Achim Bayerl originally from Munich, Germany, moved to Bulgaria back in 1997. Back then he visited the country in his capacity as a management consultant. He had no intentions of staying longer than his business trip would allow.
Starting a business
He remembers the beginning well. It was the early years after the fall of communism in Bulgaria. The economy was crushed by hyperinflation and a banking crisis. Who would have thought this was a suitable environment to start a business? The average wage in the country was low and most of the existing businesses were not providing safe and fair working arrangements.
Now fast forward 24 years and Achim is leading one of the top clothing businesses in Bulgaria. BTB Bulgaria has built a successful enterprise offering a wide range of womenswear. They run the entire product cycle starting from the design and development of the models, sourcing their textile, and manufacturing. Achim employs more than 700 individuals in his factory in Ruse.
Despite tough competition from other neighbouring markets like Romania and Turkey, Achim is successfully trading his own brand “Vayana” in Bulgaria and Romania, as well as exporting to Germany, Sweden, and Spain under arrangements with global brands like s’Oliver, H&M, and Peek & Cloppenburg.
Love for horses
Along with running his business in Ruse, he also has a passion for endurance horse riding and competes at an international level. This sport involves extreme distances across breath-taking landscapes, and it proves to be a test of mind and body. Both the athlete and equine welfare are important. Together with his horse, Carsal Hahri, Achim represented Bulgaria in the endurance race in 2017 in Turda, Romania where he won second place. He is training and looking after his horses in the village of Tabachka situated south of Ruse.
He moved to the same village with his family and built a horse farm back in 2012. Achim is commuting daily to Ruse for work but enjoys a quiet and peaceful life in the countryside. His herd is made of 30 horses and 15 ponies. His training regime is strict, and it could take between 2 and 3 hours of riding every day. Both the horse and the rider need to exercise often to keep fit given the gruesome 80km typical race distance. Achim appreciates these lovely animals deserve the best nature could offer, which is why the German choose Tabachka for his base.
Life in Tabachka
The village is situated in a gorge next to the river Cherni Lom. It is known for its karst hills surrounding the area. Many large and small caves are dotted around and the area is popular for rock climbing. The place where the village of Tabachka is located has been inhabited for thousands of years. Prehistoric finds dating back to 4300 BC have been discovered in the Vodna Cave. The medieval town of Cherven is also nearby, famous for the remains of a fortress inhabited during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom between the 12th and 14th centuries.
Back in 2017 students from Ruse University and people from the area have embarked on an initiative called “Together for Tabachka” aiming at promoting the area’s natural beauty and opportunities for sport and tourism. Small donations have made a big difference in and around the village. There are now signs and maps indicating the location of all the attractions, as well as benches for the tourists to rest while exploring the amazing village.