DOMA is a skincare range with conscious ingredients and real results.
Expert-founded, innovative, age-supporting skincare for rejuvenated, luminous skin.
How did it all begin?
DOMA was founded in February 2019 when I met my first formulator and my journey of creating real products began. DOMA in Bulgarian means ‘at home’ – you are at home in your own skin and feel safe and protected. Also, it is an amalgamation of my name – Donna Maneva.
As a facialist of 18 years, running a high-end clinic from my central London address, my dream was always to create a product that combined high performing natural ingredients whilst being effective enough to slow the signs of ageing. I wanted to develop my own skincare range that marries ancient skincare knowledge with the latest scientific discoveries. My mindful quest took me around the world discovering long sought-after skincare secrets, which I applied directly into creating DOMA.
What sets your business apart?
If we apply the right products to the skin, we can unlock the mechanism of self-repairing and constant rejuvenation. I was inspired by my clients’ skincare concerns to create my own range of products to address a multitude of issues, without layering and overwhelming the skin. DOMA includes high quality, natural, and organic ingredients based on science and old traditions, specifically designed to give all the necessary tools for the skin to perform and stay young and healthy.
What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?
I discovered youthfulness has three key elements – hydration, cellular repair, and a young mindset! Ageing skin has reduced wound healing capacity and increased water loss as well as having to constantly defend itself against environmental aggressors, so I wanted to create a skincare formula that helped maintain optimum skin barrier function and protect against age related dysregulation. My passion for my work, the trust of my clients in me, and my love and gratitude to nature, which is protecting and healing, helped inspire me on the road to creating DOMA. Ultimately, I wanted to create a skincare line that I could use on my clients in a professional capacity that rivalled all the brands I currently use and one that could be purchased by my clients to use at home to maintain their skincare regime between treatments.
Where to next/What is your brand vision?
We have another product that is just about to launch- our Night Elixir, which is a healing and repairing serum. We also have two more products in the production pipeline. I will continue creating products needed to restore the balance between our skin and nature. I am constantly inspired by my clients so it will be an ongoing journey.
What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?
I love to help people achieve their optimal healthy skin and I have love for my mission.
Share an example of early life that has shaped you?
I grew up listening to stories of my great-grandmother, who was a renowned herbalist and a healer in her small village. From a young age, I was fascinated by the healing powers of plants and the knowledge my great- grandmother possessed. As I grew older and started my beauty business journey, I spent a long time studying different plants and their medicinal properties for the skin. My dream was to find the right plants and create a magic formula to heal the skin from the sickness of ageing. I was travelling around the world in search of old local secrets for potent plants that could help my project. I gathered my treasures and by using my intuition, I created a formula and prepared my first cream. I started distributing it to my clients and to my amazement, the cream worked wonders.
Highlights of your business journey so far?
Longevyouth Cream is DOMA’s first product and in my opinion a key foundation product for the rest of the range. Longevyouth Cream is packed with natural ingredients that I ‘hand-picked’ to play specific roles in delivering cellular energy, stimulating cell growth and collagen production, whilst balancing the skin’s microbiome and encouraging wound healing for smooth, hydrated skin. It has a wonderful, unique, mousse-like texture, which is suitable for all skin types even sensitive skin. It possesses a lightweight, airy consistency, and yet, leaves skin feeling deeply nourished, energised and illuminated. It’s an all encompassing cream, which provides the skin with all the tools it needs to perform at its best.
Key lessons you have learned along the way?
To trust my intuition. To have a plan but be flexible as well. To not be afraid to ask for help.
Best piece of advice you have received?
I asked my business coach how I can find the right connections for my business and he suggested that I should look into my own resources. Once I started checking my network, amazingly I was able to find the best people for the job. The universe always connect us with the right people at the right time to support and complete our mission.
Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?
-You are unique and do not compare or compete with others. Embrace, cherish, and use your uniqueness. – Do one more sale / call at the end of the day – Be gentle with yourself and always find a way and time to recharge and empower yourself with time and appreciation. -Do not fear failure as failures are our greatest teachers.
What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?
I started with my own money. I chose to develop the first stage of the brand and then to reach for an investor.
Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?
My first challenge was when my first formulation chemist left the project as she had to take another job career. I had to finish the formula, mix the cream at my own kitchen, find all the steps to test it and make it legal. Everything was new and enormously challenging for me. I have learnt along the way to trust myself and learn to believe that I can do everything I set my mind on. I had many other challenges after, but learning that initial lesson to trust myself, helped me understand that there is always a solution and I just need to find it. Along the way, I also used a wonderful business coach, which is something I would recommend to anyone starting a business.
Why is it important to support women-led business?
We still live in a society where people keep referring to quotes like “Behind every successful man there is one woman.” Women are still considered as cheerleaders instead of frontline players. I am not saying that we shouldn’t be supporting of others here, whether that’s a man or a woman. What I am saying is that women are equally important and capable of being business leaders and entrepreneurs. Women need to build the muscle of believing in themselves by stepping in and taking their roles as leaders . We need to support and elevate each other in order to achieve our dreams and we need to take a place of leadership, which has been denied to us for a long time. It takes effort and repetition to get rid of old behaviours and beliefs, but it is absolutely achievable.
My inspiration is...
finding a cure for ageing.
My greatest fear is...
fears are not a good friend. I am using them for energy to push through instead.
The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is...
twenty three years ago, with one suitcase, no job, and no clear plan, but armed with a strong desire to find my destiny, I followed my intuition and left my home country to move to England.
taking a day off in the middle of the week and doing what I want to do.
Mantra you live by?
everything comes to me at the right time with the right purpose.
Female role model?
my grandmother, Claudette Colvin, Coco Chanel.
Women-led brand you love?
there are many but only a few to mention - Monica Vinader, Spanx, Missoma, Jo Malone.
Top productivity tool?
focus, persistence, and love for what I do.
DOMA Cosmetics has created a SPECIAL OFFER exclusively for Women's Chapter Members