Meet the Founder
The Blog team caught up with MITCHA’s Visionary, Founder and CEO, Hilda Louca. There’s more to the dreamer whose vision is to bring the best of Egypt’s designers to the world on one destination. As a leader, Hilda inspires the start-up team behind MITCHA to strive for excellence, quality and simplicity.
What is MITCHA?
Mitcha is an Egyptian platform for curated fashion; we are bringing together all homegrown designers in one easy to use digital platform of international standards.
What is the story behind the name MITCHA?
That’s a long story :) It took us so long to find a name, then it just hit me in the weirdest of ways. A stranger that became a friend told me that Michael is my guardian angel. She really took me off-guard, I couldn’t sleep all night and started reading about Michael and then just like that, I came through Mitcha which is a variation of “Michael”, my guardian angel.
What inspired you to create MITCHA?
I am a very proud Egyptian. I have lately discovered the talent and creativity of Egyptian designers. They really go against the stream to create; from finding good craftsmen to buying materials and fabrics that may be available today but not tomorrow. These young designers really inspired me to create MITCHA.
Tell us about your journey of starting MITCHA. What challenges did you overcome?
MITCHA started with a simple dream. A dream of a fashion culture in Egypt, a dream to revive the glory and elegance of the bygone era when Egyptian women were simple, elegant yet sophisticated, where Omar Effendi was the hub of fashion. I felt that we owe it to Egypt to bring back this industry, this beauty. We faced many challenges and still do, from lack of quality in the products, inconsistency in the availability of the same fabrics (designers suffer from that the most), to trying to convince the designers to not only depend on their social media pages for growth but to look further. But we are very determined and passionate to fulfill this dream.
In the emerging homegrown fashion movement, how do you select designers for the platform?
We have a dedicated team of fashion-forward buyers, stylists and editors who search the fashion landscape for real talents and collaborate to bring a unique and curated shopping experience. Pieces are carefully curated and go through extensive quality and authenticity checks to be featured on the platform.
In an ever-changing economy, how do you stay focused on your objectives?
By focusing on and learning from our customers. Our customers have modern, selective taste and they love to discover what’s true and original; they appreciate quality and are proud of the Egyptian heritage and craftsmanship. That’s exactly what we are offering them.
What is MITCHA’s role in contributing to building a networking and recognition platform for local designers?
MITCHA is the outcome of two years of consumer insight, market research and planning. We are coming with a complete solution, from photo shooting to marketing campaigns and PR, to quality control, to logistics. All that should support designers to showcase their pieces to the world, eliminating all the hassle they go through, so they can focus on creating art. A designer’s role is to create, that’s their real talent and enjoyment; MITCHA is the business that supports the talent to be able to succeed and continue.
Do you believe that the exposure opportunities available to designers in Egypt are improving?
Several efforts are taking place to shed light on designers, giving them opportunities and supporting them. A great step, but we still have a long way to complete the whole cycle. There is a whole industry that is emerging behind the designers, and every touchpoint needs to be done right. But we can say we took the first step towards change.
How do you think technology is contributing to the growth of the fashion industry in Egypt?
We aspire to be Egypt’s fashion game-changer. Today’s customers expect a seamless, convenient high-quality experience throughout every step of the journey. Our aim as a fashion e-tailer is to bring a unique shopping experience, through aesthetics, curated content, functionality, marketing, logistics and customer service.
What are the challenges for women doing business in Egypt today? And about women starting their own business?
I believe there are challenges for both men and women doing business in Egypt. The crippling red-tape is one thing, beside the worry that laws can change in a flash, is quite challenging. As for women, I see business women in Egypt are heroes, to find the balance between a career and a family takes a lot of energy; it needs support and a strong belief from your partner/family. For me I am truly blessed with the best husband that always motivates me. He is my hero and biggest supporter, I couldn’t do it without him.
What would you advise up and coming local designers and young entrepreneurs in general?
Dream, believe, start, work hard, fail, learn, do it correctly, legalize it, and then you will succeed; you won’t build a brand only through social media. My second advise is quoting Steve Jobs, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people.” Never be afraid to collaborate, or share your work, nobody can steal your dream or your talent. You will all grow stronger by putting your hands together.
What big plans do you have for MITCHA?
To create a culture of fashion in Egypt and become the number one online destination for Egyptian and regional designers to retail their product worldwide. Our plans don’t just stop there, the sky is the limit. So stay tuned :)
How would you define your own personal style?
Simple yet edgy.
When you’re not at MITCHA what do you enjoy doing?
I love excercising, it clears my mind and makes me feel good. I also love traveling with my family to new places and discovering new cultures. I also enjoy swimming & reading.