Born as a little mermaid, the O’Neill Germany Marketing / PR only has another passion besides anything water, concerning wool and handicrafts
Interview by Anna Langer, photo by Conny Marshaus Photography
Playing with the forces of nature and doing sports, which brings pleasure and satisfaction, that’s what makes me passionate about boardsports.
I was born in an area called “Erzgebirge” (ore mountains) and grew up close to Würzburg in middle of Germany. Due to my parents former sports career and my early childhood in the mountains I was more or less born directly on cross country skis which I also used also to ski downhill… Sometimes not a good idea – hahaha. I think these first years forged my passion for snow and spending time in the mountains even in summertime. And I guess my passion for water and the ocean was a given when my mum decided to called me Mareen, a name which derived from the meaning “belong to the ocean & live close to the sea”. She probably knew about my love for the water already and felt it… Still gives me goosebumps when I think about it.
In 2009 I had this first feeling that I wanted to do something on my own. Ideas roamed my head about what that could be. And due to my addiction to beanies, scarves and nature – the idea was born: OH! Beanies! So I got in contact with my friend Tine, a hobby knitter, and after I went to my first WiB (Women in Boardsports Retreat) in Saas Fee, I got that final push and last confidence to create the brand, and Tine was on board immediately. So OH!Beanie (Originally Handmade knitwear with an ecological background!) was born. Since then we had so many supporters … At this point I would like say THANK YOU SO MUCH to Tine Schatz, Conny Marshaus, Coco / Cira & the 7Sky Family, Carmela Fleury & Daniela Meyer, Jenna Selby, our ambassadors, my family & all my friends of course!
I never knew I wanted to have a brand though, as a child I was fascinated by aircrafts and their easiness to take-off into the sky and fly anywhere. I could watch them approaching and departing every day. So my dream job as a child was to be a pilot. But life brought something different – it brought me to my passion I would say. It’s all happening on purpose and I still feel very pleased when I am thinking about the last 10 years and where I am now. If you focus on your passion, you will find your own path in this world, that brings you happiness and satisfaction.
In my early teenage years I used to travel along the French Atlantic coast with my parents in a camper-van. One year I was super bored just laying on the beach, playing ping- pong or going swimming. So I convinced my parents to buy me a bodyboard. They had to drag me out of the water after that… I think that was the hook.
That same year I started studying at the German Sports University in Cologne and went to a surf camp in France with some of my new fellow students. I think that’s the classical way over here to learn how to surf… Since then I try to travel to different surf spots each year, which makes me happy every second.
We often have discussions about the topic “surfing compared to snowboarding” and the essential of it could be that surfing is more natural and closer to the element – at least that’s my personal view.
There are so many amazing and inspiring places around the world that I call my favourites. I love travelling and exploring new areas BUT I have to say that my favourite places are always where my family and friends are.
Live and let live!