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Interview with Verena Potthast - founder of @rena_von_rundfux

· Illustration,Publishing,Author

Dear Ladies,

please give a warm welcome to our #heroine_of_the_week Verena Potthast from @rena_von_rundfux. This lovely Lady is full of passion, charisma, and authenticity, which makes her story so inspiring!

Verena together with her loving husband Oliver, little daughter Romy and a famiy cat Pauline owns and runs their family publishing house Rundfux Media, where she writes and illustrates colourful and cheerful books for children, soon-to-be mamas, even pets, and soon mompreneurs!

The idea of Rundfux came as a big "Bang!" to Verena and until now she cannot quite believe what she has achieved. But once she made a choice in favor of her family and her true passion, the cascade of miracles, new books, features, and cooperations keeps flowing ever stonger.

We are deeply touched by Verena's caring and honest answers, her determination to follow her dream and her willingness to help and inspire others.

Read Verena's interview below!

Verena, Oliver is not only your husband and loving daddy for Romy, but also co-founder of your family publishing house Rundfux - How does it feel to work with the man you love and how do you split your responsibilities in business?

Oh, Oliver is much more than that. He is also my best friend with whom I can talk and argue about everything.
For a long time already he runs his own company OPE-Pro Media Engineering. Rundfux was actually at first “only” a small subsidiary of it. OPE does everything that Rundfux doesn’t: video, film, and music production, DVD/Blu-ray authoring, etc. in our image & sound studio.
Thus, as an agency we can offer an “all-round-package”, starting with the idea, conceptualisation and production until the package design. In the last 7 years we produced more than 200 DVDs, blu-rays, and audio books, conceptualized and ran numerous advertising spots for renowned clients, and at the same time I started to write and illustrate first books for Rundfux.
It is not always easy to do everything together, but sometimes we don’t see each other for a long time, even though we live under the same roof. We often write each other e-mails. Moreover we exchange ideas, test things and discuss further steps. To be honest, it happens rather seldom, as each of us has a free hand. If one has a good idea, one doesn’t talk much, but simply starts doing it. If it’s a success we go out and celebrate, if not… we go anyway :)

Verena, you are an author and illustrator. Your first book was inspired by your own pregnancy and your wish to capture the precious moments for life, but can you share with us the birth story of your publishing house, which seems as a huge challenge and brave step?

Actually it was a logical step to found Rundfux, although it wasn’t planned at all. I have always done a lot of creative stuff and suddenly I had three very cool books. Then I thought: “Hey, if you go on like that, you can also publish yourself!” So that’s what we did. I grew with the tasks which are very versatile.
Moreover, this step rather emerged from the need, as I wanted to be more with my little daughter after a failed attempt to return to my day job. It is often the case that it is difficult for young mothers to work part-time, and it caused so much stress that also affected my daughter and myself negatively.
Thus this decision was very easy. “Yes!” to the family and to being happy. Rundfux for me is “only” a part-time job, as I am receiving another education in order to become more qualified for the market and for Rundfux.
The plan is that Rundfux Media will become a brand and a publishing house, that loves books, design, everything unusual and most importantly - children.

Rundfux has so many great books to offer, all of them personalized by your charming illustrations. Share with us your creative journey from idea to a final product?

All the books were born out of our own need. The very first Rundfux product was the “ABC poster”, which became the basis for the first book “Hallo!Baby - Das Babyalbum für das erste Jahr“ (Hello! Baby - Baby Album for the First Year), which was of course intended for Romy.
Then she started kindergarten and the book „Kindergarten-Freunde“ appeared. My best friend got a baby and we celebrated the baby shower with our „Baby-Party“ book. For this friend, for whose child’s I am also a proud godmother, the book „Schwangerschaftstagebuch“ (The Pregnancy Diary) was created, as I noticed during our talks, that I didn’t know answers to many questions, and Rundfux coulnd’t let this happen! And so it went on.
Also not to forget about our pet edition. Our family cat Pauline got her own book after I though “Of course you will get your own memory album, Paulchen!”. And so our pet edition was born.
Also twins: in our friends circle we have a twin mommy and so now we also have a „Babyalbum für Zwillinge“ (Baby Album for Twins).

Our newest project is also a great example that for a change has nothing to do with children but with solo- and mumpreneurs. It is namely the “BLOGBUCH” (The Blog Book). It only appeared becuase I noticed that I have to organise and structure my content for the blog and social media channels in order to offer my followers a clear and interesting portfolio.
Thus I have created this book and already successfully work with it. I can recommend it to everyone who has their own blog or works with social media, and doesn’t want to always have a mobile phone in their hands.
The book just sits at the table and I write down ideas, addresses and monthly reviews on the go. Of course the book can do much more.
It is possible to pre-order the book on instagram. It has a stylish Design mit 264 pages and a hard cover.
I would not sell a product which I wouldn’t use myself and this book is a perfect example.

Who can become a client (author) of your publishing house? Do you have a specific target audience, topics or products that you prefer to work with?

To be honest, until now I haven’t published anyone else’s books, but in the time of self-publishing everyone has the same possibilities, therefore it’s not that easy. I have been always honest and said that certain things won't bring much and that one can manage them oneself.
But I am always open for cooperations as I believe that together we are stronger. I work with self-publishers for whom I create covers or illustrations, record audio books or write songs. Every request will be answered, as we are open for many things.
And from experience we know that it brings a lot of good.

You are a mom and an entrepreneur, how do you create harmonious work-life balance and can you share any tips with @ichselbstaendig mompreneurs?

The child is more important. Always. There can be thousand pages long fax order: The child goes always first! Otherwise I can only say: Laugh a lot! It always helps.
Unfortunately I cannot give any tips for time management and quality time. I often wear myself out not allowing any breaks! But then there is always my husband, who cooks something delicious, and I notice how important it is to have a break,
In the evening I read, as it relaxes me. What for others is watching TV for me is illustrating. I relax the best during it.
Otherwise going for a walk is great! Simply around the corner, two-three steps! And riding a bike. Also, don’t forget, that the job is not everything and learn to switch off consciously, which I didn’t manage yet until today.
Therefore my tip: do it better that me.

Rundfux is present on multiple social media channels, there is a beautiful online shop, new books are in the pipeline - so many things to take care off, do you and Oliver manage it all by yourself, or do you rely on external assistance?

Our assistance is Grandma & Grandpa. In the time of need we can always rely on them. It is really amazing and we are absolutely aware of this luxury.
But otherwise we do everything ourselves: from an idea and implementation, until the final product. Yes, we even pack the packages for our clients orders and take care of the shipping. However, if it goes further as good as now, we will hire someone, who will take care of the shipping logistics. And of the paperwork, as we both find it not very exciting...

In one of your interviews we read, that you invested your savings into your publishing house - was it a difficult decision to make and did you have a full support of your family?

My family know me well. My husband always supports everything I do. It is great. He doesn’t believe in every single book, but he believes in me. Also at the moment we don’t go on vacations until we make profit. As we invest every cent in our future projects to grow our publishing house. We have to make some cutbacks but for that we do what we love. And I find it more satisfying than solely two weeks of vacations per year. An I would always choose it this way. We work hard and sometime the “Little Big Deal” will come around, I am certain about it. Of course we are doing it also for our little daughter, who knows every book and is happy about every single sale. We want to teach her responsibility and independence, and of course diligence.

Do you remember the feeling you had once you decided to do your own thing and to launch your own business?

It came unexpected. One evening we had an idea to call our publishing house Rundfux Media. It was such an amazing feeling, that I ordered immediately some buttons and T-shirts, as I felt that I finally found 100% my thing in the right channel.
It made "Bang!" In my stomach and I knew: either this or nothing. This is it, what I love to do and what I can do, and where I will always want to get better.
Therefore the setbacks and losses feel double as bad, as I am so emotionally invested in this. This is also my small tip: don’t let yourself get intimidated by these. This is art. And God knows, not always easy!
I always have this feeling when I look at our webpage and think: “Wow, crazy! You have done all of this yourself!” And just as others can’t believe it, I also often can’t.
Maybe it is a kind of protection mechanism, which helps to distance oneself.
But from time to time I also grant myself some luxury and feel good about myself :)

Verena, what is your advice to women who want to start their own business and just do not dare it?

It only works when you have this special gut feeling, that I was talking about, this “Bang!”. The work cannot be work, it should be passion. And also, very important: Just do it!
And you have to have someone by your side, who unconditionally believes in you, but even more unconditionally tells the truth!
If you are certain that even in case of failure you will not regret your decision (as it is always more important to try than to fail) then you are ready, I think.
There is nothing worse than to wake up one day and to feel that you missed something very important.

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