As part of the series 'Females in Fashion' which can be found online on BOE magazine, I interviewed Michelle co-founder of the gorgeous Helmer handbag brand. Their collection focuses on simple yet exquisite pieces offering a variety of colours using exotic skins and traditional Batik material.
In this article Michelle discusses bestsellers, the ethos of the brand, family values and the qualities needed to be a female entrepreneur in today’s world.
Since the brand carries your last name, can we assume this is a family affair? Tell us about how you started?
Yes absolutely it is a family affair. Helmer started from a brainstorm between my mother Shevanne, sister Danielle and myself. We just wanted to create the perfect bag for the women on the go. Basically a light bag which you can stuff while remaining chic.
Helmer really represents the three of us and also the two generations of women that we are. We wanted to make a brand which both mothers and daughters can wear.
What interested you and your family in handbag making?
We wanted to create a women’s travel companion as we have such a passion for travel and constant search of cultural novelty. We really wanted to create handbags that can accompany you on your own travels, a bag that would embrace craftsmanship, whilst offering a perfect balance between style, functionality, practicality and a fashionable insight into various cultures.
What was your first design?
Our first design was the Jojo bag, which is basically a tote bag with inside a detachable pouch.
Who is your dream client, and why?
Actually our dream clients are families. We love having several generations of women buying and sharing our bags. We put a lot of attention into making our bags as practical as possible, to make them the ultimate bags at any stage of your life.
How do you want women to feel when wearing your bags?
We want women to feel comfortable wherever they are and feel appropriately dressed regardless of the occasion. We designed our bags to make them as versatile as possible whereby one can dress the bag down or up.
What would you be doing if you weren’t designing?
Honestly I think we would still have a family business. We also feel a strong sense of obligation to give back and helping others, so perhaps we would have started our own charity.
What or who inspired your SS18 collection?
For SS18, we got inspired by India and its vibrant colours. So we introduced a lot bold and warm colours to the collections, like bright oranges and pinks.
What do you want people to know about you?
That first of all we are a very close-knit family. But also that we have put so much energy and thought into each bag – in the details of the finishing, design and also in trying to make them as affordable as we can so as many women as possible can experience having a Helmer bag one day. Moreover I think it’s nice for people to know that we work with local artisans in Bali and that by buying a bag they are directly helping communities grow. We truly have made a difference in the past 4 years and can only imagine what more we can do if we keep on growing.
What would you say are 3 qualities every entrepreneur should posses?
I’d say perseverance, organisation and communication skills.
What’s your bestseller?
Our bestseller remains the Jojo bag – we have perfected it over time and it is really the ultimate bag. When you buy one you really appreciate its lightness, versatility and elegance.
Browse the stunning Helmer bag collection at hel-mer.com
MAKE UP FOUNDATION
The Foundation @cledepeaubeaute
SKINCARE Charlotte's Magic Cream - Treat & Transform Moisturiser SPF15 @ctilburymakeup
SKIN TREATMENTS Ubrian Clay Purifying Masque - Masque Purifiant à l’argile @freshbeauty @niceworkparis - Shop de brand at @sephorafrance @sephora
SKINCARE FACE MASK Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask - Masque perfecteur au thé noir @freshbeauty - Shop the brand at @sephorafrance @sephora
EYE MAKE UP Rollerwheel Liquid Liner @MAC
MASCARA Noir-Interdit @Givenchybeauty
LIP TREATMENT Sugar Lip Polish - Gommage pour les lèvres au sucre @freshbeauty -Shop the brand at @sephorafrance @sephora
LIPSTICK Rouge allure velvet luminous matte lip color 56 charnel @chanel
Blow dry @feelhairdressers
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CREDIT PHOTO @ec.media #arketa
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