Young Entrepreneur Autumn 2019
” I admire nature’s perfection, as it is demonstrated in natural fibers and their qualities. So with AQVAROSSA we give these incredibly fine materials the design it deserves, with no compromise in quality and finishing in a perfect fit “
Christine Losser, Owner, Aqvarossa
AQVAROSSA travels the world in search of the finest and most exclusive fabrics. Materials such as alpaca wool, which in its pure form are not just wonderfully light and breathable, but also astonishingly robust and extremely versatile. This wool ensures incomparable wearing comfort. That’s why we use it in our designs in the highest possible proportion.
We believe it’s time to rethink fashion. We want elegance to feel good. We are convinced that tradition and modernity – smartly combined – complement each other perfectly. We know from experience that quality is the key to fashion that you enjoy wearing. And that everyday suitability does not have to be commonplace. AQVAROSSA creates collections from the best of nature to meet the highest demands – in functionality, style and workmanship.
The heart of AQVAROSSA’s collection is the alpaca coat. Together with accessories and other styles made from the finest natural fibres, our collection reinterprets timeless design in a modern way. It celebrates individuality, combining everyday wearability with exquisite elegance; whether business or leisure, casual or elegant – AQVAROSSA embodies every look.
Soft grip and subtle shine, hypoallergenic and superbly warming – this is alpaca wool. The Alpaca lives in the South American Andes at over 3,000 meters and is closely related to the lama, the guanaco and the vicuña from the camelid family. Its fur has developed properties that are unmatched worldwide to protect against harsh weather conditions: the fibre is water-repellent and breathable, and even softer and warmer than cashmere. It contains insulating air inclusions, and the length and strength of the fibre guarantees a long life.
There are only about 4 million alpacas worldwide, and the animals are sheared only once a year. Accordingly, their wool is exclusive and expensive.
AQVAROSSA renounces mass production. We prefer to invest in people and their talents. From South America to Central Europe, we work with the best in their field to ensure high quality. In most cases, these are small local businesses that practise their craftsmanship with passion, engage in sustainable production and comply with all labour regulations. We are personally there to witness this.
from Peru to switzerland in a sustainable and responsible way.
” Our aim is to reduce the footprint of our supply chain through different business principles such as “a one collection per year” company and designs that last.“
Aqvarossa sources fibers and fabrics only from responsible sourcing certified companies and companies that trade in a fair and responsible manner, supporting local communities and their traditional ways of living.
Meet Christine Losser
1. What made you start a new business like Aqvarossa?
I started AQVAROSSA for different reasons. The most important being that I wanted to be my own boss, have my own business with all its responsibilities and consequences
2. What is unique about your business?
At AQVAROSSA we only use the most exclusive natural fibers – alpaca, vicuna, loden, silk, etc. – to manufacture our pieces. We design our collections in Switzerland focusing on the highest quality standards, our garments are made to last and we put emphasis on achieving a perfect fit. This makes each and every single piece unique, a small piece of art.
At AQVAROSSA we do what we love and we love what we do and this transpires in every aspect of our business.
We aspire to make the fashion business sustainable and operate with respect to the environment and local communities by reducing our footprint as much as possible and paying fair prices while sourcing our raw materials.
3. What challenges have you faced until today?
As an entrepreneur I have faced many challenges since I decided I wanted to make my dream come true. Being young and being a woman doesn’t make it easier either.
At school, nobody teaches you how to build a company, what are the different steps that you have to follow to create a high quality product, how to overcome social and cultural barriers to make things work. You even have to convince people that you are serious and doing this on a full time basis. But passion and the drive to make AQVAROSSA successful is what keeps me going and motivated. When I hold one of my pieces in my hands and I see the peoples reaction to it, I think that all the efforts, stress and preoccupations are really worth it.
4. Are you looking to expand your business geographically or add new product lines?
I see AQVAROSSA as a Swiss brand above everything, our main objective is to achieve and even go beyond the level of quality and fit we set to ourselves when we started. We want to reach our Swiss customers with that promise and consolidate in the local market. To do this and to keep our sustainability pledge, we have to keep our collections short – however, we have a lot of ideas to expand our collections without compromising our main values.
Once the Swiss customers know AQVAROSSA and our brand equity is solid, we are planning to start looking into other markets in Europe and maybe Asia, but we see this more in the mid-term. We have a lot to do in Switzerland!
5. Name 3 top skills to become a successul entrepreneur?
Believe in yourself and your idea.
Stay flexible – things never turn out right from the beginning so you constantly have to find new solutions or different ways to get where you want to go.
Life is out there.
6. What motivates or inspires you?
What better motivation can there be than seeing your creations being worn by other people and thus them believing in your principles?!
7. To what do you attribute your success?
I do it right or I don’t do it. So whatever I do, I put a lot of passion and focus in it, everything is important to the smallest of the details and everyone who deals with AQVAROSSA is equally important to me and the project – I care. If you don’t care, you can’t be successful or at least, not as successful.
8. Where do you see Aqvarossa in 10 years?
In Bahnhofstrasse next to the major fashion brands.
9. Entrepreneurialism is something you are born with or can it be learned?
Nobody is born entrepreneur, in many aspects, we all learn by doing. It is about a trial-error process. Nevertheless it depends on the character and how it is formed through different experiences in early life. This at the end forms the assets to be a successful entrepreneur.
10. How do you balance work and life?
I try to be disciplined. Being an entrepreneur is tough, I have to make decisions continuously that can have important consequences for my business so I need to have clarity of mind and be fresh. Yoga and sports outside in the fresh air and in the nature helps me keeping this balance in my hectic life. On top of that, I have a wonderful man by my side who pushes me, supports me and most importantly, understands me and my situation.
11. What are your hobbies?
Surfing, yoga, snowboarding and travelling off the beaten track. I like to combine it all in my vacation and I could spend hours talking about it. Surfing and yoga have such a cleansing effect on my mind and body. Discovering new places gives you new perspectives and new ideas to work on once you’re back.
12. Which company do you admire?
The company that starts with one person, grows big and stays true to its principles of quality and sustainability.
13. If you were to give advice to someone who is just starting up, what would that be?
Have a clear goal. A strong reason why or what you are doing it for. The start is long and tough – you have to stay focused but open-minded to not loose your motivation and to keep standing up and finding solutions for problems.
14. And finally, which social media channel is your favourite and why?
Instagram helps me sharing AQVAROSSA’s news and stories while being consistent with its image and brand equity; at the same time, I can be in touch with my friends and share pictures and experiences.
Do it right and look at the details or don’t do it.