Almost five years ago, Nina Blasberg founded the “infinite wardrobe” with the start-up myonbelle. Fashion for rent in three different variations. A forward-looking company with a lot of potential.
Nina started off classically with a business studies degree at the University of Cologne, with stations in NYC and Paris. After some experience in the media sector, she has dedicated herself to online business and has been loyal to it ever since. In the meantime, she is also involved in the initiative “Frauen unternehmen”. In our interview she tells us more about her concept and the goals she is pursuing with myonbelle. We also learn what she thinks of the founding scene for women, why she is supporting working women and we are all excited about her tips for a smart and confident business look.
Name: Nina Blasberg
Age: 30 years
Family Status: Single
Profession and Position: Founder and Managing Director myonbelle.de
Where do you live? Near Cologne
How would you describe your lifestyle? A lot online, otherwise always up to date and open for new things.
Hobbies: Travelling, reading books/e-books as far as I can, occasionally horse riding to clear my head.
Do you follow a motto? To make the best of every day so you wouldn’t regret it, even if it was the last one.
When and where did the idea for myonbelle come from?
The inspiration for the model came from the USA. There are some similar models like Rent the Runway. I found the business model interesting from both a consumer and an entrepreneurial perspective. It means that women in Germany can wear high-quality fashion at any time and on top, we promote the “Circular Economy”.
What are the next targets of myonbelle?
We would like to expand the model further in Germany – expand the range. This will enable more and more women in Germany to rent fashion – as an alternative to traditional shopping and to counteract a throwaway society. This is primarily about conscious consumption. In this way, customers can always wear something new and fulfil their desire for constant variety in the wardrobe.
I can also imagine expanding the online business to include other traditional online shopping options that our customers are also interested in, such as fashionable active wear or vegan cosmetics.
What do you think are essential tools for the rapid growth of a start-up?
I can recommend Slack for teamwork. For customer support Zendesk. Apart from that we also work with other online marketing tools…
Which of your stations has shaped you the most?
“Great things never came from comfort zones” – only when it “hurts” can real growth and further development emerge. Above all, the right focus is important. There are always a lot of problems to solve – to focus on the right ones, that’s what matters.
What are the biggest challenges in your current position?
I thought it would be easier to scale the business model. Compared to other cultures, Germans are often more sceptical and cautious about new opportunities. Germans often seem to need a little more time to adapt new ideas.
Did you yourself have mentors on your career path?
Surely there are always people who help me with words and deeds and who say things you might not want to hear. Of course, it is important to filter. Especially as a founder you constantly hear from other people what you should do differently or better. Over time, you develop a certain bluntness.
What was the most important advice you got from another woman?
Women are often more cautious in their approach and seem less convinced of themselves. Actively asking for help and being very proactive can definitely help you to move forward.
How do you rate the start-up scene in Germany, especially for women?
Women are still not sufficiently promoted and supported. Venture capital investments, for example, are much more frequently made by male founders or teams with male dominance.
Why is the promotion of women as entrepreneurs so important to you?
Women should be encouraged to appear more self-confident and to communicate their strengths just as convincingly as men do. For example, women often have a higher emotional intelligence and often better visions for products that are preferably designed for women.
Styles4Work is a niche online shop. How do you assess the importance of such specialized platforms for trend building in the coming years?
I think that, in addition to a “platform economy”, niche shops can also successfully position themselves on the web in the coming years, as they address needs and target groups very precisely.
Do you use social media yourself?
Absolutely. Preferably Instagram, Whatsapp – from time to time Facebook or Linkedin.
Fashion is an emotional, very personal subject. Is there a business look for you that always fits?
I think everyone has one or more favourite outfits where you feel best in business. Underlining your personality accordingly is important.
Are there power colours for you on the job?
For me an absolute type thing. Dark blue, for example, can look very noble. Black always fits, of course. Every now and then it can also be a little gaudy, depending on how much you want to attract attention.
Do you include fashion trends into your business outfit?
My main concern is that I feel comfortable in my outfit and can convince myself in the best possible way.
What do you advise women who are still looking for their style?
Try a lot – e.g. with a fashion rental service. This way you can test some styles without binding and don’t have to commit yourself until you have found your personal favourite.
Who or what gives you inspiration?
I am inspired above all by founders who have implemented corresponding visions. To recognize the right time for a market dynamic and to position myself accordingly – that is a decisive ability for me.
Which social topic is close to your heart?
I am particularly concerned about the issue of sustainability as far as our consumption is concerned. This is not only regarding fashion – there is much more to it.