Observatory of Green Businesses
The design by Natascha von Hirschhausen offers fresh beauty, simple elegance, up-to-date luxury and transparent sustainability for the modern woman. The perfect silhouette, noble materials and subtle aesthetics make every piece of clothing to a favourite part which stays. Handmade in Berlin.
Founder: Natascha von Hirschhausen
Size of business
- Founder + additionally trainees and supporting consultants
- Investors not available
Opportunities and plans for the future
- Expansion of team (Sales Accountant, Economist)
- For the future the founder wants to concentrate on design, development and conception
Pitfalls and challenges
1. How did the project come to life?
During my master at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee I have developed very special cuts, which allow a perfect fit without offcuts. According to my research, this was not available on the market. So I have decided to make the innovation from sustainable, natural and fair materials and start my own business. For the implementation it is very important to be traceable and transparent for the customers.
2. If you found the company again, what would you do exactly and what would you do differently?
In the first year I have learned a lot with each new task. With these experiences I would organize some things differently. However, I would not change anything. So: Yes, I would do everything differently, but I would not change a thing. To explain further, I have decided to go a very unusual way. It is very untypically, particularly in my segment of premium design fashion, to offer the collection over the season and on request. Moreover I avoid the fashion business of fashion weeks, trade fairs, media and co. So I will concentrate on the customers and my product. But this is still the way, which feels right for me and which I want to go.
3. Are there any difficulties regarding the foundation?
In principle, the high-quality, ethically acceptable materials and the costly production are very cost-intensive, so I have to invest heavily in my product. Of course, this is reflected in prices and I am very grateful that my customers understand these prices and appreciate the garments and my work. Because of the high investment, there is only little money for public relations. That is the reason why my client base growth very slowly. Additional challenges were generally associated with setting up a company. As a designer I had only superficial contact with law in accounting and finance, tax, and I say it a bit flaccid: There is one reason why a study of business management exists.
4. What are the biggest challenges in regard of the foundation?
As I mentioned above, the general tasks of establishing a company, such as accounting and financial management, are very difficult to realize for me as a designer. Another challenge was to find a way to reach my target group although I have to invest my capital in my collection. Also an ethical company is dependent on selling its products and offering a consumer alternative.
5. Did you have positive or negative incidences which motivated you?
I am pleased when I can reach customers outside the "sustainable bubble" and inspire them for the topic. But in general, every positive feedback, appreciation of my work and every customer are pure motivation for me.
Pictures by courtesy of Natascha von Hirschhausen.
Natascha von Hirschhausen
13353 Berlin, Germany