published 20 Dec 2014 in Austria 2 minutes 30 seconds to read

Younited Cultures

Andra Slaats and Iulia Mugescu built a fashion business for a good purpose. Their scarves aim to raise awareness towards the value-add of immigrants in the Austrian society. Meet them in our Startup Pick.

About us.

Our one-line pitch is...
a social business that aims to produce scarves which communicate success stories of immigrants and promote their value-add to society.

we inspire

The we-inspire room is the solution to your team's productivity.

The core of our team...
Andra Slaats, founder - experience in international sales, CRM, luxury cosmetics industry. MBA Sustainable Development & Management. Passionate about fashion, beauty and storytelling. Iulia Mugescu, cofounder, experience in Marketing, Operations and Business Development. Passion for networking.

Our office in looks like...
Our office in Vienna is where our laptops are. We are either at the Impact Hub Vienna or in coffee shops, or at home. So, our office space is very diverse. As it should be :)

The person that inspires us most...
Constantin Brancusi -"To see far is one thing, going there is another". (Romanian sculptor, painter and photographer - a pioneer of modernism). An immigrant himself (lived in France), he proved his value everywhere he went. He inspires us to live for our dreams.

About our journey so far.

Before we started we were...
Andra worked in a luxury cosmetics department as Export Manager. Later she did further studies in Marketing and Sales Management and this year an MBA in sustainable dev. & management. Iulia was pres. of AIESEC Vienna, then worked for Hub Vienna in operations, later as trainer & consultant for Hub Global.

We received our initial capital through...
personal savings, Social Impact Start Award and a FounderCredit subsidised by the Chamber of Commerce.

Our most difficult time so far was...
identifying suppliers for the local production. Austria has a very limited number of manufacturers. We couldn't find one factory that did both the printing of the materials and the sowing in one. It is simply not available in Austria. We hope this will change.

About little steps and big dreams. 

Our next target is...
designing six more stories and ending the 2015 year in a great celebration of cultures with a catwalk of all storytellers, their designers and the scarf made for each of them. With the profits from our scarves we invest in different workshops meant to empower people to dare more and to overcome barriers.

If you say investment we say...
...headache. It's a cat and mouse game. We don't want to get in it now. We first need the proof of concept and go from there. Ideally, I would not want to get an investor. It would limit us in our ways of thinking, handling and creating.

The one thing, we couldn't go on without is...
laughter. Having fun on the job is most important.

Our current development state is...
Implementation

In five years we want to be...
having our own office and workshop where we can create our own scarves, where designers can meet with the chosen YC ambassadors and co-create; and an engaged community of 10,000 people wearing the scarves and promoting cultures. We want to make Younited Cultures an international symbol for diversity.

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