What is boshi in japanese
The conversation with Thomas Jaenisch, 29, and Felix Rohland, 28, the founders of MyBoshi, takes place in their shop in Hof in Upper Franconia. Boshi is Japanese and means hat. There used to be an interior decorator there, then the rooms were empty for a long time. Thomas is an industrial engineer, Felix is a secondary school teacher. A crocheted sheep lies on the sofa in front of the shop window. In the back of the room, employees pack hats for shipping. Business is in full swing. The two entrepreneurs would like to be called by their first names.
SZ: What are you crocheting at the moment?
Felix: A loop for my aunt. She's really keen on it.
Thomas: A beanbag for my girlfriend. During the day we get to crochet relatively rarely. It's high season right now. I only come here in the evening to relax, for an hour or two.
How long do you need for a hat?
Felix: One to two hours, depending on the model, with sewing and all the trimmings.
How long did it take you to make your first hat?
Felix: Eight hours. We crocheted our first hat in early 2009 when we were in Japan. It wasn't particularly nice.
Do you still have them?
Felix: Yes, it's on my shelf at home. It also looks very good because it is made entirely from acrylic wool that we bought in a cheap market. It's more of a helmet than a woolen hat.
Do you have to go to Japan to get the idea of starting a crochet company?
Thomas: Apparently. Good ideas always come to you when you have the time, and we had plenty of them in Japan. We were there as ski instructors.
How did that happen?
Felix: We were both still studying at the time and had little money. Then we discovered the advertisement in a magazine for ski instructors: Five weeks in Japan, flight, board and lodging free. During the day we taught Japanese children to ski and in the evenings it was quite boring. We couldn't watch television, we didn't take anything with us to read. And then in the evening 40 ski instructors from Europe were sitting in the basement of an unheated gym and were bored.
Then did you find a crochet pattern?
Thomas: No. A Spanish woman always crocheted in the evening. At first we thought this was not for us. But the boredom got bigger and bigger. Then we let it show us, more for fun. And then we couldn't stop. The second hat was then finished much faster.
Still: You don't have to set up a company just because of a few successful crochet hats!
Felix: But we were really excited about the idea. When we came back to Germany we met all our friends ...
Thomas: ... You left out part of the story. After the ski course, we traveled a bit through Japan, always with a hat on. In Tokyo we met two Australian backpackers in a hostel. They really wanted our hats. We then sold them to them for a good ten euros. In the evening we went to a karaoke bar together. That ended wet and happy. Sometime between two and four in the morning we made the decision to turn the hats into a business. But we have still finished our studies. I am an industrial engineer and Felix secondary school teacher for IT and economics.
To be on the safe side, in case the crochet company doesn't work
Thomas: A completed vocational training never hurts.
You could have had a job at BMW or McKinsey, couldn't you?
Thomas: Yes, but at the time I thought about other people going on a trip around the world or nothing after graduating. I wanted to know if My Boshi was working full time. We returned to Germany with fire in our hearts and told our buddies that we are now crocheting hats. They thought we were crazy, but they thought the hats were cool.
How did you finance the start-up?
Felix: We bought two balls of wool and a crochet hook, and with the money we earned, even more wool. The risk we took wasn't that great.
What did your mothers say?
Felix: Mine was astonished at first. But then she noticed that we were having fun with it and that we were taking it seriously.
Thomas: Our mothers then also crocheted the first Boshis. Mine was very happy that the 24-year-old son sat with her on the sofa in the evenings, crocheting and not making any nonsense. After nine months we had earned a good 2,000 euros, simply through word of mouth. Then we decided, either we should stop now or do it right.
All or nothing!
Thomas: Yeah. We had a homepage programmed and placed an ad because we couldn't keep up with the production. We were looking for people to do homework for us.
How many have answered?
Felix: 70 people called between six and ten in the morning, then we switched off the phone.
What kind of people were they?
Felix: Mostly retirees who want to earn money with their hobby.
Did they have to pre-crochet?
Felix: The ones we selected over the phone, yes.
How many are left?
Thomas: Two the first time. That is part of our company philosophy. If we offer someone a job, then they should earn a decent income with it. Many of the women crocheters can use the money well. If you get a monthly pension of 600 or 700 euros, 450 euros is a lot of money.
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