We like to call FAIRLING an online dating site for brands: the goal is to get a perfect and long-lasting match between brands and stores. And we can tell you this much: there is already quite an amount of great FAIRLING-Love Stories to tell. One of them is the story of Ein Guter Plan.
Ein Guter Plan worked with us on FAIRLING back in 2018 already. With their unique and exceptional diary “Ein Guter Plan” they have received over 20 requests from interested retailers who wanted to sell the diary in their local stores. The love story between Ein Guter Plan and the unique retailers was a full success. Through FAIRLING Ein Guter Plan has been able to form long-lasting partnerships that still last to this date. Now the love story continues and Ein Guter Plan is back with us on FAIRLING to find and form new long-lasting partnerships with retailers.
Ein Guter Plan was founded in 2015 by Jan Lenarz and Milena Glimbovski with the intention to pay more attention to the mental health of oneself and the people around us. The founders have the goal to get people being more aware of their mental health and their personal struggles. Mental health problems and personal struggles aren’t talked about enough and with their diary Ein Guter Plan they want to change that.
“The idea is actually very simple. In our world, you’re either mentally healthy and happy or you’re sick and need professional help. But there is a huge gray area between the ideal state and serious mental health problems. Happiness and health are measured on a scale and people usually don’t get help until they’ve broken down and gotten a diagnosis. We believe: you can (and should) deal with your own needs as early as possible and reflect on your own life again and again before it’s too late and you see no way out.”
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE BRAND? TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF.
Jan Lenarz had the idea for Ein Guter Plan, he runs the operational business, writes our books and newsletters and is responsible for the design of Ein Guter Plan. As an award-winning designer and author, he is also politically involved in our core topics of mindfulness, burnout prevention and sustainability in the publishing industry.
Milena Glimbovski is the co-founder and is more responsible for the strategic aspects so that she can concentrate more on her zero waste store, Original Unverpackt. Milena is now more of an advisor to us but she is always there for us when we need her. Hardly anyone knows as much about social entrepreneurship as Milena. The fact that she was named Berlin’s Entrepreneur of the Year is no surprise to anyone. We are proud that the icon of the zero waste movement works at our side.
How did it all start? What is the idea behind EIN GUTER PLAN?
Through self-reflection and mindfulness, one can find out quite a lot about their mental state and prevent a bad state to a certain extent. That’s where our diary Ein Guter Plan comes in. The book is a gentle introduction to psychological content and reminds users daily of important topics such as self-acceptance, stress avoidance and one’s own desires and values. We believe that a diary is the ideal format for this. When you write down your appointments and to-dos, it’s a great time to ask yourself if everything is in line with your needs. Weekly tips clarify psychological phenomena and help you get to know yourself better.
All this is done without pointing fingers but with a lot of humor and indulgence. Ein Guter Plan is not a guide to happiness but rather a toolbox that people can use as needed. You can either check off how you feel and how high your stress level is every day, fill out a guided self-reflection once a month, or take stock of your life once a year. Some people can get significant impulses to drive positive change through that, others realize that they might need to talk to professionals about their concerns.
In our opinion, the planner fills a gap and it is exactly the book we would have liked to have when many things in our lives were going in the wrong direction. We thought all along that as founders it was perfectly normal to always be available and to work constantly and we ended up suffering from burnout. Ein Guter Plan might not have prevented that but certainly we would have sought professional help earlier and not only when there was no other way.
Milena had a tremendous amount of stress during the founding period of the zero waste supermarket Original Unverpackt and Jan was actually overwhelmed with everything as a designer and founder of a sustainable sports brand. Despite success, or maybe because of it, we failed at our work and asked ourselves how it actually did come to this. And what we could do to help ourselves and others to not fall into the same traps again and again. We decided to bundle our ideas into a book. Our crowdfunding was actually only supposed to finance a small print run of 500 copies. But the €15,000 we needed turned into almost €200,000, the most successful German crowdfunding campaign to date and the launch of our small publishing house.
What was your favorite highlight or happy moment in the last months?
It was especially nice to see how much our books have been able to help in a complex and grueling situation over the past few months. We really do receive a lot of emails every day and it’s always a good feeling to know that our work really is making a meaningful, sustainable contribution. However, at the moment we are particularly happy about a few important design awards such as the German Design Award Gold for our gratitude diary A Good Day. It has always been important to us that books about mindfulness can also be really beautiful and graphically exigent. Many titles on the market tend to be a bit kitschy and overloaded which is totally okay, there’s a lot of demand for that, but we like to keep it simple.
In marketing and sales, you rely on strong, long-term relationships with your retailers. Why do they choose you?
Retail is an indispensable pillar for us. Beautiful products with a special feel simply belong in stores. Our material aesthetics can hardly be shown through the internet and even though we are very well positioned online, it simply better suits us if our titles can also be found in the “real” world. Our retailers expect a high value on really beautiful products and books where you can see that someone has put a lot of thought into the products. Ein Guter Plan simply has a magical effect in shelves and shop windows.
You have received 20 requests from new retailers at FAIRLING so far. Can you give us a little background information on one of these love stories?
Thanks to FAIRLING we have developed several great and long-term partnerships with retailers that continue to this day. For us, sustainability also means long-term cooperation away from mass production. As an example, we can mention the Perle Store and Repro Lüdke, with whom we were able to gradually bring a larger selection of our products into the trade. The contact with Perle Store owner Sabine was especially straightforward: We talked on the phone ten minutes after her request, twenty minutes later she ordered from us. This went exceptionally well and the contact was laid-back and friendly..
This is the love story we are looking for at FAIRLING. Bringing unique brands and wonderful retailers together so they can form a long-lasting partnership that they found through FAIRLING.
Where should the journey go? What is the vision of EIN GUTER PLAN?
What started a few years ago as a small idea from personal use is now one of the most popular and ecological brands for mindfulness in Germany. Thus, all expectations have been exceeded many times over. The new goal is to value our success and continue to do good work without exploiting ourselves or the concept. We plan on adding to the range of goods where it makes sense but we will continue to put as much love into each book as we did with our first titles. We are full of drive to bring our core themes of mindfulness, burnout prevention, and self-love to the center of society.
Is there anything you would definitely advise other young, emerging brands to do?
You can’t plan authenticity and honesty in communication on a flip chart, you have to embody it. Why not also repeatedly address errors or the potential for improvement of your own products? People long for an open communication culture and that includes mistakes. Target groups don’t want to feel like target groups but like people with real needs that should be taken seriously. Don’t get defensive about criticism, be grateful for any negative feedback.
And value creative freelancers. Design, illustration, photography: these are such important focal points for any brand. The creatives who convert them for you should be allowed to bring in and implement their ideas, be paid properly for it, get reasonable contracts for work and not be treated like interchangeable vicarious agents. Over several years this creates a fantastic dynamic which both sides benefit from .
Good branding is not created in meetings but through a consistent focus on one’s own values. Product-related unique selling points are great but can be copied. A strong brand with genuine convictions is unassailable and more crisis-proof than any marketing campaigns designed to boost sales in the short term. Dare to be yourself, even if you don’t reach every customer.
Thank you, Jan for the lovely interview! We wish you all the best for you and your brand! Hopefully, there will be many more Love Stories for you to experience!
|Company:||Ein Guter Plan|
|Founder:||Jan Lenarz & Milena Glimbovski|
|FAIRLING member from:|
Back again with FAIRLING:
|March, 2018 to 2019|
|First request:||March 09, 2018|
|Locations of interested stores through FAIRLING |
|Performance so far:||70 interested shops, |
Do you want to be part of FAIRLING, too?
Great, there’s a whole world of local stores waiting for your products! Just book a free demo call with one of our brand scouts – they will be very happy to talk about your possibilities on FAIRLING and answer all your questions.