Name: Anna Alex
Familiy Status: Married, one child
Where do you live? Berlin
How would you describe your lifestyle? Mompreneur
Do you follow a philosophy? Move your ass and your mind will follow
What is your professional background?
I studied economics and sociology in Freiburg/Germany and Paris. After I finished my studies I refused to join one of the big consultancies like the most of my fellow students did. Instead I discovered my passion for start-ups.
Outfittery is considered to be THE German flagship startup. What are your experiences as a woman in the start-up scene?
At many of the conferences that my partners and I visited, we indeed felt like strangers in between all the men. However, we always used the attention we received to our and the company’s advantage.
Which obstacles did you have to clear?
It is never easy to launch a company – but otherwise it would be boring. We were surprised how conservative the fashion business is, really. At the beginning we had to do a lot of persuading with many labels to get them to work with us. For the ones who committed themselves it was very profitable :-).
What have been your most important experiences in the last six years?
Well, there is nothing better than building your world like you want it to be and to work on one’s own company. It is incredibly tiring, but also incredibly rewarding. And it is even twice as good with the right partner on your side.
Do you have any advice for founders in the scene?
I notice again and again how especially women spend a lot of their energy on looking for approval. Many can`t deal with not being liked or to offend from time to time. This is wrong, I think – it is not about to be popular, but to be heard and to make your point. Therefor I would like to encourage all founders to stand up for their opinion and to remain true to themselves. This is the only way the world is exciting and colourful.
Which direction will you now take? Are you planning new projects in the fashion area?
I have lots of plans, nut none can be revealed yet.
Styles4Work is an online shop focused on business fashion and business editorials. What is your estimation on specialized platforms and blogs for future trendsetting?
I believe trends will be more and more democratized. It is not only the grant fashion designers who will set trends, but increasingly so also influencers and people who have discovered their passion for fashion.
Do you use social media yourself?
I do, but I am not a person who likes to share her whole life on social media.
Fashion is an emotional, very personal topic. Is there an outfit that always works for you?
I like to go shopping when I travel. The items always remind me of the journey. For instance, I bought a blue silk blouse when I as in San Francisco recently. This blouse is one of my absolute favourites for the time being.
Do you have a favorite label?
No, I am not committed to any label.
Are you including fashion trends in your business outfit?
At Outfittery there are so many fashion-confident staff members, e.g. in styling or in purchasing – I can’t even try to keep up with that! On the other hand, if I like a trend I also like to join in. If I don’t like a trend though, I don’t have any concerns to miss out on that one :-).
Which colors do you wear in the office?
Dark-blue always works. However, we are a startup so everything is possible! Even pink plush, if you wanted to…
What do you always carry in your handbag?
In this weather condition water spray. It’s just lovely …
Which hint do you have for women who are still looking for their own style?
I would always prefer to invest into more expensive but classical items than buy cheaper and trendy pieces which are out of fashion after a couple of months …
Work and family, an ongoing subject: how do you manage to master both?
It is and remains difficult – this is not be discussed. The partner plays the key role. To what extent does he support his wife? How much parental leave does he take? More than the “common two month”? In case the child is unwell would he also stay at home?
Do you have an advice for mompreneurs who have founded their own business or are planning to do so?
To communicate clear expectations towards staff and business partners.
Who or what inspires you?
People with opinions…
Last but not least: Which social topic is important to you?
Female empowerment. In fact, the generation of our parents assumed that equal rights for men and women wouldn’t be an issue for us anymore. How wrong they were! We take small steps. Progress should go much faster.