For many women the prospect of founding their own company is more exciting than an ordinary career in business. In this blog series we want to find out about the entrepreneurial spirit that drives these women and the ideas they pursue. Learn how they got started, their experience as female founders, and what they wish they’d known before entering the start-up world.
Janina Lin Tomaszewska quit her job and left a succesful career in the food industry before she started her own business to make a difference. In 2011 she founded “Frau Ultrafrisch“, a restaurant and catering service that creates fresh selfmade food where all ingredients come directly from local farmers outside of Hamburg – no funny additives, no meat mass production, just good food you will love!
Janina, you had a succesful career in the food industry. What motivated you to leave this path behind and start your own business “Frau Ultrafrisch“?
Two things. Firstly, the fact that industrial food contains so many bad ingredients. Secondly, the unsustainable exploitation of people, animals and the environment. My opinion is that everybody should do what they can to save our planet – my business ‘Frau Ultrafrisch’ is my contribution. The slogan is “Lasst uns gemeinsam die Welt der Lebensmittel besser machen” – in essence “let’s improve the world of food together”. There are many ways to do that, and for four years I have now been able to make a small but continued and economically viable difference with my restaurant and catering services. The key ingredients all come directly from outside Hamburg, no funny additives, no meat mass production where no-one is sure where it has come from in the end, no frozen strawberries from Asian fruit farms.
Wow, you really want to make a difference! Have you ever been afraid that your business idea might not work out as planned?
I totally believe that everything will work out great. I believe in what I do, so I don´t have many doubts. There is nothing to lose. Life is about making experiences.
What do you recommend to consider before starting a business off the ground?
Certainly, there are many things to consider before you build a company in Germany but in the end you just have to get on with it and find the right place to do what you want to do. You have to throw your doubts overboard. It´s worth it!
What are the highlights of your day-to-day business and what do you like most about your job as a founder?
Every single time I can inspire a person to care about good food, sustainable living and caring about the environment is a victory. It´s great to know that i built everything by myself without external help. And I am proud that I managed to repair so many technical things by myself – for example, the dishwasher and till.
Do you have recommendations to other people that might have a business idea?
Just do it, there are great experiences waiting for you 🙂 It´s your life and you should do what you want to do. Everybody who follows their heart will not regret it, I´m sure.
There a very few female founders. Do you think women have a different approach to entrepreneurship?
Maybe women are too self-critical, have too many doubts, but I am not a fan of over-simplifying things and generalisations. Maybe females tend to be more creative. Many have a great sense for situations. But I wouldn’t say there are many differences.
What is your advice for aspiring founders attending Startup Weekend Women Hamburg?
Be well prepared and just do it :-). To get to know something about administration is never a mistake and of course some coding skills are great to have. You must not know everything but you should know people who can help you in areas you are not so good at. In the end, it’s learning by doing.
Thank you Janina and all the best for your business!
You want to build your own startup? Build a startup in one weekend and put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur! Join us at Startup Weekend Women, April 10-12 in Hamburg. If you have a business idea, great! If you don’t have a business idea, join anyway! You can help bring other ideas to life. Guys are welcome, too! Stay tuned for more updates and interviews via our Facbook Page.