Thank you so much On Duty Magazine, for naming co-founder Christina Stahl as one of their inspiring women. On Duty Magazine is an online platform for working women. A place where fashion meets business. Visit Ondutymagazine.com or read the article right here:
Christina, Founder, AMELI Zurich
Let us introduce to you the new handbag brand AMELI Zurich, founded by Christina. A brand dedicated to closing the gap for working women, offering products made with fair working conditions, a transparent supply chain and which contributes to better sustainability. We have recently interviewed Christina, the founder of AMELI Zurich. Read how it all started, her journey and what the future will bring.
The Story Of AMELI Zurich
Why did you want to start a Luxury Fashion Brand?
To be honest, my parents have their own business and I never wanted that for myself. I think I started anyway because of the right timing, a good partner by my side and a high frustration level paired with the desire to actually change something. With AMELI, I feel we can not only provide business women with the tools they need but also close a gap, as there are only little brands that really adapted to the role of a working woman.
What made you specialize in bags for working women?
During my 4,5 years in consulting, I used up four different bags. All didn’t satisfy my needs: storage for laptop, large enough, can be closed and can be attached to the luggage AND looks good. Through discussions with my collegues I realized that I am not the only one struggling. And the feedback we received so far confirms that it was the right decision.
Tell us more about you and how it all started.
I was always interested in fashion, studied Fashion Management, did some internships in the Fashion Industry before I switched to Consulting, where I mainly advised customers in consumer goods and fashion. Consulting is a very male dominated world and you work long night shifts for a client’s project. This made the idea of working for something of your own and also seeing the result more and more attractive. Then came the pandemic, everything slowed down and me and my co-founder thought: Ok, let’s give it a try!
What kind of difficulties did you face while starting your Brand?
We developed our first prototype with a supplier near Florence. On paper everything seemed very convincing. Long tradition in manufacturing leather bags, family business and so on. Once we had our first physical meeting and the manufacturer was not willing to show us the workplaces of the workers we knew it was not the right partner. Therefore, we had to start from 0 and search for a new partner that shared our values. Looking for a new partner and developing a new prototype cost us time and money. However, it was totally worth it!
What was one of your best accomplishments with AMELI?
Finding a leather artisan that perfectly shares our values: Craftsmanship, Transparency and Integrity. It was the result of assessing over +100 manufacturers in Europe and Asia. I am very grateful for the accomplishment because it was such hard work and we can now offer our products with a clear consciousness, because our handbags are made with fair working conditions, we have a very transparent supply chain and source all the materials from Italy and the high-quality allows for longevity contributing thus to better sustainability.
What is the message behind the brand?
"We are a brand for striving women."
We provide the products women need, the content to further develop and the support to have equal chances through our donations. Thereby, we stay true to our values of craftsmanship. transparency and integrity.
What makes AMELI so unique?
First and foremost our products. Incredible high quality at a reasonable price serving the working women. However, we wanted to push it further by donating 5% of our profits to women’s education. We believe education is the key to equality and want more women to have the chance to get a seat at the table.
What is your ultimate goal and what are the next steps for AMELI?
I want to develop AMELI from “that start-up” to a cool, established brand, that goes further than bags: I dream of producing the whole set of workwear essentials and powerdresses. But for that to come true, I just hope that we will further grow and be profitable. That is my utmost wish: That we can keep going with AMELI for ever! I love the work we are currently doing and can’t imagine doing something else again.
The next step is to reach more people and convince them of the value of our bags. We have planned some new products, a pop-up stores in Munich, a launch event in Zurich, co-operations with fashion platforms, so there is a lot planned and we are excited for every step on the journey.