Fortune Favors the Brave

“The greater the risk, the greater the reward.” “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” “Fortune favors the brave.” Sure, the quotes are cheesy, but the sentiment stands: the only way to know how something will pan out—how truly amazing it could be, or, yes, how spectacularly it might fail—is to actually take a chance and give it a shot. Just ask Alex Bender, the talented designer behind the Berlin-based leather goods line of the same name.

In 2011, Alex was working part time as a seamstress sewing custom bridal gowns; on her days off, she worked on her line of colorful leather handbags. Underpaid, overworked, and at the mercy of an unkind boss, she reached her breaking point. “I decided: Okay, I can quit and just try to make a living off my bags,” she recalls. Despite lukewarm early sales, Alex handed in her notice and committed to give the fledgling business her all.