Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs: Myriam Messahel in Florence

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    With an idea of starting a leather handbags brand, Myriam learned about the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs during a presentation for entrepreneurs. She looked at a small size business that made custom products in leather. She found new brand called VIAJIYU that made customizable leather ballets flats. Myriam contacted the founder of VIAJIYU, Nicole, because Myriam was interested in creating a custom handbag business. VIAJIYU’s mission is to support women in business by connecting trailblazing women from all over the world.

    VIAJIYU opened its first flagship store in Florence, Tuscany, the heartland of leather artisans. Nicole opened the store in Florence almost three years ago to have a place where she could have a contact with the clients and be close to the factories that produce the shoes.

    During the exchange, Myriam discovered all the aspects of the small business. From three people and students working on specific projects like social networks to shipping orders to meeting clients in the shop, the experience gave Myriam a clearer idea of what an  entrepreneur’s daily life is really like. It was an opportunity to discover the time needed to make a shoe, how to inspect it, realize the photo shoot for the website and care about the packaging. Myriam and Nicole worked both on ways to make the brand visible as to design customize shoes for trailblazers who are successful entrepreneurs.

    VIAJIYU is Nicole’s third business, but she says she is an entrepreneur by accident. « We must practice courage, » is one of her favorite philosophies. Nicole is a feminist, who believes it is important women support each other in business.