Think women can’t work together? Think again. Welcome to She’s My Cofounder, a series all about powerhouse cofounders who also happen to be (you guessed it) female. We’re going to be diving in with women who support and nurture each other through all things business and beyond to find out just exactly what it’s like working alongside a gal pal.
This week we caught up with Tijana Tamburic and Franzi Klein the founders of Female Narratives which is a true representation of women supporting women. Female Narrative is an integrated creative agency that operates using a collective of female freelancers to connect brands to real women and real stories – directly. Their previous clients include Bumble, Happy Not Perfect and much more. Find out how this amazing community got started through the power of one female partnership.
1. How did you become co-founders and how long have you known one another?
Tijana: Franzi and I have dozens of mutual friends but only meet in the summer of 2016 on a magical trip to Ibiza. Exactly 9 months later we gave birth to our miracle baby, it was more or less love at first sight and unprotected sex on the first date! It has been almost 2 years since then.
2. Trust is an important aspect in any relationship, how have you been able to build the trust between you?
Franzi: I think through mutual respect for one another and also a lack of needing to lie about anything. We started this together, we both have access to all e-mails, all files, all bank accounts so there isn’t much to hide. We have also built this platform through harnessing and pooling our contacts together so if we didn’t trust each other, or hold back, it just wouldn’t be as powerful as it is now.
3. Disagreements happen in every relationship, as co-founders how do you manage disagreements and making final decisions?
Franzi: We usually weight up the good and bad of each viewpoint and make a decision that makes the most sense for the company. We have very clear goals, visions and objectives for FN so when we keep those in mind we don’t usually disagree.
4. What are your working styles and if different from one another, how do you bring them together?
Tijana: I guess my style is hyper proactive, I like to get as many things done as possible and as fast as possible. Franzi helps me to breathe, think about things and goes through the finer details. Franzi is also our optimist – always seeing the best in situations and somehow knowing it will all work out while I’m the pessimist; always worried everything will fall apart until the last second. It means that I always, logistically, have a list of worst-case-scenario back up options but Franzi’s positivity keeps the whole project going so I never end up having to use them! We are very yin+yang in many ways that are really complimentary but when it comes to time management and getting the work done we both hustle.
5. There’s a myth that “women can’t work together because we tend to be quite emotional etc” and some other lies, what are your thoughts on this and what message do you have for people that hold this opinion?
Franzi: HA! If you spend time with Tijana on set you would not associate her with emotional! Masculine terms like cut-throat, hustler, to-the-point and workaholic come to mind… but we don’t really like putting adjectives into gendered categories. It shouldn’t be seen as awe-inspiring if a woman is bossy or if a man is emotional, people should just be themselves.
Between Tijana and I, we have all the necessary attributes to run a successful business and it has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with aptitude, attitude and experience.
6. What are some important attributes one should look for in a co-founder?
Tijana: Look for the yin to your yang. A very wise friend and founder told me that it’s no use in partnering with someone who is just like you, knows the same people you do and is interested in the same things as you. Find your opposite and you can do twice as much. If you’re a massive creative, find your operations-minded counterpart and vice-versa. Try and cover as many essential company roles as possible between the two of you. But always look for someone who will be as passionate as you about the project and have the same end-goal. Starting up means a lot of working for free – your partner has to love it as much as you do.
7. What makes you feel empowered?
Franzi: We feel so empowered when we look at the collective of incredible women we have created. The connections made within our collective have blossomed into spin-off projects we could have never anticipated and it’s beautiful to see that in our small way we helped to facilitate them.
We are also very proud that all the projects we create, have been done by ourselves from start to finish so when we release something it’s really fulfilling.
8. Podcast or book? And which one would you recommend?
Tijana: So many awesome books and podcasts out right now! Book of the year has to be Sapiens and podcast is the Guilty Feminist. Our girl Jada Sezer is about to release her own podcast which we are really excited about so watch this space!
Could you share something about your co-founder that you would like to appreciate?
Tijana: Franzi, I appreciate you for always being there for me and for stepping in and stepping up on so many occasions when we were in over our heads.
Franzi: I can trust Tijana blindly. She is both in our business relationship and friendship the most reliable and loyal person you could possibly ask for.
Any last advice for those seeking a co-founder?
Don’t rush the process and don’t settle for just anyone.