Ikram Ramla is a revolutionary mind who is focused on protecting the world and changing it little by little. She is both a world traveler and an inspired creator who crafted her own business when she founded RAMLA, a line of gorgeously artistic bags. Each mosaic bag created by RAMLA is a piece of art that was uniquely handmade by Indian craftsmen, and they are definitely a statement piece for any look. We highly recommend you add at least one of these incredible bags to your collection if you’re looking to take your image to the next level. But, before you do, we’d love for you to hear Ikram’s inspiring story, so we sat down with her to discuss her motivations, inspirations, and what makes RAMLA so special.
Ikram, you are the CEO and Founder of RAMLA. Before we discuss your brand, we’d love to discuss your past. You grew up in Morocco. How do you feel growing up in Morocco helped pave your way and inspire you to create your brand?
My upbringing in Morocco definitely shaped my view of the world. Morocco is a wonderful place, mind you I am not without bias, but it has been throughout the years a melting pot of different civilizations and cultures. It was a major stop in the Silk Road and a bridge between Africa and the west. So, we grew up with an abundance of exotic scents, colors and flavors from all around the world. I think that definitely had a role to play either directly or indirectly when I had the idea to create my own brand.
You love to travel. What’s your favorite travel destination that you’ve visited thus far?
Hong Kong, which is hands down my favorite city in the world. There is something about HK that I am not able to explain, maybe it’s the vibe, the diversity, the unbeatable nightlife or the food. I am a big foodie, and HK is a foodie’s paradise with all the different cuisines due to the mix of ethnicities. I love cities with “vibes.” If I can spend 90% of my time walking around, observing people, and trying new food, I’m happy.
You were heavily inspired by India, as well. Can you discuss when you first visited India and how it helped to influence and develop RAMLA?
When I first visited India, I was truly fascinated by the people and the culture. It is a land of great diversity. In many ways, it reminded me of Morocco. There was something very familiar yet wildly exotic about the place. I wanted to find a way to bring the two cultures together, so when I came across their mosaic work, it seemed so evident. Morocco is known for its ancient mosaic, and India’s way of working this basic material got me inspired!
What’s the full story behind RAMLA’s creation? What led to you create the brand?
I was always animated by the desire to create something of my own. I had a creative energy that needed an outlet; I just didn’t know that outlet would come as a collection of bags honoring my heritage and my journey. However, what I knew was that I wanted to become an entrepreneur and write my own story.
Following that desire and believing in myself led me to start RAMLA building block by block until it became a clear vision and a reflection of my dream and who I am. The Moroccan/Indian mix that gave birth to RAMLA came as a revelation when I discovered India with all its promise and beauty. The warm colors and originality of our designs are a testimony to these two ancient cultures, countries where exoticism joins simplicity and where contrast is as common as the most unusual pairings.
Each bag is a unique piece of art handmade by Indian craftsmen using metal and mosaic stones.
What is the mission behind your brand? What do you hope to achieve by creating RAMLA?
The mission behind RAMLA is to give everyone an opportunity to express their unique personalities through stylish handmade bags at the best price possible.
What’s it like running a company and serving as a CEO?
It is not easy, and that’s an understatement. Especially because it’s a new business and you are trying to make a brand out of your vision, a vision that only you have and see. Dealing with all kinds of people and doing everything by yourself can be very challenging and exhausting most of the time, but when you see that your vision is finally coming to life, it’s very rewarding and it’s worth overcoming all the obstacles and challenges.
There are other companies that create mosaic bags. What makes RAMLA bags different and so much more unique than these other bags?
Mosaic bags have always existed; it’s one of the traditional fashion accessories in India. When I came across these bags, I fell in love with the concept and fascinating details. I used the mosaic idea, that was not very known at the time, to start making my own designs. The same parallel can be drawn with leather bags. A large number of brands manufacture and/or design leather bags, the key differentiator is the style, the design, the concept behind the brand. For RAMLA, I work on different designs ideas and colors. Every bag has unique detailing and is supported by the use of the best quality materials.
Each of your bags is unique and beautiful. Can you explain the full process of what goes into making one of your bags?
Each bag starts off as a roll of steel. From there, we cut the patterns for the unique models, assemble them, and recover them with the wanted materials to achieve the desired look of the bag. Each piece is individually and manually positioned into the bag. That’s what makes them unique from one bag to the next.
We absolutely love that RAMLA is a cruelty-free brand. Why did you choose to go cruelty-free? What does this mean to you personally?
I think we are, collectively, a generation that grew up in a very different world than that of our parents because of advances in technology and the population growth the paradigm shift is substantial, so wanting to change the world is an undertone to everything we do. For me, changing and protecting the world starts by the little steps, the everyday choice, whether it is protecting animals, wildlife, or the climate.
What is RAMLA’s demographic?
RAMLA is for everyone that is open minded about fashion. We are unique and definitely stand out from the crowd, and that’s how we like it.
Is there anything else you’d like our viewers to know about yourself or your brand?
I want them to know that RAMLA is a young brand that was created and marketed through a digital media platform and that only succeeded thanks to their support and appreciation for the singularity and diversity that it stands for. And for that, I am immensely grateful and will continue to work hard for their support. I am a reflection of my brand, different, carving my own way in life and in entrepreneurship.
Ikram’s intention and passion is very clear through her words and her uniquely beautiful bags. Be sure to follow Ikram on Instagram at @Ikramla and follow the latest from RAMLA at @ramlaofficial. And be sure to get your own bag today at ramlaofficial.com.
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