Who better to contribute to the forms and structure within fashion than an architect? After very successfully completing her master’s degree in architecture in 2014, Laura Noltemeyer created a blog named “DESIGNDSCHUNGEL”, which translates to „Design Jungle“. Laura has emerged to be one of the most popular German influential personalities and her large social media following is indicative to her success. While actively engaging with her community, she also emerges to be a thriving entrepreneur, building her own social media agency „Influencing101“, always open to share her experience as a speaker and mentor. In her interview, Laura shares her story of creating “DESIGNDSCHUNGEL”.
When did you develop a passion for architecture?
I’ve always loved architecture. Since I was a little child, I loved visiting cities with lots of buildings. As I grew older, I loved combining different colors, textures and designs to see the outcome and different atmospheres that one can create. I honestly think I rearranged my children’s room every month.
When I finished school, I thought about what I loved the most. It was writing and architecture. I decided to take the architecture path because I would never have been able to learn its principles (physics, law and statics) by myself, as I could for writing.
How did you cultivate this passion?
Ever since I can remember, I loved reading magazines and books about design and artists. For me, it is all about creativity and perspectives, and not about being a writer, an architect, a singer or an artist. It is all about finding the right instruments to create something, something that you want to show and you wanted to be associated with.
How did you apply your love for architecture to the fashion world?
When I started DESIGNDSCHUNGEL, I wanted to combine architecture with fashion. For me, architecture and design are not only measured by numbers, calculations and facts, but they are the love for details, shapes, materials and well thought out ideas. This love can also be transferred to fashion. Within fashion it is most important out of which materials products are made and how they are cut, but also how they play with the various shapes of the body and what kind of effect they are supposed to create. After all, it is quite fascinating how fast paced the fashion world is, how the wheel, of which everyone wants to be part of, always turns faster and faster. What is hot today can be outdated tomorrow.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I always wanted to have my own business and work for my own companies to create something great.
Honestly, my parents inspired me to become an entrepreneur, because that is what I was always around when I was a little kid at home. They told me that it will be lots of work, but honestly for me, that did not keep me from building my own company, because if you love what you do, it doesn’t matter if you work 24/7 or not.
How did you come up with the name DESIGNDSCHUNGEL?
DESIGNDSCHUNGEL is a word combination with Design (from Fashion and Architecture) and Dschungel (it is the german word for jungle as in big city / concrete jungle).
What challenges did you experience as an entrepreneur?
In Germany, all the regulations, authorities and lots and lots of paperwork make it hard to build a company. If you don’t have a mentor or someone who knows all those things, in the beginning you need to spend a lot of time researching and talking to the authorities over the phone. But the biggest challenge is to believe in yourself and in your idea, company and employees. You have to get used to things not working out the way you want them to. You might try and fail with something 10 times, but you stand up again 11 times.
I noted you also enjoy writing. Have you pursued writing professionally?
I thought about writing professionally when I was younger. I considered journalism, but then decided to study architecture. The neat thing is that I work with Designdschungel now, where I can combine both passions.
How did you apply writing, photography and travel to your business?
I started writing about all the things I like and that I think my readers would like. And it organically grew bigger and bigger… more and more people wanted to see, read and talk to me about my recommendations. DESIGNDSCHUNGEL (originally created as a blog) grew to a bigger company, where I could share beauty, lifestyle and design recommendations with my community on a daily basis.
Where is your favorite travel destination?
I lost my heart to Capetown two years ago. But honestly I would never travel too far during summer time. Europe has the most outstanding destinations like Mallorca, Ibiza, some Greek islands, Toscana and the list goes on and on. It has so much to offer and I just love living here.
What is one of your favorite shoots/projects you worked on with DESIGNDSCHUNGEL?
I love shooting big campaigns in fashion and beauty. Recently I worked with Zalando for a beauty campaign. A couple years ago, I also shot a commercial for L’Oréal Paris. When I started our Social Media Agency, “Influencing101,“ over a year ago, I worked on so many different campaigns with my boyfriend Julian and my sister Olivia. We always try to work on the most creative campaigns that have the perfect fit for our clients, brands, etc. For some years now, I do panel talks, go to companies for workshops and lots of interviews on stage. I just love that my job has so many different things to offer.
How does your brand keep up with the constantly evolving industry of fashion?
We always try to go with our intuition and of course we watch all the developments in the industry. The great thing about having a huge community is that I can always ask them about their needs, wishes or advice. So it is working together, not working against each other, that helps us succeed.
What advice do you have for young rising entrepreneurs who wish to break into the fashion industry?
Do what you want to do. Be creative and unique. Work harder than anybody else. Be professional and always be on time.