You are blessed when your home inspires you every day to live a better life. When you go to work wearing a smile every morning. When you are surrounded by humans who show you how much you mean to them. I consider myself a blessed person. And I have so many beautiful people to thank as this is not just my story, but it is mine to tell. In a few words.
My beloved parents
They grew up in Germany but my father was longing for α new place to call home. India was always close to his heart, being a Buddhist himself and it was in one of those trips to India that his mentor advised him to search for a place where “West meats the East”. It didn’t take long for Lesvos to find my father. He visited the island following a Tibetan teacher and doctor who visited the island for treatments of ill people.
This is when he first got a glimpse of the light of Lesvos. “The light is here” he expressed to my mother. And that was it. They decided Lesvos would be their home, the home of their children and the beginning of something new. It was that simple and the feeling became a reality.
They moved when my brother, Joschi, was eight and I was just seven weeks old. They created a place to meet and share experiences, to relax and to reconnect to the essential aspects of life, the Milelja Retreat Centre where people from all over the world visit and feel good. And Lesvos offers this wholeheartedly.
Lama Ganchen Rinpoche
I grew up carelessly playing with my friends, in ancient olive groves. Surrounded by people of different cultures and religions. And the sounds of my father’s wind chimes. I was only five when I realised, I wanted to become a «beautician» even though I had no idea of what that meant. All I knew is that I wanted to make people around me feel good. My father’s mentor, Lama Gangchen Rinpoche, was the first to make me understand that the word I chose to become my profession and life goal had a deeper meaning than the one little girls know.
It wasn’t about taking care of a person’s body and skin. But about taking care of that person’s essence, mind, body and soul. And I thought, yes. With a simple action, as massaging the feet of people, I made them smile. I made them feel better for a few moments. Moments of happiness. An incredible idea for a small child to comprehend. But I got it and from then on I knew. I would never want to follow another path.
So I finished high school in Lesvos and left for Germany to study and I did my very best. I got into the world of beauty and cosmetics, massage and my biggest love medical pedicure. I developed my studies and broadened my horizons in Germany but after I got my degree in Cosmetology & Beauty and worked for a year at an acknowledged Institute of Cosmetics, I left for Greece.
I came back to Lesvos because my island was calling for me and I was to. When I was 21 and with the encouragement of my mother I created my own space, my own beauty institute, at Milelja Retreat. The place I grew up and loved. I am so grateful for this.
It is a wonderful thing to have my parlour based in a small magical place where the whole world fits right in. Where I can take care of people I grew up with and people I have never met. Old ladies that I used to play in their yards as a kid and strangers from Nepal, New Zealand, Germany and Japan. People. Meeting some incredible human beings that inspired, advised, guided and taught me. has been the best thing that ever happened to me. The least I can do is mention them in my story and give credit to each one of them.
It was summer and a visitor to our Retreat was Susanne Kehrbusch, a well-known health consultant. She became my mentor and teacher. From her I learned the importance of natural ingredients. She used to say that just as in the old days there were no chemicals in beauty products, so should today. Our daily lessons always ended up under the same old oak tree and I can still remember each word.
The angelic Angela Farmer. Her and her husband Victor own an award-winning yoga school here on Lesvos, and they are both two of the purest people I have ever met. I was always inspired by Angela’s inner power, energy, and simple way of living. With her I learned that “simple” is enough. And I have adopted this not only in my lifestyle, but also in the conception and implementation of my own skincare products.
Mrs. Dora Parisi
Mrs. Dora Parisi with the kindest feelings, Parisian finesse, invaluable knowledge in the local Greek gastronomy and will to pass them on. For over ten years beside her as a culinary student, I learned a lot. To respect our tradition and especially the traditional recipes, to pay attention to the details and never to be content with the mediocre.
The one and only grandma Anna
My husband’s grandmother and the sweetest grandma in the world. I have always had a special love for the elderly. I wanted to pamper them, listen to their stories, their advice for natural medicine, the “secrets” to the old recipes. Grandma Anna taught me the importance of respecting the elderly and accepting their advice for they contain little “diamonds” that should not be lost in time. In her fridge she always had beeswax ointment and her own handmade rose water. Not a day went by that she didn’t generously pass on her knowledge, and it was she that planted the seed that led me to create my own line of herbal cosmetics and products based on the natural wealth of Lesvos. And that’s our vision with my husband George. To help preserve these old recipes and the precious secrets of our grandmothers.
My love for nature and the use of non-toxics in cosmetics and various other products grew stronger when I got pregnant with my son. And I continue with the same passion to learn from the old, to respect nature, to take care of my customers with the purest formulas making sure that each of my service is as unique as they are.