Your purpose isn’t fluff. It’s your tool to make decisions.

Sitting down with Agnes was the highlight of my week. Her enthusiasm and way of thinking about the world in its most circular sense is contagious. You can’t help but see exactly why her company, Mended, is ready to scale and to hit every city in Europe and beyond. I’m excited for you to hear her story.


Agnes tells her story

Creating content and coming up with ideas has always been part of who I am. I’m fascinated when I create a video, those shots, those moments didn’t exist and now people are interacting with it. You can literally create something from nothing. 

Leading a circular life – one that sees the products I use go back into the supply chain instead of the landfill – has long been at the heart of my thinking and business ideas. And as such, the company I lead today has always been in my vision yet it was one of many ideas I had wanted to bring to life. I was hesitant on which one to choose.

What was your situation?

My career started as a kindergarten teacher. I saw it as my path out of living in a small, Austrian town and my chance to see more of the world. After it took me to America, I found myself in the Netherlands, itching to do something with my creativity. YouTube and Instagram followers later, I landed on my business concept. 

With a viable product that was without a growth plan or a direction, it was then that I met Julie at Wyseminds and joined the Lift-Off programme.  

We began with me as a founder, starting with my beliefs and how I wished to use my ideas to live them. We discussed and planned through the purpose, my vision and my values. It was great to finally be able to understand the power of my own purpose, not an organisational one, but starting with mine as the foundation for it all and then using my business as one channel to bring it to life. I learned to truly appreciate your values as more than a marketing tool that companies put as slogans on their websites. Instead, we were embedding them more in the core of who I was, what I offered and how I worked.  

During this work, it gave me the confidence to make the decision to actually stop my first concept, Living Bin, the business that I came in with when I first joined the Lift-Off programme

I never had the right compass to make the decision on what to work on. And that’s why I think I waited so long to make the decision. I realised it didn’t feel quite right, but I could never quite tell you why. (That is… before I met Julie.)

It was one of many ideas I couldn’t stop thinking about, yet I was hesitant which idea was the best fit and channel for me - or had the most potential to bring my purpose to life.

What was stopping your growth plan?

I kept coming back to my passion for circularity and ​​Julie kept pushing me about why I liked it so much, why I was so passionate about it. I thought the answer was obvious, but Julie kept pushing me to dig beneath the surface.

By working through this further and digging deeper to understand why I, Agnes, not the business, love the concept of circularity, I found the compass I’d been missing; If this is the type of space that I want to work in, what’s the channel I use and what sort of business do I create to bring that to life? 

Was my current business idea really going to allow me to tell that story? The answer, I realised, was no. 

Now my compass had cleared the path, I had the business that was aligned the most with me.

What did you do to create a stronger growth path? 

From this new found space and clarity, Mended was born, a circular platform that enables you to care and repair everything you wear, making it as easy and rewarding as buying something new.

Being on this journey with Wyseminds brought me all the way back to my early days as a kindergarten teacher. I just thought of it as one chapter, placed it in a box as having nothing to do with what I do now. Digging back into this box allowed me to connect my previous life, finding the values that I held important back then and connecting them to what I do now.

Children push the boundaries of what adults take as a given and that’s exactly what I love about circularity; it pushes the boundaries of how our systems function. Everyone around me tells me – that it’s just the way we do it and that stuff is meant to break so I can sell you more stuff. That’s the underlying logic, that’s how the economy functions. However, for me, I think it’s this inner child, perhaps a little bit of naivety, that is determined to challenge the norm and the way people say that it’s supposed to be done. 

Connecting me back to my past allowed me to bring back another element; playfulness. I never thought that I would run a business that has playfulness as a value. When you step into the business world, you think everything is very serious and that’s just how it has to be. But playfulness is a core element of who I am, how I work and think, and my business is a way to express it, making it unique. Understanding these two elements more, is helping me to smash the stereotypes of how we think of repair. It’s my superpower to carve out a positioning that makes Mended anything but a boring alterations & repair service.

What changed?

Going through this process made me realise where my passion came from and why it feels that this stone that I picked up and looked under just can’t be put down anymore. Once you put on this circular lens, you can’t really undo it. 

The Lift-Off journey gave me the focus to pick my medium to tell that story, and now it has become Mended. This lightbulb moment helped me free the blocks that were stopping me.

Having graduated the Lift-Off level and now continuing with Level 1, the steps I’ve taken with Wyseminds have been more of a personal story than I ever imagined. We’re now working through the organisational purpose and how to translate my own purpose into Mended in a way that allows people to resonate with it and relate.

Julie has the tools and the experience of how it feels to get to the next level, but also sees you as someone who is capable of making these steps.

What’s next for you, Agnes?

We’re having our first collaborations with brands where we will facilitate the alterations and repairs for their customers – delivering benefits that go way beyond fixing a broken zipper. 

I’m standing at a point where I have a viable product that’s ready to scale. I’m getting into a territory that is not all that well known to me and for that, it’s so helpful (essential!) to have someone like Julie who just pushes you over the top of the hill, to take away a little bit of that doubt and has that trust that you can actually pull off the next steps. 

Now I need to sit down and work on the structural process of how we really make this customer journey work in a way that’s financially feasible. Making it something beyond a fun idea, but actually a business that is growing each day.

What's the one piece of advice you would pass onto another female entrepreneur:

To not disregard previous experiences, your journey, the steps you’ve taken, as these are the things that make you unique. There's a nugget of truth to be found in these experiences that really bring you back to why you're doing what you’re doing and relate to who you are as an entrepreneur. While you talk to Julie, all these decisions and experiences pop up and they always point you back to the same truth or a way of reconnecting to something that stands. If you're able to allow yourself to go to those places, you will be able to get some sense of energy and power from that, which you can put into your company and make you different from anyone else.

What could be next for you, our Wyseminds followers?

Agnes started on the Wyseminds Lift-Off programme and discovered the right next step for growing Mended. Wondering how Wyseminds can support you? Get in touch with our founder, Julie, to find out more about what we do.