With Outfittery's personal shopping service, Julia Bösch shows men what fashion is all about
In a hurry? The young businesswoman's recommendation IN BRIEF
To keep up with the pace, a business start-up needs a creative team, a sense for the spirit of the times and the ability to implement new ideas quickly.
Time for more? Julia Bösch also steps on the gas IN DETAIL:
When do you step on the gas?
Always! When you lead the way with a business model like curated shopping, which we offer at Outfittery, you can't afford to stand still. Outfittery currently has 200,000 customers in eight countries, but there are still so many other men in Europe who we need to clothe. I also live life in the fast lane away from work, by the way. Riding racing bikes is one of my favourite hobbies.
Where does this 'stepping on the gas' gene come from?
Possibly from my grandfather, a dedicated ski racer. The idea of taking on lots of responsibility whilst still having freedom appealed to me from early on in life. Even when I was still at high school, I dreamed of having my own company.
Is the fastest way there always the right way there for you?
Speed is an important factor in the start-up world. The competition never sleeps, so you shouldn't wait long before implementing good and innovative ideas. It's crucial to test new ideas immediately. We often invite customers along so we can obtain direct feedback.
When do you step off the gas?
I switch off at the weekend. I do things with friends and family - they are great stress-relievers. On Sundays, for example, I liking having brunch with my sister, cycling to the Berlin lakes or simply enjoying a day on the couch.
In what situations do you rely on sensitivity more than speed?
Good instinct is very important when choosing new people to work with. Those who compromise because things have to be sorted quickly or a post needs to be filled urgently often regret it later.
What inspires you more? People who live life in the fast lane or the Sunday drivers in life?
Sunday drivers err on the side of caution and drive without taking risks. In my experience, however, you have to leave your comfort zone to experience the wonderful sides of life. Being quick and overtaking others – people who achieve this inspire me.
Are you a good co-driver and do you sometimes let others take the wheel?
My co-founder Anna and I have great confidence in our employees. And that's a must because, with a workforce of 250, you can no longer do everything yourself and have to delegate many tasks. Plus there are things that others simply do better than we can. I did have to learn how to be a co-driver, however. Now, though, I find it extremely satisfying to let others take the wheel and only occasionally offer a bit of coaching from the sidelines.
How quickly do men react to fashion trends?
Men aren't as quick as women in this regard. Women approach the topic more intensively: What's hot? What are the 'in' colours and styles? What are the season's must-haves? Although men want to look good, they prefer to spend their spare time doing other things. They simply think more pragmatically when it comes to fashion. They are more interested in what they can combine and how. Often all they want is a little push to give them inspiration. That's why our service and the advice our style experts impart is so greatly appreciated.
How do you manage to keep pace in the fast-moving world of e-commerce?
A creative team, a sense for the spirit of the times and fast implementation of new ideas. For me, these are the decisive factors in the innovation process. Don't wait, step on the gas!
Julia Bösch's four-point résumé
Model year: 1984
Kilometres: Approx. 800 between hometown of Constance and current location in Berlin
Stopovers: Business administration studies in Munich, Madrid, New York; Head of Internationalisation at Zalando in Europe
On the finishing straight: Since 2009 after founding Outfittery