The Startup Club is thrilled to introduce you to our featured start-up of the week: MANIMA.
Carolina Guthmann, the founder & CEO of MANIMA talks about her luxury brand and shares her start-up journey & challenges she faced as an Entrepreneur.
MANIMA is a luxury lifestyle brand based in Sicily, specializing in unique, high-end products such as home decor, linens, resort wear and wearable art, crafted with the traditional technique of embroidery. The brand uses digital technologies to manage production, source materials sustainably, and connect with artisans globally. Clients participate in the customization process and the brand supports fair wages, training and inclusion programs for women in need. The vision is to expand the sustainable and inclusive model to other forms of local artisanal craftsmanship and offer a 360° service to clients.
Launching a startup requires a lot of planning and preparation. Validates Carolina Guthmann with the response:
"I worked for a long time as an executive in top management roles in multinational companies and felt at a certain point in my career that there was more I wanted and had to give, especially to women who didn’t have the opportunities I had. When I met my husband Piero, he had left his career as an international political TV journalist. Together we decided to join forces, creating our own company that would reflect our deep desire for doing business with a higher purpose. We wanted our own company to be what we feel we are. After a year of research and studies, our brand was born. It merges social impact, technology and female handcrafts in a very unique way."
Carolina, as a start-up founder of MANIMA, faces various challenges in her daily operations. She shares that one of the biggest hurdles is building a talented and aligned team. Identifying the right moment to expand and finding individuals who embody the company's vision and can bring it to life requires a delicate balance between bringing on experienced players and nurturing driven newcomers. Additionally, incentivizing team members beyond a traditional salary can be difficult for a startup with limited resources. Managing cash flow, establishing priorities, and making tough but necessary decisions are other ongoing challenges in the startup world.
She also mentions that convincing investors in the early stages of the project can be a formidable challenge. Despite her conviction in the viability and potential success of a business concept and model, it can be difficult to persuade investors to see the long-term benefits of investing in a venture with slower but sustainable growth and focus on both financial profits and positive social impact. Nevertheless, she remains steadfast in her belief that this approach will ultimately prove more profitability for all involved.
We posed the question about what makes Carolina's entrepreneurial journey fulfilling, to which she replied that: "The autonomy in decision-making and the realization that her actions have a direct impact on her team. The joy of seeing their passion and commitment is the ultimate reward"
The story serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs and is a reminder that with passion, hard work, and determination, it is possible to turn a dream into a successful reality. The Startup Club is honoured to feature Carolina Guthmann and MANIMA. We wish a continued success in her mission to merge social impact, technology, and traditional craftsmanship into a sustainable and inclusive business model."