If you have a business you have a story!


by Marta Leite Castro

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The Portuguese purses brand

Manjerica was born from Teresa Bettencourt’s will, as a designer, and her husband Carlos Alavai for a personal project related to Fashion and where they could express all their memories and experiences.

 How did Manjerica come about?

Carlos and I are Azoreans, we were born in theTerceira Island and have always had strong feelings for their way of life, from the Island’s natural beauty to the people and its costumes. When we came to Lisbon, to live, we had that feeling of childhood and Azores nostalgia and that was the main reason we felt the need to share our experiences through a product, our bags.

The achievement of this inspiration results in the use of color and its combinations, retro shapes and the leather lined buckle inspired in the belts of the 70’s dresses my mother used to wear. Also, the traditional way in which we produce our Manjericas is very important to us. They are all handmade in Portugal, with high quality Italian materials. Sr. Fernando and his family have been producing bags for more than 40 years now and dedicate all their love and commitment to their work.

Currently, we also have a collaborator, the blogger Daniela Schwanke, who manages all our social networks as well as the Press.

Our main aim is to create a bag that carries our memories and life experiences, a Manjerica which any client can identify with and create their own new memories.

What balance do you make of this journey?

Our growth has been quite positive. In the beginning, we focused on consolidating our operations in Portugal but nowadays we already sell to many countries throughout the world. The support of the press and bloggers specialized in this area also makes a difference in Manjerica’s progress. And of course, the affection of all our clients shows us we are on the right path.

How do you manage the collections? Do you introduce new models?

We launch collections every six months and we keep introducing new models. Sometimes, if we have a highly requested model we keep it, although we can change some details, such as the color.

Which is your most successful model?

At the moment, we have two very successful models: Alana and the Mini Danielle. They are two smaller bags, perfect to use as crossbody bags and are our best-sellers.

What countries do you reach?

We sell to the entire world, through our online shop. From Belgium, U.S.A to Vietnam and Australia. We are also represented in multibrand shops in Australia, China, Egypt, Ukraine, United States and this year we are entering South Korea.

What has been the role of the social networks in your journey?

The social networks brought clients and followers closer to Manjerica. To us, it is fundamental that our followers understand exactly what our inspiration is, how we create and produce our bags and our daily routines. It is in a way, a permanently open window to Manjerica’s world.

What is your ambition?

Our great ambition is to boost Portugal’s name internationally. We have always felt drawn to creating a product with a Portuguese name, Portuguese design and Portuguese production. We want the international public to relate the quality and design to Portugal and who knows one day we will be a 100% Portuguese reference brand.

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