Muskad is first and foremost the story of the designer and #Girlboss Pamela PECHTL. She grew up within the family tradition of craftsmanship and decided to create her own brand, reunited around her passions: France, exceptional craftsmanship and leather goods.
Muskad was born from the desire of the designer to use leather and show her clients how exotic it could be. Here, she tells us more about the brand, her plans for the future and so much more…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
Following a successful career in law, the birth of my daughter made me realise that I had forgotten about my real aspirations and ambitions so to say.
So I went back to the basics- combining pleasure and business by turning a hobby into a genuine company. I wanted to engage with the public on something which has always been a passion: the Art of traditional craftsmanship, the search for beautiful exotic skin and the desire to create a product 100% made in France.
Muskad was launched – it was 2014.
Whats your background?
I have a master in tax law and a background in management. It does help to have strong base in law and management when launching your business, however I have grown in an artisanal environment and this is where my passion emanates from.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
Currently there are there of us. I work on the creation side, from designing to choosing the leathers and colours for new collections.
A friend is what I would call “the hands” of the company. She is a traditional artisan in leather – we develop the prototypes together and once done- she is in charge of giving life to a new item. She has a long experience within the luxury industry so the quality of her work is about perfect and her opinion on my creations is always precious.
My sister joined us in 2016 – she helps on the business development side and has a view on the creation part too.
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
Many things… Especially when it comes to negotiating leather or other products. This industry is quite a close one and people constantly test your motivation. However one has to learn so I gain a good experience and have now a network of trusted suppliers.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Biggest challenge? At the moment it is finding visibility for the brand and someone who will give me the chance to exhibit my products.
Otherwise, challenges are numerous! Finding all the items that comes into my product in France is one! It is now easier to find foreign partners than French ones.
Another challenge when working with exotic skin is the environment aspect – I had to be extremely diligent about where to buy my skin. I only buy them from French tanneries with strict environment rule. Yes there is a cost to it – but the customer has a choice- do you want a cheaper product knowing that children have been walking in chrome bath all day to produce it? Do you care if the water, polluted after tanning is being poured down a river being used by hundreds of people for their livelihood?? Well I do and Muskad is not ready to compromise on this to offer a mass market product. Customer have a choice and are sensitive to such aspect but sometimes there is a lack of transparency on the industry side. Muskad complies with Cites and Reach regulations.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
Well well… I am dead scared of snakes!! Interesting when one knows I have to manipulate Python skins on a daily basis!! I actually refused to use this leather at first, I was getting goose bump at the sight of it! Then I realised I was going back looking at those skins, almost fascinated by what can be done with it. Final draw – I was introduced to hand painted Python skin!! That’s it, I overcame my own irrational fear and started few creations. Today I love it and what really amuses me if the reaction I get from my clients when themselves come in contact with such leather for the first time!
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
Seeing customers wearing my creations is always great. Being supported by friends and family is a must too!
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
London! I love the city, its eclectic architecture, the parks. And let’s face it – nothing beats a good old pub.
Shopping is also good especially if you want something out of the ordinary. People here have retained their originality.
To be yourself – difficult to achieve as most of us tend to run after trends decided by fashion houses or magazines. I think once you have found your style – stick to it and update it with accessories.
Style isn’t about how much you have spent for your clothes but your ability to put them together without looking overdone or spend hours thinking about it!!
Best thing about London to you?
Ha! Believe it or not, I went camping (yes in a tent!) in hackney when I was 16 for a whole month… With my sister and two friends. Trust me – this wasn’t the cool and hype spot that it has become! But we had a great time and fell in love with London!
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
My jeans- easy to wear and combine with anything – chic if needed, casual for the school run. Again some good accessories will do the trick.
Best place for a coffee?
Syracuse in Sicily – out of time almost, a beautiful city. And obviously you can trust the Italians when it comes to coffee!
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
Be yourself, create something which makes you happy and don’t try to be a crowd pleaser or a trend follower. Your creations will then have a soul and we’ll speak to people.
Praline chocolate from the artisan downstairs my flat!! It’s addictive.
If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Tanzania for a safari.
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
My goal is to find concept store or galleries willing to exhibit my creations. We have fantastic products, we now need to move one step higher and get in the “street” and develop our reach.
Find out more…
You can find MUSKAD at www.muskad.com.