CARE BY ME celebrating 10 Years!
Camilla Gullits, founder of CARE BY ME, tell us the beautiful story that began in 2012
By Alixe Averty et Anne Jørgensen
Have you always had a keen sense of aesthetics? Do you have a design background?
I studied design at the Royal Danish Academy and yes, I have always had a strong sense of aesthetics. I get inspired by good craftsmanship, natural materials, and architecture – these things together are natural components in long-lasting design.
Why did you end up focusing on sustainable design?
Twelve years ago, I became more aware of the inequalities in the world. Especially between women and men.
Many amazingly well-educated women in the Western world worked too hard and cared too little for themselves. And too many women in developing countries had far too bad conditions.
With CARE BY ME I therefore decided to create a brand that made it okay for women in our part of the world to put themselves first. At the same time, it was essential for me that the products were produced in a socially responsible and sustainable way by women in developing countries.
Today our close collaboration with workshops in Nepal and India makes it possible to empower women and provide them with the opportunity of an independent and more fulfilling life.
Camilla Gullits, founder
How often do you travel to Nepal and India to visit the women who handcraft CARE BY ME products?
I travel to Nepal and India once a year. In addition, we have a good daily contact with each other through email. After 10 years of close cooperation, we have built up a very good and steady communication.
How does it feel to meet families and experience the difference you have made in their lives?
It gives me a great feeling of joy to experience the development of our project. Today we proudly employ more than 75 talented women. Several of the women have been involved for many years.
All women are offered english lessons and their children go to school. It is a great pleasure to follow their journey in life and to see that some of the children are now young women in education.
What are be biggest challenges of running a sustainable business?
When I started CARE BY ME 10 years ago, many people thought the projet was nonsense. To me it felt like running a marathon uphill in headwinds – all alone. But fortunately today, more people share my view on inequalities and prioritize sustainability and social responsibility – and that helps a lot.
We are still being challenged because some customers think our prices are too high. But our prices just reflect what products of our high quality should cost. I strongly believe that it is better to own one blouse of high quality for eur 140 than 10 blouses of poor quality for eur 14. In the end, the economy is the same.
What is your goal for CARE BY ME in 10 years?
Overall, I do not hope for much change. I think we have a great business, and I am very proud of how far we have come. I think a brand like ours is best when we are a small team. The importance of daily communication, community and family feeling is therefore preserved.
CARE BY ME is a lifestyle for me, and I hope it still is in 10 years. A lifestyle where we work every day to improve living conditions for women in developing countries.