NOTE FROM THE FOUNDER
“How long will the humanitarian assistance last?” and “How can I get a job when assistance ends?” These are two of the questions that I am often faced with as a humanitarian aid worker. My job with the United Nations World Food Programme has taken me to the Philippines, Egypt, Ukraine, Liberia, Afghanistan, Armenia and the Colombian-Venezuelan border where I saw the beauty and the ugly, the surreal contrast of desperation and hope. In my ten years living out of a suitcase, hopping from one emergency to another, ‘chasing’ conflicts and typhoons, I have seen how hunger and poverty are a vicious cycle, exacerbated primarily by war and natural disasters. When I was working in Afghanistan in 2017, I visited a rose oil factory in eastern Nangarhar province, bordering Pakistan. To my amazement, planting roses had become a viable income for many in the area and an alternative to opium-driven livelihoods. I tried some of the rose oil by adding it to my skincare products and fell in love with its invigorating smell and potent properties.
My skin (and heart) were glowing for months. I was smelling roses in Afghanistan.
I was inspired by this discovery and realized there is so much beauty and opportunities in countries I have worked in, including in Albania where I was born. I decided to start RENA ROOTS™ - a place to celebrate beauty from unexpected places and connect two worlds that seem so far apart. Why not make luxurious, effective products while at the same time help reduce poverty and contribute to peace?
This is our 'drop' towards revealing true beauty, the one that matters.