The mom of two little boys, Janina Waschkowski, will soon welcome her third baby: maternity wear brand Nove. Which is set to launch in late October. The founder previously she worked as a HR Manager in the culture and cosmetics sector before starting her own company earlier this year. Having moved to Berlin just over one year ago, Janina resides between Kreuzberg and Neukölln with her teenage-love.
What inspired you to start Nove?
Like most expecting mothers experience, I had a hard time shopping for maternity wear. Simple and inferior materials are used for most of the maternity wear on the market. This is due to the fact that the clothes have one purpose – to be worn only when pregnant. As a pregnant woman myself, I felt restricted in my individuality. I didn’t want to adapt my style and let go of that part of myself. That’s when the idea of Nove was born.
What is the biggest roadblock you’ve faced professionally? How did you overcome it?
The biggest roadblock professionally was to become a mom. Sad to say, but it’s true. Some great companies already make no difference between parents and non-parents, but still there are so many prejudices about moms in the working world -always being sick, always being late, not being motivated anymore.
When telling my former boss I was pregnant, the promotion I was promised was taken back. I didn’t take it personal, it’s just a sign that we are still far away from gender equality. I was no longer willing to fight against all these prejudices, so I quit the job and started my own business to become more independent.
When founding a company, you need to give more than 100% which I do with so much passion everyday. However, that doesn’t mean being in the office 24/7. You just need to be very very well organized and always be on the top of things.
Who inspires you the most?
Everyday during our 30-day crowdfunding campaign in September, I introduced a woman on Instagram who inspired me to start Nove. When doing this I realized that it is all the women around me that inspire me the most!
“When telling my former boss I was pregnant, the promotion I was promised was taken back. I didn’t take it personal, it’s just a sign that we are still far away from gender equality.”
Where is your favorite place to go when you are in Berlin?
Berlin is so various. One of my favourite places is the Deutsche Oper for sure, I am a huge opera lover and I have worked in this field for some years. This is where I go with my husband after having had a beautiful drink in St Bart in Graefestrasse.
Also, I think you get the best food in Berlin. Two of my all-time favourites are Zola and Beuster Bar. During the weekends, we often go to Hasenheide park with the kids. I also love to spend some time at the Liepnitzsee, which has such a beautiful color. Last autumn I went there with my sister and we went swimming even in October, amazing!
What do you do when you need some inspiration?
Probably go to bed early. I usually have the best ideas in the night, when there is silence and darkness all around me. Or go to Italy. I love that country and everything about Italy inspires me a lot. That’s also why Nove is called Nove, after the italian word for “Nine”.
What events or projects are you excited about in the next year?
The launch of Nove and hopefully seeing it grow! After our crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter and the production site manufacturing all items, I am so excited to launch the first collection of Nove in late October of this year. This is the moment where all the hard work and passion finally comes together and I can’t wait to share it with the world! We will also have a pop-up store, stay tuned for the details to come.
Follow Janina on her journey to launch Nove here: