“I don’t think business school was going to teach me how to run a business in Ethiopia. You don’t go by the book when you are running a business here. You just have to jump into it and learn as you go.”
- Abai Schulze is an Ethiopian-American entrepreneur and the founder of the creative, new Afro-luxe brand ZAAF who create handcrafted luxury leather handbags and accessories produced by artisans in Ethiopia. Abai spent her formative years in an orphanage in Addis Ababa before being adopted at age 11 by an American family. During her schooling in the US, she travelled back to Ethiopia for summer holidays to volunteer in hospitals and orphanages. Today, she passionately uses her background in economics and fine arts to create unique and practical expressions of beauty, and to open avenues of opportunity for talented artisans in Ethiopia and the rest of Africa. Her designs draw upon precious cultural relics and allow them renewed expression through fresh, uplifting and modern designs.