viva - the space of your dreams

viva - the space of your dreams

After getting to know each other over a video call, Adina and I met for the first time in Milan and, over two glasses of wine, we told each other a little about our lives. 

Adina's stunning look at viva event

I was immediately struck by Adina's ambitious project: to create an app that could be a 'window' on the desires of others, a virtual space where everyone could curate their own selection of products and share them with others. 

What I think is most interesting about this is that Adina has created an app that is based on a sense of community and sharing. Because viva is a shopping app, but even more a small tribe of people with incredible taste, everyone's profile is a jigsaw puzzle of ideas through which those who use the app can be inspired, invented and connected.

The first viva event I attended with great pleasure was an evening at the Oxilia Gallery: chats, nice people, a beautiful table (incredible set-up by Talea Studio), the atmosphere of a group of friends who have known each other for a long time.

Talea Studio x viva

Tale Studio x viva

How did the idea for viva app come about?

When we started working on viva, Stefan (my co-founder) and I quickly understood that the current online shopping experience hasn't changed and truly been innovated in too long. We realized it was due for a strong shift in direction and, more importantly, fun! As we went deeper, and spoke to more people, we understood that shoppers feel confident and excited about curating their favorite products and brands on their own, without the help of buyers or retailers, and so with viva we wanted to empower them in doing that. We wanted to give anyone the utility to curate, while offering a delightful and social shopping experience. With viva we want to encourage people to discover, curate and share their favorites - with their friends, their community and beyond. 

Viva is "A home for everything you've had your eye on".  I loved that description right away because I think that one of the most beautiful things about viva app is that it is related more to the concept of desire than possession. Do you agree with that?

I think this is beautifully said/put! While viva is a shopping app that many people use to discover and buy beautiful things, it is also a space for dreamers and to create mood- and vision boards for all the things you desire, but don't necessarily own. In my view, you don't have to possess something for it to spark joy. Rather, one should consciously consider what to invest in and hopefully viva can help in making the decision of what to treasure from closeup versus in a virtual closet/home/portfolio. 

The project is very much related to the idea of community: do you think it is possible to translate the bonds that are created online to offline?

Yes, absolutely! I'm a big believer in transcending online connections into the physical realm and vice versa, and with viva I aim to complement online and offline as much as possible. I think IRL (in real life - editor’s note) is essential to true connection - be it between people or products - and so moving forward we'll continue to meet our community of curators, partners and brands offline. We just hosted our very first IRL gathering in Milan, which was so much fun. Stay tuned on where we'll go next!

Annalena Biotti and Rebecca Menichella at viva event

Matilde Ferri

With viva everyone can have their own profile through which they can save and share a selection of clothes, design objects, books, makeup depending on what their tastes are. It's a mix between a wishlist and a moodboard.

Essentially, anything that has a URL can be added. As a shopping-first app, our focus is on products, of course. However, as the app grows, more people join and products are added, I'm excited to see how the viva community will shape the app and how we might adapt it to empower our users and give them the right tools to discover and share their favorites - no matter if it's products, places or people.

I personally use viva a lot for inspiration. Do you?

Of course! I have to say I'm quite addicted to the app, so I open it quite frequently, and the variety and creativity of users' curations never ceases to surprise and delight me. The other day, for example, I saw someone added an apartment for sale in London, and yet another person added their favorite spa and treatment. It inspired me to share my favorite cafe and smoothie. The other thing I love is to see the evolution of my own taste and how this is reflected in my curation, colors and type of items I've added.

Cate's viva profile

Let's talk about women: who are the most important female figures in your life and why?

I’ve been most inspired by women close to me, like family members and friends, who I’ve seen accomplish incredible things with incredible grace. As women I feel we have so much to give - what they call feminine energy - and the more I connect with the notion of that, the more doors I feel open for me, personally. It’s a beautiful thing, to be able to learn from female role models around you, and I hope that everyone can see the power in that and in turn empower others. I just wish more women held conventionally powerful roles - like CEOs or VC investors - so that more girls can picture themselves in these roles, too. 

You are the founder of viva and represent a beautiful example of female entrepreneurship. What advice would you give to girls who want to start their own business?

My journey to founding viva wasn’t linear. I had to overcome self-doubt, fear of failure and cringe but I am so happy I made the jump and went for it! It’s never easy to put yourself out there, and build something from scratch. My best advice (that I wish I had adopted even earlier) is twofold: 1) just do it! And 2) be patient. You’ll never know if something works out or not, if you don’t put it out. The faster you put things out, the sooner you’ll be able to get feedback on it, and integrate it into whatever it is you’re working on. Keep in mind it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Your time will come and the most important thing is to never stop believing in yourself

This is the link to open the treasure chest: access code 0803