5 Minutes With...



Name: Kira Umansky

Company: Universal Leather pty ltd

Years exhibiting with Reed Gift Fairs: For 15 years

Your brand/business in one word: Modapelle (it means fashion leather).


What inspires you to innovate?

International trade/fashion shows, people on the street, colours in nature.


Where do you look for trends and inspiration?

Attending and participating in these tradeshows for the last five years also gives us the opportunity to seek inspiration while we’re traveling too. We’re able to visit shops and galleries, looking at trends. Finding accommodation in different areas away from the main tourist haunts gives us the chance to see more of the local lifestyles and influences.


How do you know you’re onto a winner when creating/sourcing a new product?

Instinct and experience.


Describe what a typical working day looks like:

Early start by checking my emails at 7.00am, then once I’m in the office, a huge amount of my day is spent developing new designs, dealing with corporate clients, liaising with other clients, problem solving. At the end of the day, I look forward to going home to see my family.  

Customers love your business because...

We consistently provide them with new products, alluring array of wonderful weaves, amazing colours, and stylish designs in vintage and the softest of leathers.

Something we might not know, but will be glad found out about your business:   
We have a total respect for the environment and our products are manufactured in socially compliant factories & we endeavor to protect the health, safety & rights of our employees & the community. We also use ethically sourced raw materials.


We’ve got a time-machine, you can go forward, back, or stay in the present – thinking about your time in business, where do you choose to visit and why?    

Here and now because have more experience and learned so much over the last 30 years.

What feedback have you got from your customers on how it is to be in retail right now?  

Business is booming in regional stores but CBD customers are still finding it challenging.


What is the beauty of aligning your business with face-to-face trade events like Reed Gift Fairs?  

It’s the only way to get immediate customer feedback and develop our customer relationships - as well being able to interact with other likeminded businesses.


What’s one piece of business advice you’d give to yourself 10 years ago? 

Don’t worry so much.

What do the next 12 months look like for you?  

Very uncertain due to covid 

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over the years? (ideally, this may have come from a mistake you’d be open to share more about)  
Cashflow is the most important aspect in business.


Share with us the bestselling products we need to know about:

Our new scallop weave collection

Can you tell us your secret to keeping your customers returning for more?   
Good customer service and consistently unique designs

Where Can We Find You

Website: modapelle.com.au 
Social Media Handles: Facebook and Instagram. 
Contact Details: Donna – 0411 826566


Published September 2021.