Our interview today is with Olena Vlasenko, Founder of MIRAI Flowers. Her brand handles the delivery of natural flowers, treated with a 100% eco-friendly, plant-based, biodegradable, non-toxic process that allows them to preserve their blooming appearance for up to a year.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
I'm a passionate nature lover and a mother. Since childhood, I have had a genuine love for flowers. I was born in Ukraine, and with the economic situation of my country at the time, I decided to pursue a "safe" career in finance. Following a degree in Economics and a first master's degree in Banking, I worked at Ernst & Young and then did an MBA at SDA Bocconi in Milan. Then for more than ten years, I worked in fashion, in strategic planning for brands such as Yoox, La Perla, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Valentino. After becoming a mother, I abandoned my career in fashion and moved from Milan to the countryside near Bologna. Being in nature again and spending time with my daughter led me to explore a new connection with the environment. I felt the need to find new sustainable solutions to improve our daily lives.
What is Mirai, and how was it created? What inspired you?
In this new chapter of my life, as a mother living in the countryside, I grew the desire to create my own business, more in line with the current evolution of my life.
During the pandemic, I saw images of the destruction of unsold flowers worldwide, and I started thinking of a sustainable solution to buy flowers. At this time, I discovered the beauty of naturally preserved flowers, fell in love with them, and in December 2020, MIRAI Flowers was born.
Suddenly I realised something simple and basic; everything comes from nature. EVERYTHING! What we eat, drink, breathe, wear, drive. We should all be doing all we can to preserve our planet. It's not as hard as you think it is to be "green". Our motto is "saving the planet, one flower at a time". Did you know that preserved flowers are 100% eco-friendly and biodegradable flowers with no use of chemicals and intoxicants!? The lifespan of the preserved flower is at least 50 times greater than that of a fresh flower, allowing waste reduction. 80% of preserved flowers are imported by boat. The plant's lifespan enables us to use a way of transport that reduces our impact on the environment.
How are your flowers preserved?
MIRAI's flowers, leaves and berries are preserved through stabilisation. The stabilisation treatment is carried out on live and freshly harvested plants and replaces the natural sap with 100% biodegradable vegetable glycerin. The stabilised MIRAI flowers are treated with a plant-based, biodegradable, non-toxic preservation liquid. The process allows the flowers to retain their original shape, colour, touch and feel, and it's able to maintain their authentic beauty for over a year. Thanks to this treatment, the compositions are also suitable for allergy sufferers.
How can we best take care of your creations?
To keep your preserved and dried flowers looking fresh and natural as long as possible, consider the following tips:
- Please, no water: these flowers do not require watering
- Avoid direct sunlight: dried flowers will naturally fade over time, particularly if kept in direct sunlight. This is part of their charm, to be enjoyed as much as any other time. But to slow the fade, keep them away from direct sunlight.
- Be gentle: they are fragile and become more fragile as time goes on. You may see some fall out from grasses, some petals or some tiny blooms, but don't despair. You may wish to give them a light dusting over time; hold the back with one hand while you gently dust the front to support fragile stems.
- Temperature: store them in a cool and dry area. The room temperature is perfect for them.
Lastly, but most importantly, refrain from getting them wet.