Do what you love and love what you do. A slogan that suits the three beautiful founders of the online magazine femtastics perfectly well. Katharina Charpian, Lisa van Houtem and Anna Weilberg created their own little safe haven in Hamburg, a 20 sqm studio, where they write the kind of interviews, portraits and capturing stories, that we would love to read, when buying Instyle or Glamour, yet are always disappointed.
In times when overwhelming amounts of content are being pushed through social media daily, quality and deep insights become rare and stock photos keep cluttering our visual perception.That’s exactly why we cherish this innovative and well-designed online magazine, portraying strong, creative women with inspiring jobs or cool business ideas, that produce eye candy with beautiful shoots, but also never fail to give us food for thought. With plenty of girl power, the three gals do not only keep building the femtastics community, but as part of generation slash, they also keep working as freelance journalists, each write their own blog and share their business know-how as Tastics Media.
How Anna Weilberg (first on the left), one of the three founders, spared the time to answer our questions, we honestly don’t know. However, we are glad that she did.
Anna, you are a journalist and co-creator of the blog Femtastics. Please introduce yourself a bit more to our readers and tell us what you do.
I have been working in digital and print journalism for different German publishing houses for the last five years. This year, I decided to work freelance and in May I founded the digital magazine femtastics.com together with two friends of mine, Katharina Charpian and Lisa van Houtem. Beside that, we also work as freelance journalists for different projects and we all have our own blogs. Mine is www.rosycheeks-blog.com.
How did you create Femtastics and what was the idea behind it?
The idea grew during our regular lunch dates when all three of us, Katharina, Lisa and me, were still full-time employed at the publishing house Gruner+Jahr. We knew we wanted to start a new digital project together and after contemplating different ideas, we relatively quickly decided to do Femtastics. The idea was to offer content that is more valuable than the usually small news you find everywhere on the internet. We wanted content that lasts, that stays interesting over a longer period of time. And we wanted to expand the boundaries of categories like „fashion“, „beauty“, „interior“ and „career“.
The name Femtastic might suggest a feminist approach. Would you say you are a feminist?
Not really. We do not consider ourselves feminists – even though a lot of our ideas might align with the principles of feminism. We portray creative, inspiring, strong and independent women and we like the idea of a female network. But of course we are not afraid of asking men for help or working together with men when it makes sense.
You have interviewed a lot of female entrepreneurs like Sibylle Seibert from Jö or Young-Mi Snowden-Park from Kimchi Princess. Do feel that there is a change in how women are creating and growing businesses?
I think more and more women have the heart – and the trust in themselves and their ideas – to start their own businesses. Be it a shop, a startup, a label, whatever. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the media increasingly feature female entrepreneurs and thus give women inspiration and examples to look up to. That was part of our idea behind Femtastics, too.
What is your experience with/opinion on pop-up shops or temporary shops?
I think for entrepreneurs they are a great way to test a product, company or an idea on the market. To see how the audience and customers react to it, if they are interested in it, etc. For customers, they make cities more exciting – it is a lot more fun when shops offer you a new experience on a regular basis, when you can get to know new companies, designers and labels.
Do you feel like Hamburg is a good city to open a pop-up store? What kind of stores are Hamburgers attracted to in your opinion?
Definitely. Hamburg is not too big, so when you open a pop-up store you run no risk of „getting lost“ or overlooked in a vast mass of shops and events. Unlike it might happen in cities like Berlin. In Hamburg, people are interested in new and temporary shops – especially if there is a story of interesting concept behind them.
Which store/shopping concept or brand has inspired you recently and why?
I recently visited my sister in Gothenburg and there is an area in the centre of town that I like a lot. In the former courtyards and buildings of Gothenburg‘s artillery there is now an interesting mix of beautiful interior shops, a florist and a coffee roaster/café. The owners of the places like that mix, too, and they don‘t mind if the audience mixes in the courtyards. The florist, for example, does not send the customers of the coffee shop away when they sit down in front of her shop with cake and a cup of coffee. They have understood that the different shops support and stimulate each other. I find that concept very nice and I hope more owners of shops and restaurants will begin thinking and acting like that.
Do you have any advice for young women entrepreneurs who want to start their own business?
Just try! Seriously, if there is something that you would really like to do, something you have been dreaming of for a long time, just do it. Do your research, learn about the market and your audience, write a business plan (or not, if you don‘t think you need it), know your goals – and then just try. Don‘t expect that everything will happen at once, give your project some time, find a way to do it, and don‘t give up.
Thank you, Anna!
Where to find femtastics
Rothesoodstraße 12, 20459 Hamburg
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