Entrepreneurs often talk about the hard work, the brilliant idea or the lucky break that was the secret of their success - but rarely do they talk about love.
But in the case of Greek pharmacists Nikos and Niki Koutsianas it was the love between them that led to the creation of their company Apivita.
The company, which makes natural cosmetics using bee products and Greek herbs, was officially founded in 1979.
But Niki says the story really began seven years earlier when she met her now husband for the first time.
The key ingredient for Nikos was propolis, a natural resin gathered by bees from the bark and leaf buds of trees, which they then use to protect and maintain their hives.
He combined this with herbs to make natural products for skin and hair, but he never thought of the commercial possibilities.
"If it wasn't for Niki, my wife, I would have never gone ahead with creating a business and establishing the business because I was more into the philosophical part of what I was doing," says Nikos, who was influenced by the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, "the father of Western medicine".
It was Niki who came up with the idea for the firm's very first product to sell - a black antibacterial soap that combined propolis with thyme....To get the business started, she acted as a door-to-door saleswoman, going from pharmacy to pharmacy with a wooden box of the soaps - a process she acknowledges was "very, very, very difficult".
However, the real breakthrough for the business came when they decided to export their products. Previously they had only sold their products to other pharmacies. But with the move abroad, they also decided to open standalone shops for the brand. Starting with Spain, they slowly expanded, and now export their products to 14 countries.
Now, with their products now selling strongly in their home country as well as abroad, they have built their own factory, a short distance outside Athens. And they have opened a large shop in the centre of Athens with its own spa and cafe.

The above is taken from an article with the BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-25124048.
check APIVITA newsletter/blog: http://www.apivita.com/hellas/new/


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    Address The City Hotel, Thessaloniki and the new Apivita Shop: Komnenoi 11 GR-546-24. Thessaloniki - Greece


    Telephone 0030 2155707236 / 0030 2310269421



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