escaped to the United States from Bulgaria at the adventurous age of 17, eventually settling in the fishing village of Montauk,
New York. Considered an 'enemy of the State' for leaving
his then Communist ruled homeland, he was unable to return home for even a visit under penalty of death. When the
Soviet Union fell, he was finally re-united with his family after three long decades.
A natural entrepreneur with a genuine desire to assist
his countrymen in their goal to achieve economic development George created East End Imports. The company imported aromatic
raw materials, in particular the precious world-renowned Bulgarian Damask Rose Oil. One year later he introduced BULGAR
a natural skin-care line based on the essences of lavender and roses, manufactured exclusively for him by the award-winning
Bulgarska Rosa Distillery.
1997, Donna Woldin, in search of a source for Bulgarian rosewater saw his advertisement in a resource book while on
train headed to Montauk for a weekend of sun and fresh sea air. She phoned the number for BULGAR. And that was
that. Two soulmates found each other.
In January of 2000, George
introduced Donna to his family in the town of Bansko high in the Pirin mountains. There, she was touched by the
extraordinary hospitality, kindness and joy of the people in spite of the obvious financial crisis they were in.
She fell in love with the handwork of the artisans, in particular the traditional hand-painted pottery and hand-spun weavings.
During the plane-ride home, she speculated on a way to support the local crafts. George, ever
the fellow to make magic and the ability to materialize on a wish and a prayer, turned that thought into a 40 foot long container
filled with their 'treasures from a hidden culture.' A quickly constructed two-car garage was used
to sell the ceramics locally. Solely by word of mouth, the garage soon emptied. Needless to say a commercial
warehouse was immediately found.
The debut of BULGAR to the Market was at the August 2001
International Gift Show in New York City. Buyers from a broad range of venues filled the booth continually, further
securing the Hadjipopov's commitment to continue. This enthusiastic response to BULGAR's treasures
has continued through the years and we are honored to have been featured in most design/fashion/lifestyle magazines including
Vogue, Elle Decor, House & Garden, Traditional Home, Marie Claire and many more. Our clients have included
leading tastemakers and artists including Bunny Williams, Michael C Smith, Carlos Mota, Nina Garcia, Carolina Irving, Anh
Duong, Rita Wilson & Tom Hanks, Bette Midler, Rufas Wainwright and so many other lovers of hand crafted beauty.
Bulgaria has a rich history that goes back as far as ancient Thrace. The passing of the centuries has
married a complexity of cultures that we here in the West know so little of. Bulgaria truly is
a hidden culture. We invite you to join our journey
with Treasures from a hidden culture.