulas and building a lab was like second nature to her. During my career, I had launched several startups in Silicon Valley and had always worked to build teams in Yerevan to support those initiatives. The opportunity to do this again, to explore a new field that is unusual in Armenia, and in a totally different sphere of business for me, was quite an exciting proposition. I should also add that since both of us grew up in Yerevan, the move was actually a kind of homecoming.”
He added, “In that sense we are a very Armenian brand, we try to source locally as much as possible. In fact, over 70 percent of our ingredients are sourced from within a 100-kilometer radius of our eco-farm, located among the highlands of the Kotayk region in Armenia.