Neumühle develops durable pieces with a social and ecological impact, bringing design and functionality into harmony. Last year, co-founder Andreas Fehr was selected to join the first batch of social entrepreneurs to take part in the Innosuisse training for impact entrepreneurs in the growth stage. Read on to learn more about their mission, what helped them grow and the key aspects Andreas could integrate from the course to his everyday schedule.
Why did you decide to create Neumühle?
That’s a funny story. My mother was a handcrafts-teacher and her great passion is crocheting. I wanted to support her and designed the logo «Neumühle» named after the valley where we grew up. After that we thought, well let’s go and try to sell the hats at a pop-up market and that was actually the very beginning of Neumühle.
What was key to bring your business to where it is today?
It is a mixture of long working hours, the willingness to take risks, cross borders and think in new ways. I used to work in marketing and then switched to textile, so I have a different approach to look at things. That maybe helped as well on some levels. As cheesy as it sounds if you’re truly satisfied with where you spend your hours every day, that helps a lot to succeed.
If you’re truly satisfied with where you spend your hours every day, that helps a lot to succeed.
Last year, you took part in the Innosuisse training Business Growth for Social Entrepreneurs. What made you take the decision to join the course?
We are both commercial and social driven and are in a growing phase. So the course was the perfect match to us und really took us a couple of steps further. Taking a step back to reflect on your business model from different perspectives is very important. On top, we could connect to many interesting entrepreneurs, advisors and investors.
The course was the perfect match to us und really took us a couple of steps further. Taking a step back to reflect on your business model from different perspectives is very important.
What were the most important learnings and how did you implement this in your daily business?
It’s not one, it’s many little pieces, thoughts and inputs which I could adapt and integrate into my everyday schedule. Topics like cashflow, business model canvas, discussing successful cases and pitching to investors.
Was the exchange and meeting with peers and trainers valuable?
Very valuable and inspiring, I am still in contact with some of them. The individual coaching I got during the course also initiated the development of our new product line: the Net-Swimwear Collection VON ALICE, made from regenerated fishing nets and nylon residues.
The individual coaching I got during the course also initiated the development of our new product line.
What would be your words of wisdom for other social entrepreneurs looking to grow their business?
If you work in a small team or by yourself, remember that you don’t have to master everything. Outsource as much as you can. Growth needs lots of resources.
What is next for Neumühle?
Right now we are getting ready for the winter season. We have a bunch of new projects and ideas ready and the rest is written in the stars.