Tell us about yourself
I don’t come from this tech background space. My background is in HR, sales, and business development. As for the venture, I am a makeup user and female, as you can see. I’ve been using makeup since I was about 15. I was inspired to create VIVRE, because I have sensitive skin and kept breaking out. I thought there must be a better way to clean our make-up brushes versus washing them individually with soap and water by hand. I researched online what I wanted, I came across a couple things - but I wasn't impressed. I really wanted it to be waterless because we’re in the 21st century and there has to be technological advancements, but I couldn't find it so I thought I’m just going to create what I want.
How many people does your team consists of?
Myself, and my CFO. I have a marketing advisor as well. We are looking for a CTO, somebody that has that engineering background, or at least could be the advisor in terms of the product design itself.
When did you start?
I started quite recently, the inspiration came to me around this time last year. I’ve heard positive feedback from others that have attended startup events in terms of meeting their partners or investors, and thought that it would be a good idea for our company as well.
What you did prior to this venture
I’m currently at my day job as a Customer Service Coordinator with a company that is an inner city condo developer. I'm doing that full time, as well as working on VIVRE full time in the evenings and weekends.
What problem does your business solve?
The current state of affairs for makeup brush cleaners is that you have to:
a) Use water and wait for them to dry which takes a couple of days.
b) The brushes are unsanitary which causes skin issues.
c) People don’t want to do the manual labour of washing each brush by hand with soap and water.
d) People don’t have time.
Those are the four key issues that most people are dealing with right now.
How do you solve this problem?
VIVRE solves the problem by taking the entire cleansing cycle out of the consumers hands and into our sophisticated tech device. Our box is sleek, very minimal, waterless, and we use technology to sanitize the brushes as well as remove makeup debris in a faster cleansing cycle which allows users to have prompt use of their brushes again.
When did you notice a gap in the market?
Personally, when I was doing my research and when I look back at my history. Right around that time there were other indicators: there was research that came out talking about how disgusting our makeup brushes were, how nobody ever washes them and the amount of bacteria that is on them. Another article I read was about the Style Pro, which is one of Amazon’s top sellers. You still have to use water and stick them on manually, but at least the brush does the spinning for you, but you still have to do them all individually. VIVRE you can clean several brushes at a time.
What is your company culture?
Our goal is to be a certified B Corp., which is something that companies work towards that are green, sustainable, and socially responsible; all of which are extremely important to our culture. That is built into our DNA, so although our product is a high-end eco-luxe device, we’re working on a few priorities simultaneously. For example, all the water that one unit will save, we will partner with a charitable organization that will redistribute that water, either locally or internationally. We also want to do an educational class around holistic skin care. In my own experience, I’ve gone to dermatologists, estheticians and all different types of professionals, but I’ve never gotten the full picture from one specialist. It has been through my journey and process that I’ve realized there are a lot of other variables that no one really talks about. Service-Centricity is at the heart of VIVRE, and is applicable in all of our relationships with our customers, vendors and team members.
What draws people to you?
Our culture is for people who want to grow in both their professional and personal affairs. We don’t see anything as siloed, everything is interconnected. People who have integrity, people who like the beauty space and technology. I want to have one of those cultures that everyone wants to get into and be a part of, because our reputation with our customers and our employees is the same. We’re creating a phenomenal culture where people can really thrive. If you value and treat employees and customers like they are gold, because they are, then you don’t have to worry about anything else.
Three words to describe the company with?
Innovative, integrity, sustainability. When I say sustainability, it is not just on the green front, but also about the culture of the company. Innovative is the same thing, we have to keep growing and reiterating how we can improve and what is going to benefit everybody in the long-term. As for Integrity, we just have to keep being our authentic selves which translates into our products and the work we do.
Why did you choose The Accelerator?
I went to one of the previous Demo Days and that's how I learned about The Accelerator. I chose the program for a couple of reasons. I like that NOBAL Technologies is in the hardware tech space, as this is the same realm VIVRE exists in. The schedule was convenient as the Founder Dinners were every other week. It resonated with what I was looking for in terms of time commitment, learning, mentorship, guest speakers, and the fact that we get to bond with cohort members.
What has your experience with the The Accelerator been like?
I enjoyed the first evening we did where it was a casual atmosphere and a chance to connect with others that have gone through the program or were in my batch. The guest speakers have been of tremendous help as they’ve shared valuable insights and feedback. Getting to know the other members of my cohort and learning about their journey has been inspiring.
What has been your biggest lesson you learned while in the program?
It was from the Valhalla BaseCamp, and it’s what investors are looking for and what the pitch deck actually means to them. In general, learning about pitch decks, such as, what makes them successful, and what’s important to have in them for potential investors.
What has been a major accomplishment for you this year?
I'm getting closer to the official working prototype and have quotes from different design firms. As well as making some very strategic and important connections within the beauty industry in LA.
What is next for you?
The key focus is to get the working prototype as I have a strong feeling it’s what will leap frog us ahead. Also, applying for a patent for the prototype is the second thing.