Isabel Muxfeldt’s idea of making cattle horns into female jewels worked out. Muxfeldt is a Brazilian businesswoman and designer. Currently, her company Jóias do Pantanal, from Mato Grosso do Sul, is exporting its products to Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.
Cotton thread, leather, Brazilian gems, silver, stainless steel and forestry wood are included in the finishing of the jewelry and decoration accessories developed by Isabel and Ana Muxfeldt, who use cattle horn as the main raw material.
According to Isabel, cattle horn is greatly used in Mato Grosso do Sul for production of blowing horns (wind instruments used to control cattle) and for the drinking of tereré (a beverage made out of mate herb and cold water).
“In the beginning it was hard to make suppliers accept the idea of working with horn for production of female jewelry,” said Isabel, who has the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae) and the Technological Incubator at Uniderp, in Campo Grande, the state capital, as partners.
For the production of the items, Jóias do Pantanal employs nine people. “Many are women over 40 who do not have many work opportunities,” said Isabel, who made a point of saying that all of them underwent training and work from home.
All the exports were made through the company site. According to Isabel, sales take place mainly in the summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The shipments are through the postal service.
Currently, Jóias do Pantanal produces 1,000 items a month, but may greatly expand production if demand rises. “It is all done very artistically and we always follow fashion tendencies,” said Isabel, who inaugurated a company showroom one year ago in Campo Grande. To promote the jewels in Brazil, the partners participated in fairs in several states.
Apart from earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings, Jóias do Pantanal is also investing in a line of accessories for offices and decorations. “Our items are already present in several shops in several states in Brazil,” said Isabel.
The state of Mato Grosso do Sul has the largest cattle herd in Brazil and cattle horn is treated as a by-product by slaughterhouses, normally not being industrially reused. It was from this principle, making industrial residue into products that translate the culture of Mato Grosso do Sul, that Isabel started working with the jewels in 2002.
Creativity, quality and management of Jóias do Pantanal caused Isabel to be among the three Brazilian finalists in the second edition of the “Empretec Women in Business Award”, organized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).
The initiative is turned to women from several countries who participated in the Empretec, a UN seminar that, in Brazil, is promoted by the Sebrae. The aim is to work on entrepreneurial behavior.
Jóias do Pantanal