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Name: Johanna Eckart

Business: Marablue Activewear

Location: Berlin, Germany 

Industry: Apparel & Accessories

Reason for starting? Having worked in international development and the solar energy sector in developing countries, I have been able to observe how powerful sports are in connecting cultures. Marablue Activewear was created out of the desire to support women to creatively express their confidence and personality in sports. The colors are vibrant and the models are of different backgrounds and sizes, promoting a diverse and more colorful image of women in sports.

Related: Read about India’s first online sports platform here. 

How do you define success? Success is about using what you have to get ahead and to commit to something greater than yourself. Marablue Activewear’s goals are to grow into a global sportswear brand for women that promotes a more real and diverse image of women in sports. Along the way, the brand aims to involve creative upcoming designers and support other female entrepreneurs in the sports industry.

Biggest success: My biggest success to date was to take the risk of leaving a promising career in international development and setting up a business in an industry I wasn’t not familiar with: an activewear brand for women. After a year of preparation, I was finally was able to launch my crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. A major achievement in sports was when I received my black belt in Taekwondo after more than a decade of training in a club where only 10% of the black belts are female.

What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? My top challenge was not being familiar with the fabrics and process of creating patterns so it was hard to communicate in the beginning what changes I needed for the samples. But I have since joined several fashion communities in Berlin and was able to connect with supportive professional in the field. The start up scene in Berlin is also growing and everyone is willing to share knowledge and learn from each other.

Related: Overcoming Uncertainty – With a Little Help

Who is your most important role model? For the moment, I admire Marie Forleo for her passion, her authenticity and just being able to make fun of herself while keeping a professional image.

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