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“It’s Important to Have Conditions That Give Everyone Comparable Opportunities” – Interview with Mareike Wächter

Bathroom remodeling made easy — was the proposition with which Mareike Wächter and her co-founder Michael Dreimann entered the bathroom remodeling market in 2015. Since then, they report that their company Banovo has become Germany’s leading bathroom remodeling service for private customers. In our interview, we wanted to find out what motivated her to start a company, if she has role models and what is on top of her desk right now.

Munich Startup: What motivated you to found a company?

Mareike Wächter: In general, I always thought it would be exciting to create something of my own — to start my own company, be my own boss, make my own decisions and take on responsibility. With my former colleague and friend Michael Dreimann, I then had the right business idea. He had personally experienced how difficult it can be to remodel your bathroom. The industry has a sales model that is not consumer friendly and the different trades work separately when remodeling bathrooms. We thought to ourselves: We can do a better job!

Make it fairer for customers and more convenient. And because the market is so interesting and the product so complex, it was lots of fun getting more acquainted with it all. Now we’re Germany’s biggest bathroom remodeling service and it feels great.

“I’m not generally the kind of person to follow specific role models”

Munich Startup: Did you have role models when starting the company?

Mareike Wächter: I spoke with some founders back then who I knew from my personal or extended network, such as Stefan from Westwing or Julia from Outfittery. I was impressed by what they had set up. I’m not generally the kind of person to follow specific role models. But I like to be in contact with interesting and clever people. I enjoy sharing their experiences, learning from them and being inspired by them.

Munich Startup: When and where do you have the best ideas?

Mareike Wächter: That depends. Sometimes when under pressure, but also when I have time and can just let my mind wander.

Munich Startup: What’s your biggest talent?

Mareike Wächter: Staying relaxed – with all its pros and cons.

Munich Startup: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?

Mareike Wächter: Thinking Donald Trump would never become president.

Munich Startup: What’s your secret networking weapon?

Mareike Wächter: Not having one! I see people and their personalities — not a contact that might be able to help me later.

“It’s important to have conditions that give everyone comparable opportunities”

Munich Startup: Do you think it’s important for more women to found companies in Germany?

Mareike Wächter: I think it’s important for women to be able to do what they want in their private and professional lives. That, by the way, should be the case not only for women, but regardless of gender. It’s important to have conditions that give everyone comparable opportunities. Regardless of whether that ultimately means founding your own company, being an employee or taking care of your kids at home — every person should be able to decide for themselves.

Munich Startup: What’s on top of your desk at the moment?

Mareike Wächter: Our current sales figures, a presentation for potential cooperation with a major retailer, material for sales coaching and a pair of glittery pink glasses that belong to my two-year old daughter (I’m working from home due to corona).

Munich Startup: What makes you happy?

Mareike Wächter: I’m fundamentally a happy person. In private life, when my loved ones and I are all healthy and we can live life how we please. Professionally, when we’re able to win over lots of people with the advantages offered by remodeling a bathroom with Banovo and continue to build a sustainable company for our employees and customers.