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17 and a Half Questions With Maya Junger

We ask inspiring people 17 and a half questions. This week we have Maya Junger, the Founder and Creative Director of SET Fashion, who shares her passion for creativity and designing. She explains why she hates FOMO, why 'Less but better' is her company's philosophy and how chocolate can help with any challenge

This article is also available in German

1. What I like about my job

The possibility to ‘create’ something new every day and make others happy.

2. What sometimes frustrates me

That the fashion industry is still too fast-moving and changes rapidly. But at least, the Corona crisis has strengthened our awareness for durable products. ‘Less but better’ is our motto at SET. Products, which are manufactured with love in Europe and last for a lifetime is our philosophy in the creation of our collection.

3. My secret alternative job

Architect, because my passion for the creative is what drives me. I live this dream every day in the fashion industry, but anything that has to do with ‘designing something’ would also be an alternative for me.

4. Best strategy to survive a really bad day at the office

Clearly – chocolate. It makes me happy and dispels any bad mood. There is always chocolate on my meeting table: For every situation and every challenge.

5. When are you in the famous flow

When I have slept well and my head is clear. Then the ideas gush up. But I also need peace and quiet to be able to work at my best. Too much distraction bothers me. I need concentration to be able to work creatively. My team and our work also motivates me a lot, the exchange can often be very inspiring and together we can quickly work out the right concept.

6. Biggest success so far

Definitely my four children, I see them as my greatest success. Giving life and seeing them grow up is the most beautiful adventure of my life.

7. Biggest defeat

There is not one the biggest, but many. However, you also learn a lot from defeats, you gain experiences that make you richer and ultimately stronger. That’s why failures are as much a part of life for me as success. No rain, no rainbow.

8. Worst buzzword

FOMO, horrible. You don’t have to be everywhere and do everything. With composure comes focus. Rather, I believe that you have to follow your own path continuously and that it takes courage to follow it. This also includes leaving out things that are not for you.

9.  Best reward after a hard week at work

Sleep in, read a great book, enjoy nature and spend time with friends.

10. Home office or in-house

Always in-house. I love my team and the exchange. I need people around who inspire me, my creative environment, my fabrics, colors and impulses. At home I can easily edit, organize and structure my e-mails. But to be able to work creatively, I need my office and people around me.

11.  Most important traits a colleague/business partner must have

Loyalty and honesty.

12. Your creative hack

I love to travel, it is one of my greatest sources of inspiration. At the moment it is of course very limited. I have lived in London for a long time and recently I was finally able to travel there again. It was pure inspiration for me!

13. First website to check in the morning

Tagesschau, to get a quick overview of what’s happening on the day.

14. Favorite digital tool

Zoom – I think it’s great and it really works well for creating collections.

15. In which book or series have you learned the most for your (work) life?

I didn’t really learn much for the working world from a book, because the contents are often abstract and theoretical. I have learned through my experiences and through many mistakes, from which I am continually becoming smarter, and through the adventure that working life brings with it.

16. Which series, book or podcast can you generally recommend?

I love to read, but rather fiction. On the other hand, I read a lot of great POC authors at the moment, like ‘Americanah’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Podcasts also inspire me a lot, my top favorites are Harvard Business Review Ideacast or Business of Fashion by Imran Ahmed or Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations.

17. Most prominent follower on a social channel?

I don’t have a private Instagram channel, but I’m discovering LinkedIn for myself. I find the platform very exciting and good for an exchange in the B2B area. A prominent follower? I appreciate the exchange with our SET community and my private one very much.

17 and a half: What has always…

…driven me: My work as founder and creative director at SET and being able to combine my family life with my four children. That is pure luxury for me and a great feeling to be able to have both.

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