The foundation for Christine Schmandt’s profession (and her current success) was actually laid in her childhood, though no one would have guessed it at the time. After many years, many coincidences and even more hard work, Christine has achieved what many only dream of. Creative, self-reliant, and successful, she has built her own business and fashion label from home and is one of the people who have not let the coronavirus crisis lead her into despair. Instead, by producing reusable face masks, she has managed to achieve unexpected business success.
But first things first: as a child, Christine spent every free minute with her grandmother, a trained seamstress with her own fashion boutique. This is where she learned what she makes a living from today – working with needle and thread, using beautiful fabrics and dealing with customers and their needs.
“I never would have thought that my passion for working with my hands could one day become my livelihood,” says Christine.
A hobby that became a profession
Although she thought about training as a seamstress after school, she decided to do an apprenticeship as an industrial management assistant instead. She decided on this path because people said the best times were behind the textile industry in Germany.
Only when the first of her three children was born in 2007 did Christine remember what she had learned from her grandmother. In her own home she set up a studio and a packing room where she designed and sewed items that families with small children badly needed.
“That was the beginning of Mummelito, my label, which produces cleverly designed, handcrafted clothing that is both comfortable and quite durable, with a satisfaction guarantee,” says the entrepreneur.
The inspirations often came directly from her customers or her children. For example, the company’s name comes from Mummel, her eldest son’s nickname.
Especially important for Christine’s success is selling her products through Amazon Handmade. The shop that she ran for a short time in her village was too small and remote to ensure stable sales.
Necessity is the mother of invention
As the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic brought a major drop in orders, her customers and her husband got her on track with a good idea.
“I must confess, I was not enthusiastic at first about the idea of making reusable face masks in my studio. Today, I'm glad I followed what my husband and those around me suggested.”
Christine researched, experimented and developed a prototype, which she tested among her family members. When her friends and family gave her the green light, she brought her new products online two days before wearing masks was made compulsory nationwide.
At first, I was not enthusiastic about the idea of making reusable face masks in my studio. Today, I am happy that I did.
“The demand has overwhelmed us. Although we are making them as fast as we can, we can hardly keep up with the sewing,” she says. Fortunately, Christine is supported by a seamstress she employs, two sewing workshops and a friend whose job at a swimming pool is currently on hold because of the coronavirus.
“It’s incredible, in times like these, that I’ve even been able to hire someone to help me meet the huge demand,” says Christine.
Once the coronavirus crisis has subsided, Christine wants to return to her core business. Thanks to her mask production, she does not expect any financial losses. She is looking forward to her planned move out of the house to a separate business space with great confidence.