Say hello to the
badass babes of Berlin
Berlin is life, it allows so many different kinds of weird and amazing to coexist as happily as possible. I love this city, I am in love with this city and am constantly inspired by the brilliant women who I get to meet and watch grow. 9 is nowhere near the number of fabulous women doing fabulous things in this city, but hey, let’s start somewhere!
PS: these are in no particular order.
PPS: this is not a sponsorship post, I just really like what these women are doing!
1. Rotem Carmely, Founder at Clustered
What makes Rotem a badass woman? She’s a badass because she’s been lifting up and empowering women throughout her whole career, especially here in Berlin.
Born out of frustration, loneliness and discomfort with the current professional networking options in Berlin, she founded Clustered – an inclusive networking platform for professionals! Clustered for networking is like that cozy feeling you get when your mom tucks you into bed even though you don’t want to go to sleep – you just feel so cozy that you have to lean in. Clustered makes you feel comfortable before you even get to that networking event you may have been nervous to go to. Rotem and the other women working on the project want to help other professionals in Berlin make more meaningful professional relationships and connections, that will help them feel less alone in this jungle!
So, beautiful people of Berlin, if you’re looking for a way to feel more comfortable with networking and to find your tribe, sign up to be a beta-tester for Clustered and let the app run its magic on you and match you with like-minded individuals. You can sign up here.
Photo credits @ Yuli Gates
2. Stephanie Matti – Owner/Photographer at Stephanie Matti Photography
Much like myself, Stephanie isn’t about the small talk, she wants to get to the core of a person, who they are, what makes them tick, what makes their heart beat. She not only does this on a personal level through conversation but even more so, through her photography.
Even from an early age, Stephanie was drawn to all things creative. Whether it was drawing or media or fashion or graphic design, she had tried it all. Working as a retoucher in the fashion industry made her realize just how far away from her own personal values the industry was. At the core of her beliefs, she wants to advocate the need to love oneself and to not conform to the unrealistic beauty standards that we are all constantly bombarded with. The seeds were then planted for her next adventure, Stephanie Matti Photography.
She empowers women (and men) to be who they are as people, not who others see them as, what their profession is, where they came from, but to just be natural and true to themselves. With her magic superpower, she makes people look brilliantly flawless just by being who they are – exactly what she wants to show her clients, that this is you, this is allll you.
Her most beautiful project (IMO) is LOVE THE MELANIN YOU’RE IN – where she showcases black beauty because these gorgeous women deserve to be represented just as much as anyone else. The project celebrates black women and portrays diversity and natural beauty. Growing up being taught to love the skin that she was in, she now wants to spread that message to other women! LOVEEEEEEE it.
3. Rae Tilly – Founder & Editor in Chief at YEOJA Magazine
I mean, if you took a hot minute to check Rae out on Instagram, you’ll see that she’s a fashion queen – she literally makes anything look dope. What I really loved about Rae is that she doesn’t use her social media platform to portray her life as better than the lives of others, like many social media users are prone to doing. She just acts like herself, posts cute videos of her going out for meals and watching shows at home. She’s just a real ass girl. A real ass feminist girl who is on a mission!
Rae is the Founder & Editor in Chief of YEOJA Magazine – which is focused on sharing brilliant stories about intersectional feminism though subculture, fashion, art, beauty and health. Not only are the articles beautifully stylized, they are easy to read and educational. These are the stories that are so often left untold.
Awareness about issues is key. Empathy and understanding are the new keywords we all need to be more aware of. They should be our new #goals. It’s not just about women wanting equality, it’s about men being given the space to understand our side but also to ask themselves, why am I not channeling my inner-feminine sides, why am I so scared to be emotional and sensitive? And for women – why don’t we channel our inner-masculine sides more often? Both men and women need to be taught about the deeply ingrained inequalities between us so we can work on making them get the f*** out of here. Inequality – it’s time for you to leave!
Thank you, Rae – for publishing and talking about these stories. Your work will make a difference.
4. Barbara Zeiss – Founder of Emerald Berlin
The badass woman entrepreneur who spreads her positive energy wherever she goes, that is Barbara. Whether she’s being featured on a female entrepreneurship podcast or speaking on a stage in front of women who want to start their own business, hustlin’ daily for her own business or offering brand and marketing advice to others, she does it with so much warmth and grace. If you are ever in the same room as her, you’ll know what I mean.
I saw Barbara speak on the Goldup stage about her journey as an entrepreneur and about her company, Emerald Berlin. I loved her willingness to talk to the members of the program and provide us with insights and the struggles of being an entrepreneur, without making us newbies feel intimidated.
Her baby, Emerald Berlin is for Fashionsocialists/Fashionsocialistas – it is sustainable statement fashion with a real social impact. All products support sustainable social initiatives (and not to mention all their products are sustainable, fair and ecological–even the ink!)
She’s not in it to become a billionaire, she’s in it to make a difference and provide products to people who want to give back through their fashion choices. Cheers to you, boo!
5+6. Kristine Zeller & Kati Ernst – Founders of ooshi – the first period panties in Germany.
If you haven’t tried period panties, you’re missing out. Period panties have changed my life and have redefined my relationship with that red friend who comes knocking on my door every month. Period panties bring you closer to your cycle and what’s happening to your body and it makes you hate your period less, ich schwör es!
Kristine and Kati are boss babes, moms and positive-vibes kind of people. If you have had the chance of following them on social media, you know that they are always so soft spoken, kind hearted and they are passionate about what they are doing. I am proud that women like this exist – women whose goal is to help and empower other women by providing them with products they can connect with not only on a functional level but also an emotional one. They feature models who are real women and their product photos aren’t run through hundreds of photoshop edits, they make you feel good to be in the body that you’re in because you can relate and see yourself in the women in their photos.
Through their brand – ooshi, they are bringing menstruation and periods to the forefront – where they should be, because those of us who bleed, should never feel ashamed of the most natural thing on earth.
7. Cadbury Parfait – Burlesque Performer
Burlesque is empowering, burlesque is educational, burlesque is showing people what loving your body looks like. I am not only a fan of burlesque, I am a mega fan of Cadbury Parfait – a Berlin based Burlesque performer. She is classy, she has a brilliantly uplifting and high-energy personality, she draws you in and you just want to know more about her. She is trying to change stereotypes of black women through her performances while at the same time lifting other women up around her. Her performances are pure art, they are skillful, witty, empowering and full of badass talent, they make you want to be like her, she makes it all look so effortless!
In an interview with Sean Gallen, she said:
“What’s sexy is typically white and never really black and it will be features of black women that are celebrated on that of white women – so the big bum, small waist, big lips – but it’s never celebrated when it’s on a black body. Burlesque has given this chance to show just how majestic black women can be…”
I am convinced that this quote can move mountains because it’s something that needed to be said and I haven’t heard anybody say this in such a perfect way. This notion is so deep rooted in our society that sometimes we forget to properly think about this. Thank you for speaking out so loudly for the voices that haven’t been heard enough.
8. Hadas Foguel – Maker of Foguelina
Hadas is a powerhouse of a woman. Her unique style speaks so much about who she is and what she wants the world to see of her. I loved that about her, she looks so damn good just being herself.
She started Foguelina – a handmade, independent fashion label for alternative and unique people. The items are colourful and playful while at the same time being super sexy and freaky and they just make you want to get down and scream fuck yeah! Her brand empowers women to be sexual and to live their pleasures out loud and to dress however the f*** they feel like!
The berliner club scene fashion style can often be a bit too all-black-all-day, Hadas is trying to rebel against this standard and introduce colours and prints that encourage self-expression, personality and to show that BUNT* is sexy too. This babe is bringing colour back into the clubbing scene, one harness at a time.
By living her truest self and by sharing her passions with the world, she unknowingly gives other people the strength to do the same.
*Bunt means colourful in German
9. Danielle Barnett – Head of Naked Yoga for Women
Inspiring women to be comfortable with being naked is the name of her game. Danielle started Naked Yoga for Women in San Francisco in 2015 and has been teaching classes on and off for a few years in Berlin too. I mean, she came to the right place, Germany loves being naked.
“Normalize the human body. It’s ok. I’m ok. & You’re ok too.”
Her dream of teaching yoga was inspired by the fact that yoga is for every BODY, all shapes, forms, walks of life – it is a place where everyone is welcome. This is why she continues to bring people together… because the naked human body is in desperate need of being normalized, to be set free, to accept it exactly how it is. Naked Yoga for her is about healing the relationship we have with our bodies, the more time we spend naked, the more empowered we may feel to just be. It’s about letting go of the shame that is buried inside of us.
She also co-hosts Naked Dinners, a chance for people of all backgrounds, free of clothing to connect in a non-sexual atmosphere. For her it is about joy, connection, laughter, and vulnerability.
This summer, she will be welcoming all beautiful bodies (yes, yours too) who want to join in on her naked yoga adventures.
Join her as you are at these festivals or contact her for more info:
Naked Yoga @ Hedonè Paris, 15/16 June
Butterfly Yoga & Moon Meditation @ FEEL Festival 12-15 July
Naked Yoga @ Hedonè Seminar 18-22 July
Naked Yoga & Butterfly Yoga @ Wilde Moehre Festival 9-12 August