Going for Growth: Silvana ‘LANDA’ McAdam

Silvana Landa McAdam and her husband embarked on an international brand building journey with their bag business LANDA. She talks about her Going for Growth experience.

We talk to women entrepreneurs who have taken part in the Going for Growth programme. Going for Growth is a six-month part-time programme, supported by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, which assists ambitious female entrepreneurs to achieve their growth aspirations. Applications are currently being sought from ambitious female entrepreneurs for the 14th cycle of the popular programme.

Silvana Landa McAdam set up LANDA with her husband Andrew, producing quality bags with a firm DNA: quality, design and functionality. They follow a vision of adding value to customers by offering a designer product at an affordable price tag.

“The entrepreneurial energy shared by all the female founders is so powerful that you cannot help but grow!”

Prior to creating LANDA, Silvana’s corporate life saw her work with multinational giants like L’Oreal luxury group, launching new brands in Ireland and Europe, gaining extensive management experience in retail and the luxury industry, with a focus on the consumer’s needs.

Brand building

Born in Argentina, Silvana grew up watching her Italian grandfather work leather in his cobbler’s workshop. It was a natural step to follow her dream of creating a brand with a global appeal

With a deep understanding of brand building, product positioning and the consumer, she has developed an international following for the LANDA brand, which is stocked in markets including the United States, New Zealand, Europe and soon expanding to Japan. The company enjoyed very strong growth during the pandemic, as a result of re-directing most efforts to their online and export sales.

The LANDA brand celebrates traditional manufacturing expertise. They work with small factories that handcraft each item to bring to life the most exquisite handbag.

The materials are carefully sourced, following the brand’s commitment to conscious and ethical production.

At a very early stage, LANDA was one of two brands representing Ireland at a Global Emerging Brands conference in France as part of Fashion United Europe and this year, the label secured participation in Le New Black’s digital buyers’ showroom, as part of the same select programme.

Innovation is in the bag

Silvana is part of the Going for Growth community after participating on the Starting Strong element of the programme in 2021. 

In exceptional cases, entrepreneurs at an earlier stage of their business journey will be considered for Going for Growth if they are generating sales, and it is felt that the business is highly innovative, plans to have export customers and the entrepreneur has significant growth ambitions. If accepted, these participants are included in the ‘Starting Strong’ element of the programme.

“Being a participant on the Starting Strong programme and being part of the Going for Growth Community in general has been one of the best things I did this year,” says Silvana.

“The entrepreneurial energy shared by all the female founders is so powerful that you cannot help but grow! Paula (Fitzsimons who runs the programme), the Leads and guest speakers are very inspirational and make every topic feel relatable and achievable.  

“This community has been instrumental to my business growth and I couldn’t recommend the programme more. I feel very privileged to have been a part of it.”

The call is open for applications from female entrepreneurs who would welcome peer support to take their businesses to the next level by taking part in the Going for Growth programme. This is the 14th year of Going for Growth and more than 800 female entrepreneurs have so far taken part in the programme. Up to 60 places will be available for the 14th cycle of Going for Growth, which will run from January to June 2022 and the deadline for applications is Thursday December 16th 2021. There is no charge for those selected.

Anyone interested is encouraged to register on the website goingforgrowth.com and a link to the application form will be sent to them.

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.