One of the two founders of Ooia, Kati lives in Berlin and is the mother of three children. Whether at work or in private: female empowerment, the female body and sustainability are central issues for Kati.
She had been looking for an idea for a long time that would enable her to build something herself according to her own ideas. She wanted to take on a leadership role that was demanding in terms of content, without foregoing flexible working hours and locations, just like her husband could. Kati and Kristine found out about period underwear through a friend. There was nothing like this in Germany before and it quickly became clear to both of them what they had to do. Shortly after the development of the first prototype, the old jobs were terminated and Ooia GmbH was founded. Today, the two have already sold over 150,000 items across Europe and thus realized their dream.
In the interview, we chat with Kati about self-care, female empowerment and what that means for her, her favorite book and more. Enjoy!
Hi Kati, please tell us something about yourself?
My name is Kati and i’m the co-founder and co-CEO of ooia. I’m turning 40 this year. I live with my 3 kids and my husband in Berlin. I’m a feminist and activist.
What does self-care mean to you and do you “practice” it?
For me, self-care means not putting yourself last all the time. It means that you recognize and articulate your needs and see how you can fulfill them. This is so important because everyone's needs must be perceived and respected.
«For me, self-care means not putting yourself last all the time.»
Did self-care help you to achieve certain goals, conquer certain challenges, or get through bad times?
Selfcare has helped me on my way in everything – both privately and professionally. To excel in what I do, I need to be able to listen to myself and pay attention to my needs.
«To excel in what I do, I need to be able to listen to myself and pay attention to my needs.»
This Place – where do you feel the most relaxed? What is your This Place ritual?
I feel best when I'm by the water, whether it's a lake, a river or the ocean. I draw a lot of calm and strength from looking at water. The Good Night helps me find that calm when I’m off to bed after an exciting day.
«The Good Night helps me find that calm when I’m off to bed after an exciting day.»
What does confidence feel like to you? Is there a feeling in your body that you associate with it?
When I’m confident, I feel that my shoulders are straight and my head is held high. I feel like my body takes up space.
When do you feel most comfortable in your own skin?
I feel most comfortable when I speak about things that I’m passionate about.
Do you have any favorite books, movies or life experiences about someone who pushed past limitations to achieve something great?
I really love “Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls” from Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo. It’s beautifully illustrated and tells stories about extraordinary women who have overcome various challenges in the world. And although it is made for children, I also recommend it to every adult!
What’s your favorite confidence-boosting song that helps you make it through your morning routine on a stressful day?
Can’t stop the Feeling - Justin Timberlake
Who are the women that inspire you, and why?
There are many impressive women with role model characteristics in the start-up scene in Berlin: Verena Pausder, Lea-Sophie Cramer, Franziska von Hardenberg, Aimie Carstensen, Sophie Chung... and many more.
What is your definition of female empowerment?
My definition of Female Empowerment is to help women realize their full potential every day of their lives, make their own choices and do what they really want. This is exactly our mission with ooia! It's not just about developing and offering female centric products, but also about changing mindsets.
What changes can be made in your industry so that women are more empowered?
Everyone should be prepared to invest some of their resources:
Money, time, power and energy – including and especially men. I am particularly committed to women developing female-centric products. Because these are particularly often neglected.