We are happy to open a new season of our #heroine_of_the_week edition with this inspiring interview with Hannah Blumenthal - the founder of @zutischbeiblumenthals.
We were carried away by breathtaking photo compositions and refined style of Zu Tisch bei Blumenthals and by Hannah’s courage, creativity and warmth.
Hannah’s blog and online concept store are all about beautiful tableware and cutlery, floral arrangements and tasty food. With autumn approaching it is the perfect place to find cosy ideas for your home.
In this inspiring interview Hannah tells us how she turned her passion into a business, shares useful & easy tips for making breathtaking photos for your instagram account and many more.
Read our interview with Hannah below!
You mentioned in your instagram that an idea for your Blog & Shop first came to you in November 2016. Can you share with us what was your main inspiration to start your own online business and what happened between November 2016 and launch in February 2017?
In the summer of 2016 I was close to the end of my studies. I did an internship in the area of counselling: women & entrepreneurship. I wondered where I am good at and how I could put all my creative ideas into practice. I could not combine my passion with my studies, and I made the decision to make what I love and to do the most to my job.
My friends call me an Italian mama, who makes all happy with a laid table and good food. From my love for ceramics, cooking, inviting and entertaining, the idea arose that a important part of my life is a well-laid table - no matter where I am. A friend of mine said: "If you meet Hannah for BBQ, you cannot do it with plastic cutlery and plates. She creates an ambience like in a magazine in a short time and with little means." For me, it was super funny to hear and somehow very true. Around me I always need a hygge atmosphere, nice dishes and cutlery, good groceries and something fine cooked. I just love it. And I love to invite friends and family and make it comfortable. Zu Tisch bei Blumenthals is what I have been living for years and what I now share online with you. From November 2016 until now, I graduated from my studies, wrote my business plan, programmed the page with the help of my boyfriend, constantly visited my tax consultant, trade fairs and manufacturers, began to blog and faster than I expected, I opened my online concept store in April 2017.
Your instagram account is a perfect example of how to combine business and personal touch. Do you have a certain recipe for that or do you just go by feeling?
I go by feeling, I want to share a thought or just create a nice shot. Most of the time everything goes intuitively without plan. To make it more appealing for the viewer, I try to create a color graduation throughout my pictures.
The photos in your instagram are amazing! Did you attend photography courses in the past? Do you have a couple of simple tips for our community for creating yummy instagram pictures?
Merci! I am very happy that you like my photos. I had a wonderful photo coaching with the dear Berit of Marmeladekisses a year ago. We met a Saturday at her office and she taught me the manual mode of my SLR-camera. There I understood what I need to make a good photo. How I deal with manual mode, aperture, exposure time and focus. When I learned to leave the automatic mode, and make the manual settings myself, I began to let my creativity run wild. I can now realize what I have in mind, work with natural light and depth of field and have incredibly much fun with my camera.
1. Learn the manual mode of your camera and take a course. It will be worth it.
2. Take a lot of photos and always take the camera with you! Try a lot to find your own imagery. Try to figure out what you like the most about other pictures. Keep going to try out new things. You will get into a flow and your own ideas will come.
3. A tripod and natural light are worth gold. With the tripod, you can take great photos even in low light conditions.
4. Take your time and give yourself time. A good photo is not even just by the way in the café on the fast shot. This needs leisure and after that you have a great result.
5. Have fun with your camera - try it out. In the digital age, you can delete everything, which perhaps did not work.
What were the main challenges you faced while launching your online-shop and blog? Content creation, product sourcing, web design, legal advice, etc.?
The biggest challenge for me was to focus on an idea. In the beginning, I bubbled like a waterfall. To set my business on my own, I had to focus on an idea and think through the first steps. Writing a business plan helped me to put my concept into words and set the focus. Further ideas will be gradually implemented.
In addition, I was looking for legal support and I fought with the help of my tax consultant through the German legal situation - there is much to consider and it must not be underestimated how much time and costs there are behind it.
Do you dedicate 100% of your time to @zutischbeiblumenthals or do you combine it with other projects/employment?
Zu Tisch bei Blumenthals is my main profession. I dedicate 100% maybe 150% ;) of my time to the shop and blog.
Your shop presents unique & beautiful products of authentic home decor brands. How do you source pieces for your online collection?
For the shop, I am searching for products, that fit to me and my home. I am looking for good quality and the perfect shape every time. For example, a cup that’s lay perfectly in my hands and the material feels good. I love details, soft and beautiful colors. I am looking for products that are not too seasonal. You should be able to combine the products throughout the whole year with some seasonal highlights.
How was your idea received by your friends and family? Is there anyone who you would like to thank for support in particular?
My family and friends are the best and I am very very grateful to every one of them. Especially my mom and my boyfriend support me where they can. They encourage me in my ideas and creativity. This is amazing! The idea came with most people really well. As a daughter of two freelancers, it is just in my blood and many were not surprised at all. But clearly there were also a few critical voices, if I do not want to make some proper work ... But even the critics, I can convince with my concept slowly ;)
@zutischbeiblumenthals is 6 months old. Do you still feel as excited about it as in the beginning and are you still certain it is the right path for you?
Oh yeah I am excited every day and learn a lot. Every new order makes my heart bounce. It is very nice to look back and see what I've built up the past few months. And I am looking forward to the future. I have so many new ideas and am very happy to be able to implement them.
Where do you see @zutischbeiblumenthals in a year?
Zu Tisch bei Blumenthals may grow - online and offline. I would like to add more brands and expand my product range. In addition, I would like to enlarge my offer and offer consultancy for interior design, event decoration and a beautifully laid table for Dinner parties.
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