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Meet Natacha Esmail – The Woman behind Melie

The inspiring Natacha Esmail talks to Melie Stories about her new experience as an entrepreneur, buyer and reveals every secret details about Melie!

Natacha Esmail, CEO and Founder of Melie
Age: 28 years
With an enviable academic career in fashion marketing, we still believe that leaving Portugal to conquer the world isn’t an easy task. After finishing your studies at Parsons, in New York, and after working with the highest names in fashion such as Fendi or Chanel, how does it feel to return back home?
It’s always good to comeback home specially to Portugal, which is such a great country to settle down. We have a great quality of life here and with the economy growing, I believe it’s a good place to start a business. I am not going to lie, I do need to fly away sometimes but with Melie, that is happening all the time, so I guess coming back home has been positive in every way.

London, Rio de Janeiro and New York are quite remarkable cities for you, right? How do they influence your work or your choices? Are these cities your biggest source of inspiration?

Absolutely! They are my inspiration and the cities I travel to, not only look for the latest trends, but also to look for what has been done in the past, because they do have some great and very successful case studies that I always love to read and know more about.

I always say that I am a mix of those cities. I love to dress up, put some heels, walk around the fashionable neighborhood of Mayfair; or put my most comfortable sneakers and walk around Soho discovering all the new brands and best places to eat. But if you give me a pair of Havaianas and a bikini, oh sure I’ll be the happiest person on the beaches of Ipanema. I believe that these three cities have such different personalities and they somehow reflect who I am today.

And now… new life, new challenges! What made you start your own company? Was there an exact moment that you thought “I can do this”?

I always wanted to have my own company. I confess I never expected for it to be this early in my life, but why not? I am 28 years old and my mother started her own business when she was 29. She is my role model, she is so successful and it will be so hard to achieve all she did, so I guess having a one year advantage is always good ☺

When I finished my studies in NY, I had some projects with friends that were not really going anywhere. One day, I said to myself: “if doing it with other people is only delaying the process, why not try it on my own?”. And from that moment on, things just happened. I’ve worked really hard to put a business plan together, and all of the sudden, Melie was born 🙂



What are the best and worst parts of being an entrepreneur?

The best part I think is the fact that you are creating something that is yours. I do work very hard, so many hours a day, every day of the week but in the end, I’m building something that is mine. Which is a really great feeling.

The worst part? The pressure to succeed… and believe me, that has been taking me lots of hours of sleep!

With only two months since launch, Melie is still a mystery for some people. So, let’s put this bluntly, after all, what is Melie? 

Melie is an online store. Melie brings to Europe brands from different markets like Australia, California or Brazil. Markets that are not really easy for the consumer to reach and I think that ends up being our mission – bringing fresh brands that are rocking on the other side of the world, to the consumer that is next to us. I want people to come to Melie because they are looking for something fresh, something different, something that they can only find with us.

Which 3 words would best describes Melie?

Global, feminine and contemporary.



Eduarda Jumpsuit by Loft 747 HERE


With such an huge offer and diversity of styles, we can imagine how hard it is to define Melie’s role women. How would you describe the imagined profile?

She is a hard working woman that likes to dress up to feel confident and ready to conquer. But she likes to have fun and she is casual too, she loves hanging out with friends in more relaxed outfits and enjoy life to the most… of course, always with the right outfit 😉

Melie’s buying department is also up to your responsibility. Considering this is your fist time being a buyer, and managing this task while launching a personal project. What is the biggest challenge in every buying session?

I feel that the biggest challenge for a buyer is to buy clothes for a client that still does not exist. The beginning of a project in fashion is always hard. Because you can not really accomplish the number one rule of buying – buy clothes for your client, not for you. Because you don’t know who your client really is, and if she prefers trousers to skirts or blue to yellow. So you need to have a huge variety so that later you can analyze sales and understand what direction your client is taking you.

Of course you need to push your boundaries and challenge your clients with pieces and styling that she would not really wear at first. But you know you did a good job, when she is browsing your website and sees the looks you’ve put together, and loves it.



Assuming that Melie’s mission happens to bring to Europe brands from all over the world, generally unknown to the consumers and with great potential in terms of quality/design/positioning, one of the advantages of these buying sessions is the opportunity to meet countries, cities and people. Is there a destination that has your heart. Which one and why?

This one is hard. Rio de Janeiro is my absolute favorite place on heart but I love going to NY for buying. And I do love NY almost as much as I love Rio… Well… I don’t know… can I say Rio and New York? ☺ I lived in those two cities and I feel at home every time I go there. And I love that my job takes me there so often these days!

Without asking what plans do you have for future, for now, what is your major ambition as Melie’s founder and CEO?

Reach Europe in its full extent. That is really my short term goal for Melie.