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Female Entrepreneurs of the Future: Jana Maria Siemens, the Coffee Specialist

The Female Entrepreneurs of the Future program by amazon is running full speed. We talked to three candidates about what they’ve learned and where they see themselves in one year. This week it's Jana Maria Siemens, the founder of Mutterherz Kaffee

What’s your business model in three sentences?

Mutterherz Kaffee produces special coffee for pregnant and nursing mothers. I brought it to the market in the spring of this year, and the coffee is characterized by the fact that it has many properties that are particularly relevant in this phase of life. For example, it is decaffeinated without chemicals, gently roasted, and is certified organic. My goal was to use the Female Entrepreneurs of the Future program to expand my Mutterherz Kaffee brand and market it online.

What are the key things you’ve learned?

First and foremost, how important figures are, how important following results is. That may sound boring, but in reality it’s the truth. This is where a successful entrepreneur has to be honest with him/herself. This means that you have to calculate every product and really include all costs. One tends to cheat and to guesstimate a bit. Honest calculation also includes considering overheads and material costs, and it is very important to pay yourself a fair wage. As a founder, you tend to consciously ignore it, thinking instead, “Oh, I won’t take my own hourly rate into account… I need a new printer anyway.” A big mistake! After all, you want to make a living from your job in the long run and your own manpower has value. And once you’ve broken it down accurately, the question arises: which products are really worthwhile and what is left over in the end as profit? 

Another illuminating experience was the power of a network. Especially when you face big challenges or have to make important decisions, it’s good to have women around who have had similar experiences. They say, “Think in that direction. Or how about trying it out?” For me, for example, it was all about whether I wanted to change my product design. How could I package the coffee more attractively? It’s great to be able to exchange ideas. 

What do you implement immediately?

Actually everything. No, just kidding. But it’s actually the case that I turned a lot of adjusting knobs at the same time. For example, I completely redesigned the website because a professional appearance is enormously important. That’s the business card of a company, you shouldn’t underestimate that. I have created a style guide to sharpen the corporate identity, which means that from now on only certain colors and fonts will be used. I believe that this will pay off in the long run if you are recognizable as a brand.

Where do you see yourself in a year?

I would like to continue along the path I have chosen. So, strengthen the brand, intensify the exchange with customers and increase awareness via social media. I’d also like to have an even wider range in a year, the next step would be another product with a different caffeine content. So far, all Mutterherz products are completely decaffeinated. I would like to offer an intermediate product with reduced caffeine content for the phase after pregnancy. This is the next step. And then it goes from there.

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