1. Dear Clara, I am very happy to be able to introduce you to MyClarella as part of our Female Founder Stories. Feel free to tell us a little about yourself and your company.

Thank you for allowing me to be here, dear Lisa. I'm Clara, 28 years old and mother of an almost 2-year-old. I originally come from the music industry; Starting from the creative side as a singer/songwriter and DJ, I ultimately took the business path and studied music business at the Popakademie Baden Württemberg and at Columbia College Chicago. I have currently completed half a law degree with a focus on copyright and music law, interrupted by the pregnancy and birth of my son. My unfortunately negative birth and postpartum experience inspired me to have MyClarella, my second baby.

MyClarella offers expectant and new mothers a one-stop solution for useful and dignified products - from pregnancy to postpartum. The focus is currently on our postpartum kit, which was actually the first on the German market last year, but the vision is much bigger.

2. I think your founding story is really wonderful. You have identified a problem through your own experience and are now working to offer other postpartum women a solution. When you decided to start a business: how did you start, what did you do first?

First of all, the overall condition that women are exposed to in the postpartum period (and also during birth) totally shocked me - despite great midwifery care (hello to my lovely midwife Julia at this point) and birth preparation course. So I had a lot of conversations with other moms (and non-moms too) with the question of how well moms actually felt prepared for the time after the birth and how much childless women who wanted to have children later were particularly concerned about birth and that Know about the postpartum period.

I quickly realized that I had hit a nerve. So I looked at various standard products related to birth and the postpartum period (mesh underpants, freezing pads to help against birth injuries, plastic cups for rinsing after vaginal birth because toilet paper should not be used, etc.) and thought about how to deal with these situations and products can make it easier, more comfortable and more dignified for women. “Hands on” i.e. problem evaluation carried out and appropriate solutions created. I also took inspiration from North American companies - they are already a lot further ahead when it comes to breaking the birth and postpartum taboos.

But I was able to add my own touch through my own experience - which is why companies founded primarily by women are so much more profitable and sustainable than those often founded by men. Women often start businesses because of their own problem, while men find motivation to start businesses from economic opportunities, regardless of whether they have a direct connection to them. Exceptions prove the rule.

3. What do you enjoy most about starting a business so far?

Clearly, you have to be made for it: For me, things like spontaneity, creativity, freedom and flexibility have always been much more important than security, routine or structure. Of course, starting a business requires a lot of structure and a certain routine is helpful, but being my own boss, not having to ask anyone for vacation, being able to decide for myself how, where and when I can work effectively and productively - that's for me pure luxury. Especially now with children, flexibility is really nice and has become more important than ever.

Of course, this luxury is hard-earned and it also costs me a lot of discipline, long nights in front of the laptop and putting social activities on hold (which is very easy in the current situation).

4. In addition to your online shop, you also want to provide information about the postpartum period, the time after birth. Unfortunately, this is often still a taboo topic. Where do you see your biggest challenge here?

First of all, I would like to say that all the midwives I have met do great educational work, because that is exactly the job of midwives: comprehensive pre- and aftercare for a pregnant woman throughout the period up to and beyond the postpartum period, in the case of breastfeeding problems, for example. The problem is not the work of the midwives themselves, but the increasingly serious shortage of midwives - due to poor remuneration from the state and health insurance companies. Fewer and fewer women have access to care from a midwife and as a result, educational work naturally falls by the wayside. There are currently even initiatives to declare the profession of midwifery an intangible cultural heritage - in order to protect the profession, but also to protect expectant mothers, us, our daughters and all women afterwards. Midwives are often overlooked in the nursing category - and in the last year in particular, we have once again become acutely aware of how important nursing staff are. They are carrying us through the Corona crisis - and have done so before, just not always so obviously. The biggest problem is - as is so often the case - the lack of adequate remuneration.

Two points that we face as a direct challenge at MyClarella are, on the one hand, toxic positivity around the topic of becoming a mother and being a mother (especially on social networks), but on the other hand, the many small taboo topics that are contained in the big word postpartum.

By toxic positivity I mean the glorification of being a mother by selectively showing the highlights and perfect photos on Instagram, for example - this starts with the perfectly staged pregnancy shoots and ends with captions in the postpartum period like “...but in the end the child makes everything up again /is it all worth it/etc.”. I myself often heard before the birth that the birth would be very painful but that the moment I hold my child in my arms will make EVERYTHING okay. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case - and I now know that I'm not an isolated case, quite the opposite. Nevertheless, there should of course also be room for positive pregnancy and birth experiences; these also give courage and take away worries and doubts.

The second problem, as I said, are the many small taboo topics that are part of the big taboo topic of the postpartum period: incontinence after birth, postpartum depression, the changed relationship with the partner, mental load, birth trauma and many more. We're just removing the onion layer by layer - that can take time and it will.

"Starting a business is not a sprint and has no finish line. If you check off one to-do, the next one comes up, if you have an idea in the bag, the next one will probably come to you quickly as a founder - see founding as a journey with no destination and no time limit Limit."

5. What three tips can you give to founders who have a business idea but don't know exactly how to get started?

1) Think carefully about what problem you are solving and, above all, for whom. The better you know the problem and your customers, the better your solution will be - and the correspondingly more successful the business model, but also the motivation. Money only brings happiness to a limited extent, what really motivates and drives you is when you create and see changes and help other people - this is even anchored in purely evolutionary terms.

2) Starting a business is not a sprint and has no finish line . If you tick off one to-do, the next one pops up, if you have an idea in the bag, as a founder you will probably quickly come up with the next one - see founding as a journey with no destination and no time limit.

3) Another point: Don't keep your idea too secret, but talk to potential customers and people who can help you. Separate yourself from the idea as an individual relatively early on - this will only make it better. Founders often have the tendency to want to do everything themselves, to endlessly refine the product or service to perfection, but the truth is that only the application by the customer can perfect the product. If you have a good solution to a problem, get out there and tinker with it as you go, improving it and optimizing it.



If you would like to find out more about Clara and MyClarella, please take a look here:

To the website: www.myclarella.com

To Instagram: @myclarella