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What The Papers Say!

The Woman Who Went From a Career in Finance to Fighting for Better Health in Babies

Marinela Stanislavova was born in Pernik, studied at the Economic High School in the city because from an early age she realized that she wanted to pursue a career in finance. After watching the famous movie, Wall Street, she became determined to one day work in the New York Stock Exchange. Years of hard study studying including taking private lessons, finally allowed her at 17 to leave Bulgaria and finish her education in the USA at John Jay College, where she studied finance and economic analysis for the next four years.

 

 

During this time, she worked two waitress jobs to pay for her tuition and support herself. With a lot of determination, and great support from her family, she gained her degree and was selected for an internship at one of the Wall Street companies. On her first day she realised that maybe her dream would turn into a nightmare. “I was of course totally nervous. But the most stressful thing was that across the floor of over 100 people there was not a single woman in a brokerage position, only 3-4 girls who worked as assistants or at the registry,” Marinela says. Her six-month internship was to help a broker. But the real challenge was yet to come, in order to become a broker she would require a license to practice. These are awarded after passing a number of important exams. And in preparation for this license, you need to be sponsored by a large company from the Stock Exchange.

 

 

She completed her internship and to her great fortune was taken on by Morgan Stanley, one of the top five financial companies in the world. “They sponsored me to pass the broker certificate exams. It was a 12 month program, and during the first 3 months you have to pass the exams for a trading license. Then you go through 6 months of training and then another 3 months in which you have a revenue target for each month. For example, to attract a certain number of clients and funds, such as investments, to have their own portfolio to manage. I felt so lucky and threw myself into the opportunity completely.”

After going through this training period, Marinela, along with about 150 people recruited from all over America, were stationed just outside New York. The training was intense, like you see in those army movies, but this time it was more mental fitness rather than physical. one of the tests towards the end of the program was putting what you had learned into practice. We were subjected to practical examinations, which were filmed and viewed by all the other trainees with actors presenting themselves as clients that you need to persuade to invest. You needed to gather all the information about them, then design a portfolio according to what they had and what risk profile they were comfortable with.”

After passing through the training Marinela like all the others was put on probation. a period during which it was sink or swim. each person was given a monthly target, an amount they needed to secure in deposits from new clients. The figure increased every month, and if someone doesn’t meet the target, for example, 5 million in a month, they were fired. They didn’t hold onto anyone unless they were effective. “I don’t know if it was just good luck, or hard work, but I was making my numbers.  I felt like I was projecting what I wanted to happen and it was happening. It was a very important moment in my life,” Marinela says.

At that time, she began to travel internationally, both for work and pleasure, to the Middle East, Europe and Asia. “I fell in love with Singapore from the first moment we went on a business trip. I applied for a position as a Capital Management Adviser at Morgan Stanley and made plans to transfer to Singapore. It was another exciting opportunity, to work in South East Asia’s economic and financial hub.”  she recalls. Unfortunately, after she arrived in Singapore early 2015, she was clearly pregnant and the plan to join Morgan Stanley didn’t work out. However fate intervened, and she was able to meet with representatives of the Swiss bank UBS, who offered her a job which we would be able to start after the birth of her son. “Life in Singapore was lovely, wonderful food, great weather, friendly people, and an ideal hub for visiting all the neighbouring countries. We almost traveled every weekend. The only downside was the air pollution.” While she was pregnant with her second child, she experienced a lot of health problems because of the contaminated air. She ended up in hospital with pneumonia and after her baby was born he too suffered a number of issues from breathing difficulties to skin rashes.

 

 

At first it was hard to understand the cause, but following multiple visits to different specialists in Singapore and New York, Marinela began to piece the evidence together. From her research she established that both her boys had developed health problems from being exposed to air pollution. This was the moment when she decided to create a product that protects newborns and babies in the first months from environmental aggressors. Working with a design studio in Singapore, she created a unique stroller that encapsulated the baby with a filtration system. After it proved too expensive to bring the design to market, she went back to the drawing board and reimagined the concept. Working this time with a UK agency she developed the Universal Environmental Protection System that fits on any stroller protecting against dirty air, ultraviolet rays, viral and bacterial infections. There are sensors to indicate how much oxygen is inside and an alarm alerts warns of poor quality air. The product has passed through the protype and testing phases and is no awaiting production once the travel restrictions are lifted in China.

While the baby breathing product was being developed Marinela also focused on another concept, skin care designed for women to use when pregnant. “in Singapore and through travelling the region, I learned that many Asian women give up painting their nails or dying their hair and even their skincare products when they discover they’re pregnant. this got me thinking about creating products that we designed specifally for use at this time.”

After teaming up with medical partners in the USA, UK and ultimately Switzerland Marinela researched, formulated and is now launching BubbaSkin a dedicated line for women to use before, during and after pregnancy. “My objective was simple. To create a skincare range that was full of goodness, with ingredients your body needs without anything that might be harmful to the baby. I didn’t want the products to just be safe, I wanted them to be beneficial. Bubbaskin is a healthy alternative skin care line with formulations that are proven to be safe and most important was to make sure they were effective so they delivered the results women want.” Marinela explains. She’s starting with a hydrating Face Cream, and shortly afterwards they are introducing an Eye Serum and Purifying Clay Mask. All the products are formulated and made in Switzerland and each product is endorsed by medical professionals from all over the world.

So what’s next for this lady from Bulgaria who started life in finance before becoming a wellness entrepreneur. “I’m very excited to see how BubbaSkin performs, they are products I hope women will really love using. We’re starting with face and body products and maybe we’ll create a line for baby at some point. I’m committed to helping women understand more about how being exposed to pollution and other toxins can impact their bodies and their babies. And I can’t finish the interview without saying that I feel a great debt to Bulgaria for starting me on this path with a sound education and to my parents for allowing me to follow my dreams. I hope to have the opportunity to repay this by supporting my country as it looks to compete more in international markets. We have so much to offer, and it surprises me how little people know about our culture and the resources we can offer. I believe we need to think through what brand Bulgaria stands for and how to better promote it around the world. I hope to help in some way.

TRANSLATED FROM AN ARTICLE THAT APPEARED IN COSMOPOLITAN BULGRIA:

http://www.cosmopolitan.bg/krasota/misiia-jena-putiat-na-goliamata-pobeda.html

 

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