The handbag is more than a simple accessory. For Myriam Messahel, an architect by training, it is a symbol of self-affirmation. So she endeavoured to design a prototype that could be personalised to one’s wishes: a second skin with discreet yet generous contours, understated or bold lines, a leather heart… or a shoulder bag. But how do you launch a brand without selling hide?

A platform of confirmed and upcoming talent

The EYE programme is financed by the European Commission and allows future European entrepreneurs to acquire or exchange business ideas and knowledge with an experienced entrepreneur, for between one and six months.

So Myriam registered on the dedicated platform, in order to find an entrepreneur who would take her under their wing. hub.brussels, the agency coordinating the EYE programme for the Brussels-Capitale region, worked with Myriam to achieve her goals.

It helped the designer to draw up her business and financial plans and managed, both upstream and downstream, all the administrative and legal details of her exchange.

Erasmus in the land of leather

In Florence, in a luxury leather goods firm called VIAJIYU, Myriam found her mentor: an American woman with keen business acumen and endless motivation.

In her boutique, Myriam learnt about suppliers, risk assessment, loss avoidance, stock management and, most importantly, all about customers.

Myriam put her architect’s eye to good use in the back of shop, drawing sketches to rearrange the premises: a win-win situation with the aroma of leather and oregano.

At the end of her trip, Myriam brought back a business plan as flawless as her designs. Her bags are entirely hand-crafted and, just like the person who carries them, unique. They are signed with an elegant M for Myriam Messahel. It’s all… in the bag.

Myriam Messahel

Founder of M.

My Erasmus taught me...patience. Working day by day with an entrepreneur allows you to learn the trade at at full speed, and to realize that nothing can be improvised in the commercial world! I was able to live this experience in complete serenity, thanks to the reactivity and professionalism of my contact at hub.brussels.

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