myPOS blog Women In Business

How two female entrepreneurs brought the Mediterranean warmth to the Alps

It all started with two friends and a dream. Grazia Ruggiero and Cristina Stalder wanted to spread the Mediterranean spirit to  Zurich. And so they did by creating a unique interior design and authentic goods store that offers not only interior design advice but also remarkable items such as vibrant sculptures, stylish wall art, delicate Italian fabrics and natural candles from handpicked manufacturers. 

Studio Melograno: A story of female independence and reliable partners

But how did the two women build such an elegant business? Grazia and Cristina are both interior designers. 

In 2020, they took it upon themselves to establish an interior design shop focusing on  Mediterranean lifestyle and contemporary craftsmanship from the South. Turning the dream into a reality didn’t come easy and they faced a challenge right from the beginning – finding the right location for their, as they call it, joint adventure. Although it took them two years to set everything in motion, they kept their spirits up and in April of 2022 Studio Melograno brightened Zurich’s Kreis 4 and established its unique product range.

Studio Melograno: A story of female independence and reliable partners

“Studio Melograno has been presenting carefully selected contemporary craftsmanship from the Mediterranean region. We want to capture the traditions of the South, without many embellishments, but with individual stories.” – Grazia Ruggiero, owner of Studio Melograno.

Since then, they’ve been able to celebrate a few successes, including an opportunity to partner up with a major retail store in Switzerland for an exhibit in the Bridge on Europaallee, a famous meeting spot in Zurich’s heart. They were also able to organise several workshops and exhibits of their own in the studio, gathering numerous art lovers from the city and attracting  a lot of potential clients face to face. Grazia and Cristina share that personal touch and attention to the clients is very important to them:

“Every personal encounter with our customers is a small success day after day.”

Advice on navigating financial struggles and dispelling stereotypes

Establishing a business isn’t a small feat and it could be challenging for women. Grazia and Cristina shared that the biggest challenge they had to overcome and still continue to face was the discrepancy between expenditure and income. This is something that many entrepreneurs struggle with, as a certain amount of initial investment is necessary to get your business up and running and income doesn’t cover that immediately. But the two women didn’t give up when times were tough and managed to stay on top of their finances through a constantly updated and diverse product portfolio. The studio has an incredible variety of products and even offers unique workshops such as an embroidery class, which involves a Japanese technique of simple, regular stitches that helps people relax and explore their own rhythm. 

Advice on navigating financial struggles and dispelling stereotypes

Women who want to start a business sometimes undervalue their skills and abilities, but this is not the case with Grazia and Cristina – on the contrary, they shared that they often receive compliments for their commitment and willpower, showing that women can do it all. 

“Our customers and partners really appreciate our work and we hope that we will be able to realise many more new ideas in the future.” 

Tips for designing your business and navigating the landscape 

For many aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women, the journey of starting a business can be both daunting and exhilarating. But the Melograno team shares that it’s important to embrace your unique strengths and leverage them to drive success. Reflecting on their own experiences, Grazia and Cristina share insights for navigating the entrepreneurial landscape as women. 

They underscore the importance of a good business strategy and analysis. Learning from their initial struggles, they advise anyone who wants to open a brick-and-mortar shop to carefully research the area before deciding on a definitive location. And, of course, not forgetting that self-employment requires a lot of time.

Beyond meticulous planning and market analysis, they emphasise the need for flexibility and openness to change, recognizing that unforeseen obstacles may arise along the way. By remaining both committed to their vision and agile in their approach, they have been able to navigate the ever-shifting landscape of business ownership with grace and determination, and a reliable payment partner.

Ways to simplify the financial processing

Studio Melograno decided to implement digital payments into their business from the get-go and they needed the right multifunctional solution, which they found with myPOS. They chose the Android-powered myPOS Pro – a robust and portable smart POS terminal equipped with a high-speed thermal printer. 

“Right from the start, we wanted to have a reliable partner at our side who would support us in our activities and simplify our work with various tools.” 

Ways to simplify the financial processing

Their favourite feature is Payment Request which makes it possible to request outstanding payments from customers via a link. This gives clients the opportunity to pay with their card wherever they are.

Studio Melograno’s journey is not just a tale of entrepreneurial success but also a testament to female empowerment in the business world. Grazia and Cristina’s story serves as an inspiration for wannabe entrepreneurs  everywhere, showcasing the strength, resilience, and ingenuity that women bring to the table.

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