Women entrepreneurs in Zurich – Portrait: Maell

It has been a long time that I have not blogged anything… Time flies! End of summer was quite difficult for me. Sometimes life is not exactly as you expect and you have no other choice but to be strong. For yourself but mainly for your family. It’s OK, but it requires tons of energy and time. I was very happy to have photosessions with my lovely families and couples during this period, it gave me so much energy and love, it helped a lot. Some of my friends were also very supportive, I’m so glad to have them! The woman here is one of them, that’s why I wanted to start blogging again with her.

A few months ago I decided to tackle a new challengewomen’s portraits. I love people and the intimacy during a photosession. Photoshooting is not only pressing a button and moving around the subject. It’s mainly about a relationship and feelings. So what a better challenge for me than capturing the real woman behind a business.  I decided to make a series of woman entrepreneur portraits. Like maternity photosessions and family photosessions, these women’s portraits are lifestyle photosessions: each woman being unique, the uniformity of a studio can not represent this richness. Common theme of these beautiful women is that they offer great products or services linked to the family or the wedding world in Zürich area. Therefore this series gives me the opportunity to stimulate my own creativity as a photographer but in addition it also offers you some good addresses for your children or your wedding!

I’m very curious about the entrepreneurial journey of these women who are often full of strength but also full of doubts. So for once an interview goes along my pictures!

Let’s start and let’s meet Marina, a great graphic designer and founder of Maell.

What do you offer? 

As a graphic designer, I can work on different kind of projects. I create logos and stationery for businesses, work on branding projects, and also setup websites using WordPress. Additionally, I work for private individuals to develop their perfect wedding or birthday stationery.

What is the special feature that makes working with you an exceptional experience?

My main concern is to understand who my clients are and what they exactly want, to provide them with personalized solutions. Sometimes they don’t even really know themselves what they want and I am helping them through the whole process of defining their needs, so that I can create what best suits them. Exchange and communication is a very important part of my work.

What do you find most attractive about your activity?

I am very excited about the diversity of projects you can work on, and about the fact that design is in constant evolution. There is always something new to learn or to improve. And definitely no time to be bored!

When have you started this activity?

I have started more or less a year ago. I am still studying to get my graphic design diploma but decided that there is no better way to learn than training on the job.

What did you do in your former professional life?

What I am still doing! Graphic design is for the moment a side activity. Other than that, I am an engineer in the space business. And once a week I am also a salsa teacher! I am quite a busy woman…

How is the balance between your different activities? How do you manage balancing family time / entrepreneur woman life?

Beginnings are always difficult I think. Finding a balance takes time, and I have to admit that it is still much more work than free time. Having three jobs also does not help. The good thing is I have never optimised that much any minute I spend in a bus! My partner is also an entrepreneur and thus also very busy, but we always organize ourselves to save some evenings or days when no work is allowed. It is important for everything to save some free time. For the couple or the family, for the body, for the mind. Nobody can be creative and efficient when physically or mentally exhausted.

What was the trigger for you to change life?

I needed more creativity in my life. I think that is really the main reason.

How do you find customers? What tips could you give in order to have new customers?

As I am only starting and even only part-time, my clients are mainly people I know or people I met through people I know. Which is very fine for the moment. Plus, being known through word of mouth has always been an efficient way of meeting new clients, and that is also a reason why I am taking care about having a good relationship with my clients.

But the day I will want to develop this activity further, I will go give a try to entrepreneur meetings, and talk more to people about my activity. Because how can people know what you are doing and offering if you never talk about it?!

What was /is the most difficult challenge you had/have to tackle?

My main challenge is for sure finding the time to keep on learning. I mean, outside of the bus!

What is the one thing that you would do differently?

Start when I was still 20?

How do you see your business in five years? Your expectations and your dreams?

I hope my business will run smoothly and be successful. But who would not wish that? I am at least working a lot for it to be the case. Nevertheless, I also think about working for an agency at least for some few years, to learn another side of the job. We shall see what the future will bring!

Amélie Clements Photography

Branding and business photographer in Zürich – Switzerland