Self-employed from the crisis


© Clipart
Interview: The founders of fashion label German Garment

The dream of independence

Many dream of independencebut only a few dare the decisive step. "I've always had such a shop idea ..." or "Someday I'll do it ..." you hear them say. Many of the ideas have real future potential, but the Fear of bankruptcy is big. Especially in times of crisis, the step into self-employment seems too risky.

It is right now for many business ideas the right time, "We urgently need innovative start-ups to overcome the crisis, they open up new markets, generate growth opportunities and strengthen Germany's international competitiveness," says Dr. Ulrich Schröder, CEO of the KfW Banking Group. KfW is a federal and state bank and acts as a promotional bank for the German economy.



But Starting your own business requires a lot of courage and even more persuasiveness, not only to the lenders, but also to themselves. "This company is my life, I had to do it," says food stylist Anne Wiedey from Hamburg on her way to self-employment. And the decision to start a business should not be much different. Especially in times of global economic crisis a half-hearted independence is impossible.

On the next page: Independence and the crisis
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Interview: Founding tips from Anne, the independent food stylist

The crisis

The crisis has many faces, While the German consumer climate index, an index that shows the willingness of Germans to spend, remains constant and seemingly unaffected by declining export figures and rising unemployment, the chain of negative headlines in the news does not stop. Bank dying, media crisis and unemployment dominate the reporting. But many people seem hardly impressed by the constant theme of "crisis" and buy, invest and live on, almost as before.

The market

The established companies moan and moan about the economic crisis. It seems that the "big ones" are taking the opportunity to lay off workers, cut costs and squeeze salaries. In return, the number of business start-ups has only fallen by seven percent. In 2008, 797,000 people were self-employed in Germany, compared with 7 percent in 2007. For many start-ups, self-employment is the way out of unemployment.

On the next page: That's how you start your own business
© Clipart
Interview: Sebastian about self-employment with Fashionette

The foundation

The founders are as different as their founding ideas. There are some who hardly inform themselves about the market situation or the competitive business and yet insist on the market. Sometimes self-employment may work, but to avoid bankruptcy after a short while is one accurate analysis of the market advantageous. "Starting a business requires good consultants who already have experience, otherwise too much goes wrong," says Joko, co-founder of fashion label German Garment. After all, your own existence is at stake.



The local employment agencies offer entrepreneurship courses and self-employment advice. Foodstylist Anne has one at the employment office Entrepreneurs Course made. "The course ran for several weeks and during that time I was wondering if I have enough self-reliance, it's difficult to deal with existential anxiety and suddenly be responsible for everything, taxes, billing, advertising and negotiation Customer." Often, the layman underestimates the workload and the great responsibility on issues such as taxes or law. On sound basic knowledge is an absolute must.

On the next page: What a young entrepreneur needs to become self-employed
© Clipart

First, the idea

The idea is the key to success. A innovative business idea is the starting point for self-employment. Every young entrepreneur must be absolutely convinced of his business idea. When founding and financing self-employment, it is important to convince many, very different, instances. "In the beginning, there are many skeptics who primarily consider self-employment to be only a risk, once you have convinced them, you have to go into the planning in a structured and detailed manner, because ultimately the path is always more laborious than you think," says Sebastian Siebert. the founder of the designer accessories distributor Fashionette.de.



Second, the passion

In order to survive as a self-employed person, one must have a great passion for one's own company and work, because Existential fears and self-motivation are constant companions. "What's important about being self-employed is only doing what you love, then you'll be good at it, and only then will you succeed," says Anne.

Third, the plan

Only when the first two points are clearly answered with "yes" and you are prepared to take the step into independence despite or because of all the positive and negative consequences, can start the adventure business startup, It is important to get information from as independent as possible, such as the employment agency, well. Many different work steps have to be mastered: design a business plan, apply for loans and subsidies, search for business premises, create business cards, design a homepage. The to-do list is long!

Being your own boss

But one day the day will come and self-employment will be achieved, Joko describes the sense of independence as follows: "Seeing someone stranger on the street in a self-styled shirt is awesome and makes up for all the troubles."

On the next page: The exciting interviews with the new founders
© Anne Wiedey

Anne Widey on food and decoration styling

Anne Wiedey is self-employed Decoration and foodstylist, After completing her business administration studies she slipped through internships and assistants into the profession of foodstylist. She told us in an interview what exactly the job of a foodstylist is and what obstacles she had to overcome on her way to becoming self-employed.



ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: You are a food and decoration stylist. What exactly is behind this job title?

Anne: I cook, create and style dishes. I work for clients on events, but mainly produce for photo shoots. The images are then used in advertising or for cookbooks and cooking magazines. For example, if a cheese maker wants to put his product on a summery scene as an advertisement, then I will create a suitable cooking recipe as well as the concept for decorating. That means: matching plates, decoration and accessories for the photo. In the shoot itself, we try to show the dish from its tastiest and most beautiful side. Sometimes the lettuce leaves are draped for hours until it is perfectly in the picture.



ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: How did you come up with food and deco styling?

Anne: I actually studied business administration. However, during my studies, I quickly realized that I am not the classical business administrator. I then did an internship in the experimental kitchen of the journal ChroniquesDuVasteMonde. That was my world, and my former colleagues also encouraged me to do professional food styling. Then I was hired as a permanent food stylist in a publishing house for another internship and longer assistantships. Incidentally, I also did my cooking exam. Today I work independently.

Anne Wiedey at the kitchen battle



© Anne Wiedey

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: What was your incentive to start your own business idea?

Anne: With the beginning of the economic crisis, I was released by the publisher. It was immediately clear to me that I would become self-employed as a food stylist. In addition, I had already gained experience as a self-employed. During my studies I already built up a small seasonal fruit trade in Hamburg.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: What was the path between the idea and the first assignment with you?

Anne: The employment office pays a start-up grant in the first nine months. But that is a very short time to get acquainted and live off the assignments. It only took me a year and a half to feel that it really works.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: Was the global economic crisis an obstacle to establishing "food styling"?



Anne: The crisis is palpable. I am booked less. Each photo costs the client a few hundred euros and it is saved. But I've been looking for different jobs, and if no one just booked me as a food stylist, I earn my money in other ways. You can not be too bad for that.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: What is your daily work routine?

Anne: That's the nice thing about my work. I do not have a real working day. When I get an order for a recipe shoot, I experiment first at the court. Then I get the accessories and the decoration. Depending on the size of the order, there is sometimes a separate stylist. The shooting day itself is usually a very long working day, I cook the court and accompany the shoot with the photographer. In the picture everything has to be right, the whole composition. It's almost like painting a picture - very exciting, but I'm also happy when it's done. In addition, I work as an event cook, give cooking classes and organize my fruit trade.

© Anne Wiedey

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: What exactly do you have to consider when starting a business?

Anne: It's important to walk around the world with your eyes open, to see trends and trends. You have to be very knowledgeable in your field. For example, the current food boom, with all the cookery programs on television, shows that there is a lot of work in the industry. These are factors that need to be considered.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: What should a young entrepreneur bring?

Anne: Of course, capital is helpful in the early days. However, I have made it to this point without big loans. It was important to me not to go into debt. However, this is also possible in my job. A photographer who needs equipment to work has to pre-finance quite different sums.



ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: And aside from starting capital?

Anne: Basically, as a self-employed person, you should be willing to work around the clock and have a good knowledge of human nature. This is an advantage in negotiations with customers and in a team. If you can not do that, you will not be booked.

On the next page: The interview with the founders of German Garment

Joko Winterscheidt, Sebastian Radlmeier, Matthias Schweighöfer and Kilian Kerner

© German Garment

The founders of German Garment in an interview

German Garment is a new shirt label from the capital, and the four founders are far less unknown than their young brand. Because behind German Garment stuck the actor Matthias Schweighofer, TV host Joko Winterscheidt, the Berlin fashion designer Kilian Kerner and Sebastian Radlmeier, aka DJ Sebrok and operator of the music label PASO Music. The four have developed an ambitious plan: They want to counteract the general trend to relocate production abroad and design stylish fashion that is produced exclusively in Germany. We talked to Sebastian and Joko about founding a fashion label. Read here, what the guys tell about independence.



ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: What are you talking about in the project "German Garment"?

Sebastian: First and foremost we want to produce exactly the shirts we ourselves like to wear. Combined with the idea of ​​finally establishing a brand that is truly 100 percent Made in Germany.

Joko: How can it be that a piece of clothing produced in Asia is cheaper than a piece produced in Germany? Especially with the fact that it still has to be flown around half the globe! Some countries produce something they can not understand. Sometimes even children are involved in the factories. In addition to the inhumane working conditions, there is still the increasing pollution. I wonder how to reconcile these factors as a producer with his conscience. We do not want that. We say: Without us, thank you!



ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: Why is the inner-German production site so dear to you?

Joko: We never asked ourselves that question. We wanted to exclude the factors from pollution to child labor and create a product that is 100 percent produced in Germany. We believe that quality prevails. If someone feels inspired, even in another industry, to do the same, then we have achieved more than we ever wanted.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: How many people work at the production sites? What exactly happens there? And what does it look like there?

Joko: How many people work there I can not say. We work with those who deliver quality and guarantee that all work steps take place in Germany. Already finding a reliable producer to fulfill these points is a lot of work.

© German Garment

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: What was the path between the idea and the first sold piece with you?

Joko: The puzzle has only gradually been completed. We have often been rejected. But we did it. And that's a good feeling.

Sebastian: Boah, very rocky! Unfortunately, we did not think so much in advance. But then it turned out to be a big problem to coordinate all production processes in Germany.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: What exactly do you have to consider when starting a business?

Joko: Professionals are worth gold! Unfortunately, we had very little to no experience. And so there were people who have excluded us, because of our lack of plan, downright.



ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: Was the global economic crisis an obstacle on the way to founding "German Garment"?

Sebastian: No, not at the foundation, we do not hope to survive.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: You only make shirts so far. Will there be other products in the future?

Sebastian: Definitely! Our long-term goal is to design a complete outerwear line. However, this is not so easy if you leave all steps in Germany and on the highest quality at reasonable prices.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: You are talking about a high level of designerism regarding your shirts.But they are classic T-shirts with large format prints. How do you justify the claim?



Joko: We developed our own typography. We have introduced printing processes that are hardly used in Germany. We have made sure that we set ourselves apart from the crowd with our designs. If you do not see that at first glance, that's not bad, but we know how our heads swarmed in the design.

© German Garment

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: Eco-fashion, green-fashion and bio-in-all-life situations are currently a strong trend. Are you just swimming on a lucrative wave?

Joko: The eco-market is highly competitive. The consumer has to be convinced. The product must be just right for him. We are convinced that quality counts. What does an eco shirt bring you for 10 euros if it fits your little sister's wash three times? The price-performance ratio must be right.



ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: Four friends start their own business with a fashion label. That sounds like a lot of fun. What does a working day look like for you?



Sebastian: Yes, that's great fun, but a lot more stress! Besides "German Garment" we have at least one, two or three other things to do. Matthias Schweighöfer works as an actor, Joko moderates at MTV, Kilian Kerner takes care of his own fashion label and I am actually a musician, DJ and label owner. It's not so easy to get everything under one roof and, above all, to coordinate with each other in time ... but we're working on it!

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: Who is the Creative? And who is the boss?

Sebastian: There are no bosses at our place. We are all boss, or none. All decisions are made by us together. Just as everyone is involved in the designs.



ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: What insider tips do you have for young company founders?

Sebastian: We paid so much apprenticeship, of which we could have produced a good deal more clothes! I would advise against any company founder!

Joko: It's important to involve people with decision-making experience. It is important to form networks and learn from mistakes. We made many mistakes and learn every day.

On the next page: Sebastian Siebert on the way to independence with Fashionette
© Fashionette

About the founding of Fashionette

Fashionette is an online shopping portal for designer accessories. Here, handbags, jewelery and sunglasses from over 60 luxury labels such as Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton or Chanel are leased to the predominantly female clientele. The "bonbon" at Fashionette is the so-called "hire purchase" - who does not want to give away a bag or one of the other accessories can continue to rent until the article is paid off. The initiators Sebastian Siebert and Fabio Labriola have come across the business idea through the movie "Sex and the City" and have been asserting themselves in the online market since May 2009. We met Sebastian from Fashionette and once asked him thoroughly about becoming self-employed.





ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: What exactly do you have to consider when starting a business?

Sebastian: First, of course, one should be convinced of his idea. Initially, there are many skeptics who see in self-employment primarily only the risk. Once you have convinced them, you have to go into the planning in a structured and detailed manner, because ultimately the way is always more laborious than you think. And then only one thing helps anyway: head up and continue! Not to lose the courage is probably the hardest at the beginning.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: What insider tips do you have for young company founders?

Sebastian: Especially many young people have great ideas and concepts, but not all of them have the potential to work in the German market. Only when you are sure that you can survive here, you should start with the exact concept development. Of course it is very important to clarify all legal and tax matters, because here the layman likes to underestimate himself. And: not everyone is suitable as a leader. So who does not intend to stay an I-AG, which should think twice, if he actually has the makings of the boss.



ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: What was your incentive to start your own business idea?

Sebastian: We had the idea to become self-employed for some time, but we did not know what. We owe it to our friends that we are now the founders of Fashionette because with them we had to watch "Sex and the City" in the cinema. Carrie Bradshaw's assistant also lends herself to designer bags and we found the idea so original and great that it was immediately clear what we would do with ourselves.

Sebastian Siebert

© Fashionette

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: What was the path between the idea and the first assignment with you?

Sebastian: First it was important to secure the financing. Fortunately, it was not hard to come up with open-ended investor ideas.Of course, a website also had to be designed, and when the formalities and conditions finally came to fruition, it was time to plan and procure the range. Between the official founding of the company and the first order, there were finally about five months. That was a very special moment, and it's really unbelievable how we've grown since the day. We now have around 900 products from more than 60 designer labels and there are always new ones.



ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: Was the global economic crisis an obstacle to founding Fashionette?

Sebastian: Yes. Because on the one hand it was of course a very risky time, on the other hand we were and are of the opinion that it is only in times of global economic crisis that it becomes clear how good your own product really is. And we met the spirit of the times with Fashionette because we managed to make luxury items a safe bank. Our offer is designed so that you can afford a great bag even with a tight budget and not even have to save a long time. The economic crisis only strengthened us and showed us that we did everything right.

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Young Miss: Independence is also a way out of unemployment for many. Did this aspect play a role in your start-up?

Sebastian: No, we both had permanent jobs when we decided to start our own business. The move was only a matter of time, and I speak for both of us when I say it was the right decision. Of course, having a permanent position also has its advantages, but for me it was never the final option.

[Foreign Correspondents] Ep.125 - A crisis among the self-employed _ Full Episode (July 2020).



Crisis, Independence, Germany, Economic Crisis, Business Idea, Hamburg, Employment Office, Matthias Schweighöfer, Bankruptcy, Federal Employment Agency, Crisis, Economy, Labor, Unemployed, Self-Employed, Business Start-Up