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Founder Feature: Gretchen Maull Berger

Gretchen Maull Berger is hoping her Italian keeps pace with the growth of her handbag company, GG Maull. Even without the benefit of a shared language, she’s able to communicate her designs and her vision to the people at the tanneries and factories in Italy who handcraft her line of beautiful and functional bags.

Gretchen has been working as a designer all of her professional life. She studied in Europe after her freshman year in college and she knew she’d found her calling. With an undergraduate degree in fashion design and a master’s in shoes and handbags, Gretchen had been working for some pretty big names (Oscar de la Renta, Kate Spade, Calvin Klein) before heading out on her own.

It was a near-tragedy that inspired her to make the move. Her sister was hit by a car in New York City and was in a coma for two weeks. The no-guarantees aspect of life came sharply into focus, and Gretchen decided to launch GG Maull.

Gretchen sources all the leather for her bags from Italy, and is adamant that respect for human capital and the environment are values the company honors in its hiring, purchasing, and manufacturing decisions.

She also wants women who buy her bags to feel empowered. The company’s vision statement says it best: Women contend with enough challenges in everyday life. GG Maull's vision is to lift women up, empower them to achieve their ambitions and fulfill their purpose, and love their experience of being active, impactful, and contributing citizens of the world.

 

Katelyn Murphy-McCarthy

Katelyn is a writer and editor specializing in creative nonfiction. She comes from a long line of entrepreneurs, and loves hearing and sharing the stories of women who are making a difference
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