Westwing — A happy place for interior design enthusiasts. Since 2011, founder Delia Fischer — alongside her co-founders Stefan Smalla, Tim Schäfer, Matthias Siepe and Georg Biersack — have made it their mission to make affordable and modern furnishings available to a wide range of customers. How did she come up with the idea? And did she think being a female founder was an advantage or disadvantage in the male-dominated startup scene? Find out the answers to these questions — and more — in our interview.
What motivated you to found a company?
I had a lot of fun doing my job at Elle and Elle Decoration, but at a certain point, I wanted to start something of my own. I’ve always been a more open person and looked around for new opportunities. I had a number of business ideas at that point, but I tossed them all in the end. Through my job, I realized there was a lot of fashion available online, but hardly any home furnishings — especially products that were both attractive and affordable. Making beautiful and individual interior objects available to everyone — the idea inspired me then and still does now.
Did you have role models when starting the company?
An example of someone who inspired me is Spanx-founder Sara Blakely. She wanted her silhouette to look slimmer under her dress, and when she couldn’t find the right product, she went ahead and created it herself.
When and where do you have the best ideas?
Often while traveling. But sometimes I also wake up in the middle of the night and have a new idea.
You don’t have to do everything alone
What’s your biggest talent?
If I do something, I do it with passion.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?
Thinking I needed to do everything myself.
What’s your secret networking weapon?
Always being genuinely interested in the person I’m speaking with.
Do you think now is a good time to start a company? Why?
Yes, because it’s never been easier to network and share ideas.
What are the three most offensive prejudices you’ve encountered in everyday startup life?
I’ve always tried not to concentrate on prejudices, and instead quickly realized that I should accept myself and my strengths — as well as my weaknesses.
What’s on top of your desk at the moment?
The draft of our Westwing Collection that we’re launching in November.
Being underestimated can also be an advantage
What makes you happy?
Thankfully, there are lots of happy moments. And that’s also what makes my work special. It’s really fun to live your dream and to be able to do what you’re most passionate about as your job.
Was being a female founder an advantage or disadvantage for you?
Neither of the two. That being said: Being underestimated every once in a while can indeed be an advantage .