A little intro…
Gertrud Tavernier is a Belgian yoga teaching, chocolate making pharmacist living in Germany’s buzzing capital. Together with her partner Felix she has started two exciting independent businesses from her own home. Amongst many other young business enthusiasts in Europe’s start up central, BedSpice and BoerlinBoerds are making their way into the market and offer two exciting and quirky products, which she tells us a bit more about in this ‘Meet the owners’ Q & A…
How did you come up with Bedspice?
Bedspice Chocolates are all natural, organic, vegan, and fair trade dark (75% cacao) chocolates with wild-crafted aphrodisiac and energising herbs. Me and my partner Felix came up with the idea about 1.5 years ago (spring 2015). We are both in our early 30’s. Like most people, it is a time in our lives that we have started to become more conscious about our body clocks, realising that that we better take good care of our bodies if we want them to function properly in the future. We are both preoccupied with a healthy mind in a healthy body, obsessed even, and we spend a lot of time and energy in maintaining and improving our mental and bodily fitness. We firmly believe that aligning with all things natural is the best and only long-term beneficial way to accomplish that. There are lots of exercise and food products and tips out there to maintain a healthy body. Yoga, meditation and the likes have become even more popular when thinking about a healthy mind and lifestyle. Yet we could not find a natural means to support our sexual body which is also aligned with our ethical principles. That’s why we created something ourselves. I am a doctor in pharmacy and study herbal medicine at the moment, and Felix studies Ayurvedic medicine. As a result, we chose to combine vegan organic chocolates, which have light aphrodisiac properties already, with herbal powders that have been proven to have vitalizing effects on our sensuality. We created two varieties. Bedspice for her – containing herbs to awaken the feminine sensuality and thus create mind- and body-space for connective naughty times 😉 Bedsport for him containing herbs, which support his stamina and restore his energy when being highly sexually active.
How would you describe Bedspice in three words?
Excitement. Health. Lovemaking.
Your other company ‘BoerlinBoerds’, did this come before or after Bedspice?
BoerlinBoerds Design is a small fashion business which produces quirky and hand-made fashion pieces. We created BB before Bedspice during the winter of 2014-2015, while my partner and I were travelling in Bali. I had already created a handmade fashion label myself (which is slightly dormant at the moment, since, currently, I don’t have a lot of time for sewing) and we felt inspired and decided to get some samples made for us. We loved them so much that we chose to bring them into the market.
What are the aims of your businesses and how do you plan to develop them?
Both companies were created in a playful and natural way, since we are not dependent on their success to support our living. I believe this allows for ideas to grow harmoniously without the added pressure of having to make compromises. In the meantime, BoerlinBoerds Design has found its niche and is doing reasonably well. Bedspice receives good feedback from our small customer base, yet it is growing slowly, we are in desperate need of a marketing soul to reinforce us, so we are in the process of gathering funds for that.
Why are independent businesses important?
For me personally, it gives me the chance to make my ideas a reality. I find independence very important because this ensures that the core ideas and morals of a product or service are not compromised.
Is there any advice you would give to someone starting up his or her own business?
I’d say just go for it and, even though it is not always easy, to always remind yourself that life is a playground, meant to be played in. So don’t take things too seriously. Work out a plan, take the steps and fix mistakes along the way instead of never starting something in of fear of failure. Having said that, I find transparency and professionalism very important, but you can also be playful in that respect too.
A last note from Gertrud….
When I feel overwhelmed or when I wonder what the hell I’m doing, I have a little mind exercise. It goes as follows. Close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting on your chair or standing on the floor. Then slowly start zooming out. You are sitting or standing in a room, of your apartment/house, in your street, in your neighbourhood, city, country, continent, earth. Earth is part of our solar system, which is part of one of the zillion galaxies out there. You are given some time on this planet to explore or experience. What are you going to do with that time? And what real importance do a few mistakes or failures you might make have along the way? Get it? Now just get on with your day, make a to-do list and have fun with it :).
If you’re interested, you can find Gertrud’s products here:http://www.boerlinboerds.com
(perfect quirky gift products)