Ever since she had her first child, Prague's Andrea Janoudová has found herself enveloped in play. After years of focusing on career and the bottom line, here she was, thinking freely and creatively once more. This was the spark that lead to SOJKA, the luggage and tech case company she founded with a friend and fellow mother.
Made with locally sourced felt and leather materials, every SOJKA item is handcrafted by the two friends. Minimalist in design but infused with big details — each piece of felt comes lightly dipped in essential oils — the tablet cases, handbags, clutches and phone cases made by Andrea are chic and sustainable.
We spoke to Andrea about her work, her favorite products and her advice for young women as part of our #SheMadeIt project. With a name like SOJKA, meaning jay bird in Czech, this company built on friendship and play is destined to freely continue exploring its creativity.
Andrea Janoudová | Co-Owner, Sojka | 35 | Prague, Czech Republic
Across Women's Lives: What do you make?
AJ: We create bags, handbags, phone/tablet covers etc. We make everything by hand, from high-quality materials and with durable stitching. We are eco friendly, we support only Czech manufacturers, we use only Czech materials.
AWL: Why do you make them?
AJ: Because we love it. We each have our other works and Sojka is our relaxation.
AWL: What is the toughest challenge you've faced as an entrepreneur?
AJ: We like challenges and so far none has been difficult or overwhelming.
AWL: What's the product you're currently selling that you're most proud of and why?
AJ: Our most popular product is felt bag with leather handle. The natural felt we use is very high quality and looks really amazing. We produce the bags in many colours.
AWL: Can you share a piece of advice for fellow women who want to start their own business?
AJ: If you believe in what you are doing, go ahead.
If you know a female maker selling her wares online, let us know! Just message us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #SheMadeIt — or leave a comment below—and we'll amplify your pick. By the end of the week, we hope to create a crowdsourced database of women worth giving your business to.