Porcelain, jewelry, paintings, all are part of the Wagner universe. Its creators are two sisters, Irina and Ana Wagner who have not given up believing in emotions and stories. Irina is a graduate of Marketing, of an MBA at Open University, and currently deals with management and PR. On the other hand, Ana graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, and from her hands are born true works of art.

Summary:
  • Childhood in a porcelain house: “Transylvania is my beloved place, the cradle of my family. The atmosphere from my grandparents’ house was one of peace and joy. Joy for small things, attention to tradition and beautiful things „
  • At the crossroads, you innovate: “To overcome the crisis of 2008-2010, we have positioned ourselves as an up-market brand. With great sacrifices, we made a qualitative leap of faith which in the long run was in our favor „
  • A craft carried to the rank of art: “We were pioneers in terms of the segment of local manufactures with brand pretensions in Romania. The values that underlie the brand are: the craft carried to the rank of art, originality in design, family and Transylvanian civilization „
A porcelain childhood in Transylvania

The Wagner sisters grew up at their grandparents’ house in Transylvania, where porcelain was highly regarded, nicknamed the white gold. The ceramic material was not missing from the tables of the aristocrats and soon made its way into the routine of family meals. „Transylvania is my beloved place of mind, the cradle of my family. The atmosphere from my grandparents’ village was one of peace and joy. Joy for the little things, attention to tradition and beauty. We were often told memories from our German and Hungarian family ancestry and about the importance of what makes us humane”.

From their Transylvanian universe, the two sisters chose different life paths. Irina started worked in the BNR Club, more precisely in the splendid plane tree’s park in Cotroceni. Everything was as good as could be, but something intervened after 5 years. “Towards the end of my contract, I was working in the finance department and I received the proposal to join the BNR Finance Department as an economist. This opportunity discouraged me because it implied a lot of routine work. I am an extremely creative person and I always prefer going to the area where I can capitalize on this „, said Irina Wagner.

The Wagner universe is taking shape

The fact that Irina was working in the banking field and Ana in the artistic field was not an impediment. Since college, Irina has been close to her sister and has organized exhibitions for her. The two of them complement each other exemplary, which can be seen in the brand they created in 2005. “We have been pioneers in terms of the segment of local manufactures with brand ambitions in Romania. The values that underlie the brand are: the craft carried to the rank of art, originality in design, family and Transylvanian civilization „. The objects made at Wagner Fine Arts are stories inscribed on porcelain. In their creation, hand painting overglaze is used, a technique that has its origins in Ancient China, which arrived in Europe in the 18th century. Irina and Ana did not limit themselves only to doing business, but they undertook the mission of educating the public. „We want to bring art and the artist in the right place because artistic expression is the triumph of freedom. In our classes we explain to children and adults this craft of hand painting on porcelain „, Irina Wagner details.

In 2008, after a series of businesses in the automotive and real estate fields, Alexandru laid the foundations of the first educational platform in Romania. After 12 years, Adservio gathers the largest community of teachers, students, and parents in the country, namely one and a half million. We discussed with Alexandru Holicov about the beginnings, digital education, and solutions during a pandemic.

Summary:
  • During the pandemic, Adservio remains in the service of smart education: “Since the pandemic started, we have offered free access to our platform. Our partner Telekom offered free internet sim cards to all teachers and students who didn’t have „
  • When the results speak for themselves: „Where there is Adservio, absenteeism has decreased by more than 60%, the average grades per school have increased by more than one point, and the results of national tests have improved”
  • About the importance of smart education: “An educated country is harder to manipulate. If you want to build a smart country, then you must have a smart education system. You can’t use the same one hundred years old methods and expect results. „
When one door closes, another opens

Before embarking on his entrepreneurial career, Alexandru Holicov excelled at tennis and knocked down whole kingdoms on the chessboard. Everything was going smoothly, but at 16 the unfortunate happened. „I had an injury and I couldn’t follow my dream anymore. I had to change direction. At the age of 18 and a half, I started doing business in the field of car leasing, then I started to invest in real estate „, Alexandru Holicov told Matricea Românească.

“I had an injury and I couldn’t follow my dream anymore. I had to change direction”

At the age of 22, he decided to improve something around him and chose education. Alongside his cousin and two other friends, he started a new project. They outdid themselves, and in 2009 the Vasile Alecsandri High School in Iași became the first beneficiary. “At the beginning of the platform, the teacher could give grades, mark absenteeism, send messages, and have access to the school’s schedule. Now, Adservio has become a digital school „, Alexandru told us.

Innovation in education

During the 12 years since its establishment, the team went through changes. New modules have appeared, and this has brought notoriety to the market. We asked Alexandru to tell us how Adservio helps school management. „For example, the principal may have an overview of the school he or she manages. He or she can see the activity, can communicate with all parents, teachers, and students. The teacher module allows them to make online lessons with students, to send them homework. We also provide a library with over 1200 books from which teachers can recommend to students”. Adservio has 2 packages. “The first one is called Perfect Simple, through which we offer training, email, and telephone assistance to all teachers and also video manuals, accompanied by online tutorials. Through the second package, More than Perfect, we equip the school with tablets and 4G internet. This is due to a partnership established in 2016 with Telekom Romania „, says Alexandru Holicov. (Perfect simple and more than perfect are two verbal tenses in the Romanian language)

Results

Adservio quickly became one of the top competitors in the field of education, but the authorities didn’t do too much to adapt to the digital world. „Schools that use our platform are still forced to use classic catalogs”. When a teacher enters a note on the platform, it is updated in real-time. The schools that use the platform have eliminated all commissions, reports, they are done automatically. Where Adservio exists, absenteeism has decreased by over 60%, the average grades per school have increased by over one point (in Romania, the grading system is from 1 to 10), and the results of national tests have improved. The team is always looking for the most up-to-date methods in the field of education. “Now we have video webinars, more precisely online training for principals and teachers. Another project is the Educational Cafe, developed in partnership with ARL Romania, where people involved in education address specialized topics. Adservio reduces bureaucracy, brings digitization, automates all processes, and brings technology to education”, Alexandru Holicov specifies.

In 12 years we have reached 200 schools in Romania, and since the beginning of the pandemic the number has exceeded 1000

Adservio also supports education in times of hardship

The pandemic caught the Romanian school system offside. “How to achieve smart education when students travel miles to school, and there they are immersed in the dimness of a small room?”. Alexandru and the team did not forget about these children and jumped to their aid. „Since the pandemic began, we have offered free access to the platform. Our partner, Telekom, offered free sim cards with internet to all teachers and students. Together with several NGOs and companies, we have tried to raise funds and equipment for children who do not have access to devices, „said Alexandru.

Now, Adservio is present only in Romania and the Republic of Moldova, but soon it will be available in Finland, Austria, Hungary, and Germany. At the end of the dialogue, Alexandru Holicov emphasizes once again the importance of smart education. „An educated country is harder to manipulate. If you want to make a smart country, then you have to have a smart education system. You can’t use the same old methods and expect a different result. We need to understand that the lack of digitization sends children back in time. „

The first interactions with the world of perfume appeared early, at the age of just four. Iulia searched her grandfather’s yard for various to discover inviting scents. She did not dream of becoming a perfumer, but the thread of destiny led her to this field. From that candid game, Luviane Atelier de Parfumerie (Luviane: the Perfumery Workshop) would be born later, a business that delights in elegance and refinement. We entered the fragrant universe of Iulia to discuss the beginnings, the passion for the art of perfumery, and the evolution of a brand with an unmistakable scent.

Summary:
  • When the pandemic challenges you to adapt: “During the lockdown, we couldn’t keep the service side open anymore. As for the products, we were quite intuitive and we created sample packages that we put on the site where they can be ordered. In such situations, we have to be creative. Either you are creative, or you are out of business, there is no middle ground „
  • The secret of Luvian perfumes: “A lot of joy and love. The moment I enter the workshop and close the door behind me, I enter a certain state, and that energy is transposed into the perfume. „
  • 100% natural perfumes: „For several years we have been using extracts from rare flowers: hyacinth, lotus flower, but also lavender, jasmine, rose”
Childhood, the sweet smell of grandparents’ yard

”The passion for picking plants came through my family, more precisely from my grandfather.” Later, Iulia began to pick various plants with one purpose: to get a charming smell. “For generations, we have used plants in different combinations in our family (mostly medicinal purposes). But, I didn’t think that this could become a profession, especially since in Romania at that time not much was known about perfumers. For me it was an entertaining activity: I was just macerating and combining „, Iulia-Victoria Neagoe tells Matricea Românească.

I didn’t think that this could become a profession, especially since in Romania at that time not much was known about perfumers


Time passed quickly, and Iulia decided to attend the Faculty of Construction, then a master’s degree in management. She wanted more than that, so she went to Austria to study Biochemistry. „There, the parents of a colleague had a boutique with niche perfumes. I started to discover perfume notes, combinations and I understood the difference between mass market and niche perfumes. In that boutique I understood what artisanal perfume means, I discovered the difference between Italian and French perfumes „, says Iulia.

The secrets of Luvian perfumes

She didn’t want to return to the country anymore, but Cupid’s arrow made the opposite happen. In 2010, Iulia made her first formulas. She didn’t think she was doing anything extraordinary, but those around were fascinated. “Luviane was born in 2013. It was my husband who encouraged me to make it happen. In the first phase, we set up a PFA(fiscal authorized person), because the conditions were more advantageous then and besides, it was a matter of pride because such status also required training in that field. After that, I concluded that it is more appropriate to transform the PFA into a company „, says Iulia-Victoria Neagoe.

The first collection of the brand was Miresme românești (Romanian scents), through which I olfactorily and symbolically captured hypostases from the woman’s life, with the help of well-selected ingredients and graphic elements


The ingredients that Iulia uses in the Luviane laboratory are 100% natural and certified. The fragrances include rare flower essences such as hyacinth, iris, violet, lavender, tuberose, jasmine, rose, etc. With each bottle, Iulia tells a story and invites you to enter a magical universe. “The first collection of the brand was Miresme românești (Romanian scents), through which I olfactorily and symbolically captured hypostases from the woman’s life, with the help of well-selected ingredients and graphic elements. After that, in 2018, I dedicated a collection to Queen Maria, which I titled Queen’s Flowers. Now we have the collection Perfumes of Medicine, a perfume therapy based on the principles of Aromacology that I have been studying for many years, here it is about the connection between perfumery and psychology. If we talk about insomnia, for example, it can be treated with a specially crafted perfume „, Iulia mentions.

About the importance of olfactory education

Entering the market was not easy at all. The fight against mass-market perfumes that have excessive advertising requires a lot of effort. Iulia draws attention and says that this is a lack of olfactory education. „We haven’t had a culture in this field, we haven’t had a history in the area of perfumery. In general, countries that have a history in the art of perfumery also have the right ingredients to create perfumes. In this sense, we initiated olfactory workshops in Luviane where the client comes and makes his perfume formula. The workshop has over 100 ingredients at the client’s disposal to smell and combine according to his preferences, and all this time I tell him or her everything that is needed for the experience to be wonderful and complete „.

The workshop has over 100 ingredients at the client’s disposal to smell and combine according to his preferences


From the moment she sets foot in the workshop and closes the door, Iulia enters a certain state. Creative energy flows through the body and pours into the perfume bottles. At the end of the dialogue, we were curious to find out if, among the smell of chlorine and disinfectants, Romanians still smell. „I would recommend them to still use perfume. If they give up the perfume that brings them well-being, I think things are going down a steep slope. Let’s be careful of the fact that the smells of these disinfectant solutions attack and destroy the olfactory receptors. „