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Schultze recently turned 28 but started the business when she was 25.
ZAAF brought in revenue of 0k last year and has 15 full-time employees and an additional 5-7 part-time employees depending on the season. However, I wanted to know more about Schulze’s company. What was it like for a young woman born in Ethiopia but raised in the U. to start a company that would help people in her home country as well as make a profit? Here’s what she had to say: What have you learned from building a company at the young age of 25?
Abai Schulze [Founder and Creative Director at ZAAF]: It’s been an amazing rough and tumble adventure full of challenges.
I’m lucky enough to have made mistakes that will serve me well for the future (where the stake will be greater) but in a context where missteps are not fatal for the endeavor.
Even then she spoke about her twin passions of fashion and improving life in Ethiopia, the country of her birth. But not long after graduation, Schulze founded ZAAF, a premium leather goods and accessories collection handcrafted by artisans in Ethiopia.
She’s one of a rising tide of African designers, such as Maki Oh from Nigeria, a Aks from Ghana, among others.
Those times in your life when it seems like the odds are stacked against you.
For women who are bravely taking on apocalyptic obstacles big or small, whether you’re pitching in a difficult client meeting, or dealing with a boss who is being a total zombie all while fighting the sub zero chill of office AC, or losing a job or a loved one and making it on your own, the Apocalypse Ready collection of clothing and accessories melds modern form and function so you feel empowered strong and confident enough to take on the day.” The kickstarter campaign notes that “as the daughter of an Ethiopian refugee, Azmara is inspired by world cultures, resilient people, and the generosity of the human spirit, which is why 10% of the brand’s future sales will go to the Women’s Refugee Commission.” View the campaign video below and support her upcoming collection: Forbes How This Ethiopian Fashion Designer Is Using Local Resources And Creating Jobs There’s an odd sense of vertigo when you see a face you recognize in a glossy magazine.
In an economics class full of the standard George Washington University overachievers, she stood out.
It’s also made it very clear that each and every entrepreneurial project I take on is very binary – I either go 120% or not at all.
You shouldn’t be half-hearted about blazing a personal trail or endeavor.
Tadias Magazine By Tadias Staff Published: Sunday, October 16th, 2016 New York (TADIAS) – Earlier this year we featured a profile and interview with Azmara Asefa, an Ethiopian American architect turned fashion designer, whose impressive technology-inspired clothing and accessories (Spring/Summer 2016 collection) were featured last year at Phoenix Fashion Week.
Dubbed as one of 13 best emerging designers in the United States Azmara has launched a kickstarter campaign for her next set of designs which she calls “the apocalypse ready collection” blending “form and function in a collection that empowers women to take on whatever the day throws at them.” Azmara, who was born in Ohio to immigrant parents from Ethiopia, and worked as an architect in London, Ohio, Atlanta, and Los Angeles before embarking in her new venture as a fashion designer says, “We all know that feeling.
Read more at » — Related: Tadias interview with Abai Schulze: Owner of Zaaf Collection, a Luxury Handbag Brand Tadias Magazine By Feven Jembere Published: Thursday, September 29th, 2016 Ethiopia (TADIAS) — A graduate of Australia’s RMIT University where he studied computer science, Markos Lemma, who is the co-founder of iceaddis — Ethiopia’s First Startup Incubator — is one of the leading tech entrepreneurs in Addis Ababa participating in the recent growth of smartphone and internet users as well as technology oriented startups in Ethiopia.