Abai Schulze saw the untapped potential of the Ethiopian leather market and decided to do something about it. After understudying a few companies while working as an intern, Abai started Zaaf, a company that specializes in handcrafted luxury leather handbags and accessories produced by Ethiopian artisans.
Through Zaaf, Abai seeks to create unique products, open up avenues of opportunity for talented local artisans, and promote Ethiopia.
At the core of Abai’s belief is the fact that Africa can also create luxury products and when she was working on branding Zaaf, Abai made sure she portrayed the brand as one exclusively created by artisans with the finest craft, and could compete globally.
“I wanted to show that we are talented, we just need to invest in our own people and we can produce something beautiful,” says Abai.
Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to be passionate about what they are creating because there will be lots of challenges over time.