Have you ever saved up for an expensive dress, worn it once and then…. Never worn it again?
So have we... Luckily, this dilemma is about to change. Norwegian startup FJONG promotes sustainable fashion habits, by enabling you to rent and rent out personal fashion items. Save money on renting; make money on sharing. Today we introduce you to the co-founder and creator behind FJONG, Marie Ameln.
Her company is both wallet-friendly and sustainable. No wonder big fashionistas and celebrities are on board with this innovate and fun community! Enjoy our interview below and sign up for FJONG today.
Full name: Marie Ameln
From and current city: Oslo
Education: Civil engineer in Industrial Economics and Technology Management
How would you describe your life today?
Exciting, hectic and unpredictable.
What do you love the most about your life?
Friends, family and all the exciting experiences I get every day.
How, when and why did you decide to create your company FJONG ?
I have been thinking about it for many years. Why isn’t there a place where you can rent nice outfits for proms, weddings, new years eve etc.? It is ridiculous to spend tons of money on a dress that you only want to wear once – and that will make you feel bad every time you look at it in the closet, when you think; “I spent this much money on it, I wore it once, and to be honest I do not really feel like wearing it again”.
Norwegian actress Pia Tjelta is an ambassador for FJONG.
Can you tell us a little bit about the journey you have had, and what the rest of this year might look like? (Do you love visual art/branding/fashion, Are you just naturally great with coming up with ideas?)
I told an ex-colleague of mine, Sigrun, about the idea one night we were out drinking wine. She loved the idea, and could not wait to turn it into reality. I really needed that push. Having someone other than myself, become as eager with the idea as myself, made me really want to really for it.
James and Megan joined the team and became responsible for the technical part. I feel that we have come a long way already, even though most of the work is still remaining. We have gotten overwhelmingly good response since our ‘soft-launch’ last week, which is really, really motivating.
What do you hope to do for people with FJONG?
I hope that they will never dread going to an event because they do not know what to wear. I want them to always feel good, spend less money on clothing and buy fewer clothes in general. Instead, I want them to feel good about being part of a more sustainable way to enjoy fashion! I also love that we can make high fashion available to more people, not just those who can afford to buy these very expensive pieces.
Norwegian designer Fam Irvoll is also an ambassador for FJONG.
Best and worst part of working on a startup?
The best part, is to work on a team together with people you admire and trust. I love the energy you have together because you really really want to make FJONG work. I like all the interesting people I get to meet along the way, and everything you learn. I’ve now know so many things I never knew I had to know!
The worst thing though, is that it is difficult to disconnect. I find it hard to get FJONG 100 percent off my mind, in order to focus on other things in life. Sometimes I feel a little ‘distant’ around other people, because I am constantly solving problems inside my own head! Ooops!
How would you describe your relationship with money?
I am very bad with money. I have an unrealistic view of how much money I spend, and it often happens that I spend up all my money before my payday – even though it should really not be necessary. I like to go out, eat and have fun… Money just flies!
Do you save and/or invest money today?
No, but I always have the ambition to start, and I am planning to do that next month as well..
How could Spiff improve your life?
I think Spiff would help me a lot, because it would make it fun and more motivating to save. I also look forward to get Spiff so that it will be easier to save along with others and track progression!
What does empowerment of women mean to you?
A little cliché, but it does not mean that men and women have to be equal. It simply means that we should all have the same rights and opportunities! Even though gender equality has come very far today (especially in Norway), I definitely do not think the ‘fight’ is over.
Unfortunately, I still end up in situations where I get the sense that some people take me less serious because of my gender. It is rare, but it still happens.
What your best career advice?
Work hard and do not settle for something you are not happy about! There are so many interesting opportunities out there, and there is no need for you to suffer through your workday! Also, if you are unemployed, be even more creative when looking for a new job! Different types of jobs can be relevant and give you great experience! Don’t worry too much if it fits your education or not!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years people laugh out loud when they think about buying an expensive dress just for one single occasion. I mean, you just rent it at FJONG!
Also, I hope FJONG has expanded to all European countries, the US, Australia and is now starting to enter the rest of the world. Environmental impact of producing clothes has drastically dropped and people feel cooler and more fashionable than ever before. Sigrun, James, Megan and I… We are all still running the business!