Mariángeles is a female founder who lives in Berlin. Together with her sister Paula, who lives in Argentina, she runs an upcycling-fashion business since 2012. tHERAPY Recyle & Exorcise is a sustainable, alternative, DIY fashion brand and project. We asked Mariángeles questions to uncover her story of creating a company in such an unconventional fashion sphere.
Could you introduce yourself and your business?
tHERAPY Recycle and Exorcise is a sustainable and alternative, gender-free, season-free and size-free fashion project based in Berlin, Germany and in Córdoba, Argentina, ran since 2012 by two sisters separated by the Atlantic Ocean, but united by this passion, Paula and Mariángeles Aguirre.
We produce sustainable fashion via D.I.Y. Our aim is to re-connect fashion with self expression and environmental awareness in opposition to its actual condition as dissatisfaction and consumerism generator, and second most polluting industry in the world. We are lovers of (re)design and authenticity.
We promote unique fashion with an accent on authenticity and uniqueness, but also consciousness and sustainability. Giving back to fashion its capacity to experiment, discover and communicate something about us, to enhance our uniqueness as individuals, fashion becomes empowering. We describe our fashion with the words EMPOWERING SUBCOUTOURE + ALTERNATIVE UPCYCLING.
How did you come up with this idea and what motivated you to create your own business?
I think it must be in my genes. Also in my education. I didn’t study business, but Journalism. But I have always been very active and creative, also independent and forward-thinking and acting. In Argentina – the country I come from – is very normal and usual for people create business. Unfortunately, it is also very usual that economy changes so fast every couple of years, that people have to learn to reinvent business and life every time.
By the way, this is not my first business. I also run a Tourism company since 2007. Before coming to Germany, while still living in Argentina, I created a jewelry brand.
What were the most challenging moments while building your company and how were you able to overcome them?
I have much more experience through my incoming tourism agency. We had to overcome bureaucracy and the fact that neither me or my partner are from Germany, we learned step by step what it means to be an entrepreneur in a country where beeing an employee or a student is the best and easiest way of life. We chose the hardest, we did mistakes, we learned a lot about taxes, permissions, etc.
- What do you enjoy most being an entrepreneur?
I don’t have to explain to people “above” me why I do or not do something, I don’t respond to others, I decide for myself, I don’t have a boss. Foremost the fact that this is my project and not somebody elses project. This also meaning that I am 24/7 available for my business, and that is not easy sometimes. But I chose this way of working and living everyday.
I have worked for others in the past, and I chose this option. I prefer to work alone or WITH other, but not FOR others.
- Which learnings would you share with other starting female founders?
I share all the time, as I work in a coworking space where we are 12 females. We share information, recommendations, we support and help each other. This is the best and is also part of our philosophy. COLLABORATION instead of competition.
I hope it is ok! Let me know….