Go Big: A Trip to Europe That Paved the Way for a Handcrafted Jewelry Brand Made in Brazil

Even stuck at home, some people took the bold step to start something new: today, discover the story behind Carmela Atelier and its founder Ellen Vertematte

The truth is, trivago couldn’t help everyone go someplace new in 2020. So instead, we’re celebrating the people that turned challenge into opportunity by starting new businesses, pursuits, and passions. When they couldn’t go far, they chose to go big.

That’s the case of Ellen Vertematte, the founder of the Brazilian handmade jewelry company Carmela Atelier – after an abrupt interruption of her jewelry course in Europe and finding herself stuck at home again, she gathered courage and decided to transform her hobby into a business.

The Interviewee

Born in São Paulo, Ellen Vertematte always had a desire: to make a difference in people's lives. After passing through different companies and constantly "stuck in a box", she decided to throw herself into her passion: handmade jewelry. And so, amidst the Pandemic, Carmela Atelier was born.
Carmela Atelier on Instagram

The "A-ha!" Moment

“As soon as I started playing with it, I realized that it was not going to work. It was an extremely expensive hobby for someone with no income. Who plays with gold, silver and gemstones? No one can afford that!”

Then came the turning point: she decided to create the Carmela Atelier.

“I always wanted to start my own business but maybe if it wasn’t the pandemic I wouldn’t have started. If I had to quit my job to take that step forward, I don’t think I would have done it. When you don’t have anything to lose, you are not scared, and the courage comes automatically.”
When asked about the future, Ellen says that she has a lot to learn about fashion, trends, design and the market. She wants to understand what people are searching for and, at the same time, everyday she is working to improve her skills.
“After opening the store, I started learning online again. But I have to confess that practice is very important: sitting down and doing it.”
Ellen Vertematte, founder


Before finishing our conversation, we ask Ellen what advice she would give someone who wants to start a business but doesn’t know how. “You don’t need to think too unrealistically, any business is a business. It’s important to break the paradigm that an entrepreneur needs to be a millionaire. A microbusiness requires a lot of work, and the important thing if finding a way to do what you want to do.”

Inspired by Ellen’s story? Keep an eye on our channels for other interviews in our Go Big series!