#05 A word with Sara Kyurkchieva, ORPHEUS founder

by Amelia Roman

Sara Kyurkchieva is an artist with a degree in art and design from Parsons & Central Saint Martins. Sara lived in Geneva, Paris, London, parts of Asia, and New York— yet she never lost sight of her roots. ORPHEUS was founded not only as a passion project to heal her skin but also as an effort to preserve and promote Bulgaria’s biodiversity.

Sara’s story began in the mystical far-away land of Bulgaria, “the land of roses,” where potent herbs, resilient flowers, and mythical forest creatures inhabit its verdant mountains. From an early age, this inspirational place infused Sara with a deep passion for all that is magical in the natural world. Her curiosity for the secret powers of botanicals eventually led her into the realm of science-based, plant-powered skincare.

For years, Sara suffered from hypersensitive, reactive skin. She searched for skincare that was gentle yet potent. She then came across the Orpheus resurrection and fell in love with the romantic legend, the beauty, and resurrection properties of the flower. She decided to bring the flower’s rejuvenating powers to the world. ORPHEUS was born. 

You’ve gotten quite a few awards! That’s impressive, congrats! Did you always know you wanted ORPHEUS to be an award winning skincare product? Or did it just sort of happen?

Thank you! It sort of just happened… we are honored to have won 5 global beauty awards since we launched in 2020. 

The first two awards we won I felt like… “ok we are onto something special”. The next two awards won for the serum reflect our ethos for creating clean, sustainable, innovative, bioactive products.

We started with a mission; I didn’t think of winning awards. We were over the moon when we got our first awards. It felt like a global recognition. We created something unique which was acknowledged by leading experts in the industry. This made us even more passionate.  

Since then, we won several awards with each of our products. 

You mention you personally struggled with skin issues, do you think this personal factor influenced the way you work with the company?

 My personal skin-healing journey is my biggest inspiration behind creating ORPHEUS. 

I was exposed to the beauty industry through my family beauty business. My passion for beauty sparked from very early age as I was suffering from hyper-reactive, sensitive skin since I was a baby.

8 years ago, I directed one of my family global skincare brands, was the worst time for my skin, it was horribly inflamed, so I began my journey of self-healing. 

I searched for skincare gentle yet potent. I went to world-famous dermatologists, I did treatments, nothing provided long-term results. These fixes relied on harsh products that only worked short-term. I grew cautious and worried of toxic ingredients. 

I took the matter in my own hands and started from scratch. The first step was to strip down my skincare to bare minimum then slowly introduce products and understand how my skin felt best using what type. 

 Luckily, our lab was available. My skin needed a serious boost, after constant inflammation. Research taught me it needed support and protection. I focused on using antioxidants, polyphenols and gentle, clean botanical extracts, which result in repair and support of the skin barrier. This is how all our products have been developed: they rebuild and straighten the skin barrier over time, unlike most brands on the market, which use harsh ingredients that disrupt the skin barrier to provide immediate results but damage the skin over time. 

That’s when I discovered the Orpheus Resurrection flower along with a scientific data sheet on the flower’s proven benefits. I instantly fell in love with the romantic legend, the beauty, and the plant’s transformative healing and regenerative properties. I collaborated with an expert team of scientists who had accomplished decades of research on the rare flower. Along with this passionate team, I connected with the world’s leading biotechnology experts in plant stem cells, we created ORPHEUS and I was able to heal my skin.

ORPHEUS is nature and science driven, how would you say it sets you apart from other skincare lines?

Our unique ingredient and the proprietary bioactive complex: the Orpheus Flower Cell Peptide Complex. ®

The Orpheus Flower is one of the most resilient botanicals in the world, abundant in powerful skin healing polyphenols. A magical flower with mythological roots and a remarkable ability to naturally recover skin's resilience to heal, replenish and rejuvenate.

I fell in love with this botanical because of its beautiful romantic legend (being born out of Orpheus tears when he lost his beloved wife) its properties and chemistry as a flower – abundant in powerful polyphenols which allow it to protect and regenerate itself. And cherry on the cake: it’s native to my homeland! 

The bio complex is proven to increase critical DNA gene repair by 118%, increasing the production of collagen type.

The star ingredient of our line is a rare protected species. Sustainability is at the core of our brand. We partnered with advanced biotechnology experts and scientist who studied the plant for 20 years, it’s been a long journey to bioengineer a pure, potent, and high-efficacy complex cultivated sustainably.

A lot of work went into research. Do you have ongoing research for new products? 

It took 4 years of research and development. Orpheus is an advanced bioactive skincare line rooted in biotechnology innovation. We take our time to test each product, until it’s perfect. For the newest product, our Resurrection Serum Slip Cleanser, it took three years to develop the formula. We couldn’t be prouder!  

How do you see ORPHEUS evolve in the near future?

We are working on a few innovative skincare products to complete the Resurrection collection and soon, we are going to tap into bioactive make up and body serums! Stay tuned...

What do you like most about being a woman at the head of a company in the biotech world today? 

I love that my team is mostly women. We’re all passionate.

What brought WESH + ORPHEUS together? I mean why does it make sense for you to have your products on these shelves?

The story between Wesh and Orpheus is a very beautiful one. Nesrine and I have been friends for a long time, it’s special to grow and create with good friends. I love Nessy’s focus on quality and unique selection of modern, innovative brands. It was obviously a good fit for us to be on her shelves. 

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