Claudia Helming, a young Internet entrepreneur, is our guest this week on Talking Germany. Together with Michael Pütz, she founded DaWanda, an online marketplace for handmade products, in 2006.
Today the platform has more than 2 million members, and features 150,000 articles for sale. And it’s now expanding to other European countries.
Born in Bavaria, Claudia Helming says she never expected to become an entrepreneur. After studying Romance languages and tourism, she worked for a number of start-ups. She first came up with the idea for her business DaWanda while on a business trip to Moscow, when she was looking for souvenirs to take home and all she could find was mass-produced plastic products. Her idea was to launch a platform for people to sell things they'd made themselves, paying a 5 percent commission for each successful deal. Claudia Helming now oversees a team of over 100 and DaWanda enjoys turnover of roughly 4.5 million euros. The company is doing so well that Helming is now looking to expand into neighboring countries. Claudia Helming lives and works in Berlin.