For the first instalment of our Goddess Guide, where we bring you the stories behind some of the most amazing women across our business, we have an insight into the world of Soukeïna Gutierrez, founder of AÏMA, promising start-up of cool Moroccan leather bags, based in France.
This October we are celebrating the Hindu festival of Durga Puja, a festival that pays homage to the Hindu goddess, Durga, and during this time we aim to celebrate and showcase the achievements of our business partners, staff, and customers – all of whom we believe are total goddesses in their own rights.
An environmentally focused businesswoman
Soukeïna is a leather craftswoman, inspired by a mixture of cultures from both shores of the Mediterranean. she imagines pieces with clean and timeless lines. She is a passionate leather goods maker and promotes crafts womanship through handmade pieces whilst combining the know-how of several European countries.
As well as highlighting excellent creative skill through her business, Soukeïna’s business also has an environmental focus. It aims to collaborate with suppliers who respect the environment and the social rights of their employees.
The Italian tanneries from which they source their leather are subject to European legislation on Classified Installations for the Protection of The Environment (ICPE). These standards are among some of the most demanding in the world.
The brand also aims to reduce their carbon footprint, and with 100% European production they considerably reduce the distance between their workshops, and the consumers dressing room.
At Bags of Ethics we are proud to work with many female-led start-ups, and support them in helping to create sustainable bags and packaging for their brands, especially when they share our same passion for helping to protect our planet.
“I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur”
We asked Soukeïna a few questions about her journey in starting a female-led business, and about what being a goddess means to her:
Can you tell us a little bit about your business and what you do?
AÏMA is a top-of-the-range leather goods brand. All AÏMA products are entirely made in Europe. The bags are entirely made of leather from the outside to the inside lining.
Who or what inspired you to start it?
I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. It was during a trip to Vietnam that I decided to get into leather goods. I first fell in love with the material, leather, before falling in love with the craft of leatherworker.
Have you faced any challenges as a woman in business?
I encountered difficulties as an entrepreneur but not as a woman entrepreneur. Not more I think, than any other entrepreneur.
If you could give other women one tip to help them embrace their inner goddess, what would it be?
Go for it. It’s easy to say but not easy to do. You should not hesitate to “take the plunge” and you quickly realise that all the insecurity you fear is mainly something that society has built.
Soukeïna shows us that self-belief is so important when taking a step into the world of entrepreneurship – believing in your own capabilities as a woman will help you to achieve great things.
This is just one story of many from some of the incredible women that we get to work with. Keep your eyes peeled over the coming days and weeks to hear more inspiring words from other women who we think are complete goddesses.
We will also be sharing more stories on our Instagram, so make sure you’re following @bagsofethics.