Hi, my mane is Ruth-Janessa Funk. Fashion has been my passion since I was five years old and even in the present day fashion is one of my biggest muses in life. Today I have spent almost all of my working life in fashion and fashion business. I have been working in many areas of the fashion industry and since then have observed all relevant industrial and technological developments in the field. Every time I got the opportunity to try something new here, I took it.
Falling in Love with Fashion
I first fell in love with fashion when my mother brought home her fashion magazines. I could lose myself in her fashion magazines for hours. I cut out all the pictures I liked and with them created my own magazine. Then I made up headlines and wrote little stories to it. Later I created dresses for my Barbie dolls. I loved my Barbie dolls because with the dresses they looked like the models in the magazines.
Making clothes for my dolls is also why started to sew early – and have never stopped. Today I believe, the fashion magazines, the fun of fashion designing for my dolls and my interest in sewing that all finally got me into the fashion business. So naturally, after finishing my German “Abitur” (Abitur is a qualification granted by university-preparatory schools in Germany) I started studying fashion design. Since my parents thought with fashion design you can make a living I studied business administration and completed my Master’s degree.
During my studies, I have always worked regularly in the fashion industry, as a styling assistant for fashion productions, in the theatre or for commercials in the costume departments or design my little collections.
Getting started with Fashion Business
After my university graduation, I worked as a marketing manager for Estée Lauder Cosmetics in Munich and New York.
At the end of my maternity leave, I left Estée Lauder and founded my mail-order company for childrenswear called Funky Textilversand, for which I won a design award for successful entrepreneurship in Germany. Founding my first fashion label “Funky”, I was responsible for all stages of the value chain: from the idea and design of the products (incl. fabrics) to collection design, production, calculation and pricing, to catalogue planning and marketing. Already in 1994, it was important to me to create an ecological and environmentally friendly. This already gave me the opportunity to recognize very early on how difficult it is to actually implement sustainable fashion.
After ten years with successful growth rates, the company was sold to the traditional German brand Kaethe Kruse.
As a mother of three young children, the following years I worked as a freelance fashion designer for several national and international brand, not only for childrenswear also for womenswear and accessories. During this time I also work abroad in the field of fashion manufacturing, sourcing and supplier management with production trips to Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and India.
As Creative as Berlin …
2008 I moved to Berlin, where I still live today, and out of my ambition for teaching I founded the „Fashion School for Kids“. The fashion school for children was at the time of its founding the first model of this kind in Germany. Based on the motivation to promote children’s creativity and their creative skills alongside everyday school life, children aged 6-18 years learn to design and sew their projects, from the idea to the visible result. I see my task here in the creative accompaniment because first and foremost the children always learn by doing. At the “Fashion School for Kids”, they find the freedom, time and encouragement to do so. Take a look over at www.fashionschoolforkids.com. It is also my contribution to the next generation to appreciate the craft and to get to know fashion in its sustainability.
Creativity and Berlin – for me, this has belonged together for the last 12 years. In Berlin, I had an environment that offered me freedom and inspiration, discussion partners but also points of friction. In addition to the Fashion School for Kids, I have found my own children’s fashion label tokipoki*, two magazines and a trend report platform.