Fashion and design are in Melanie Mueller's blood. Her maternal grandmother hand knitted handbags and sold them in her tiny town of Calarca, Colombia -- a fact Melanie wasn't aware of until she launched her company Mel Boteri. Now Melanie proudly carries on her grandmother's legacy, designing custom, made-to-order fashion to help women around the globe express their personality and style.
Melanie had the "aha" moment to begin her company while earning her MBA at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. As part of the MBA program, Melanie had the opportunity to work with the Marketing & Business Development group for world-renowned designer Zac Posen in New York City. There she was, in the middle of the fashion capital of the world, and all she could find were one-size-fits-all, mass- produced designs that did not reflect who she was. Her frustration became the inspiration for Mel Boteri --the go-to luxury brand for custom and bespoke accessories. She laid the groundwork for the business during her last semester at Emory, and officially launched the brand with her first collection of handbags in the fall of 2009.
The brand's name is Melanie's way to honor her rich heritage. Mel is short for Melanie, the German name her father gave her, and Boteri stems from her Colombian mother's maiden name, Botero.
Mel Boteri has partnered with some of the world's biggest luxury brands, including Mercedes-Benz and Hideoki Bespoke to create both co-branded and private label accessories for a discerning and selective clientele.
In addition to entrepreneur, self-taught designer and Emory MBA, Melanie recently added author to her resume. Her "7 Secrets of Handbag Shopping" is the first of many bag guides created to provide an inside look into the fabulous world of handbags.