Q&A WITH FEMGEMS: LOUISA WIETHOLD AND THEO KAUFFELD, CO-FOUNDERS OF EQUALISTA
Factory Berlin and FemGems present a new series focusing on empowerment, inspiration, and motivation. Each month we’ll bring you stories and a Q&A with FemGems, featuring successful female founders, entrepreneurs, and industry experts in Berlin.
Louisa Wiethold and Theo Kauffeld believe in the power of using tech to combine theoretical knowledge and practical exercises to bring about change and new opportunities. As the masterminds behind Equalista, the co-founder sisters aim to educate users about gender equality, spread awareness, and teach techniques for dealing with inequality in certain situations. So far Equalista has been awarded the EXIST Business Start-up Grant for innovative technology by the Germany Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the European Social Fund, and won “Gründung Innovative” by the State Bank of Brandenburg (ILB).
How do you start your day?
LOUISA: I try to get eight hours of sleep, I tend to snooze a little, and then do morning yoga with my sister.
THEO: I am proud to say that I start every Monday to Friday with yoga. Then I normally take 15 minutes to drink coffee because I read somewhere that you’re less prone to get burnout.
Describe your personality in 3 words.
LOUISA: Optimistic, empathetic, and I try to appreciate the smaller things in life.
THEO: I would say that I am very independent, determined, and caring.
What's one thing you had to learn the hard way?
LOUISA: How to manage conflicts better.
THEO: How to hire the right people. Building a good team is really hard!
What is the biggest misconception people have about your work?
LOUISA: That founding a company is always nice and easy. It’s definitely not.
THEO: Since our business deals with gender equality, people usually think that I hate men… but my answer usually is, not all men!
What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to try, but you’ve always been scared to do?
LOUISA: I think I am still in the process. I started my own company, and I am very active in politics, so I don’t feel like there is much left to be afraid of.
THEO: This is more of a hard one because I was always scared of getting married and scared of founding my own company. I did both and I am still scared.
What inspires you in life right now?
LOUISA: The power of consciousness. The more I am aware of my thinking, the more I can change.
THEO: The Equalista team. We are a fabulous combination of social science, science, and art, which is quite an explosive mix.
What’s your superpower?
THEO: An absolute will to grow.
What mantra do you live by?
LOUISA: ‘Don’t take it personally.’
THEO: ‘It flows in the same direction as above: keep on learning and growing.’
Name three habits for success.
LOUISA: Dreaming big, being optimistic, and ambitious.
THEO: Discipline, perseverance, and enjoy what you’re doing. If you’re not having fun, then there will probably less chance of making it a success.
What are you looking forward to in your professional life?
LOUISA: Definitely change the capitalistic system and putting the people and purpose back into focus.
THEO: Making an impact and a movement towards equality.