I had the pleasure of interviewing Katarina Viva, CEO and creator of Vivamacity Jewelry, a handmade jewelry brand loved by hundreds of thousands of girls and boys across the world.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? Thanks for having me! It was totally unplanned and all happened on accident. I had free time while I had just moved to a new state and did not qualify yet for financial aid to continue college for chemical engineering, so I made my own jewelry designs as a hobby whenever I wasn’t waiting tables. I always got compliments whenever I wore my pieces in public and it lead me to uploading a no effort Etsy listing on one choker and I couldn’t believe a real person spent their own money to purchase it. I kept going with the flow and now I’m here.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?
There is a lot to share, but if I had to pick one the most significant to me would be when people I used to look up to during my high school years placing an order on my website or simply following my Instagram. Actresses, famous YouTubers, etc it’s a reminder to me that to them my brand is so trustworthy and unique they’re willing to spend their hard earned money on my jewelry because they like my designs and photos.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that? The funniest mistake would be noticing that a large portion of my listing contained weird HTML typos when I had to switch over websites, and I wouldn’t fix it, I think differently than people so it never bothered me, but it took me months to edit them out for some reason and the moment I did people started buying those products. Definitely do not ignore a mistake when you notice it.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story? Personally I think mostly my photography style and designs. I try to be personal with my posts so my supporters are reminded a real person is behind the brand, and design wise I create whatever comes to mind and including very unique details, that maybe only a few or I notice. That’s also how I know when I’ve been copied.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? Consistently come out with new items! People supporting you want to keep going “Wow!” at your posts. People will get bored if things are constantly the same.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? Uh. Well I had no help at all. I’ve only had people come in and tarnish my brand, take my money, waste my time, so unfortunately I have no one to thank, although I wish I did..
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Yes, I know this is everyone’s answer ‘I want to inspire people!’ but I started a personal instagram account ( https://www.instagram.com/katarinaviva/ ) to actually inspire people because I want them to know I’m a real person that did all this alone.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? I’ve always liked “like the moon, come out from behind the clouds, shine” which means to me ‘move in silence’, you don’t always have to be seen as the spotlight to always be shining.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- “You’ll know you’re doing something right when they start taking from you.” This goes from products, photographs I took and edit, product names and descriptions, product designs, website designs, the list goes on. This is my #1 obstacle in running a successful brand, it’s hard to stay motivated while taking legal action and taking it all as flattery.
- “If you do it alone, it’s going to be very, very mentally taxing.” Physically too, in my case I was working 12+ hours a day handcrafting pieces with $1 MINI tools from Michael’s craft store, but once I began working with influencers, advertisers, employees and etc, no one told me I would have a few mental breakdown after doing it alone for so long causing me to be unable to work, which resulted in forced breaks instead of knowing when to stop and take a break on my own.
- “Your social life will change.” I wasn’t an extrovert to begin with, but whenever I meet someone knew, of course they take interest in what I do instead of my friendship with them. This is after all my dream job and it’s others’ too so I got used a lot. So after all these years, my only real friends are the still ones who were there before it all.
- “Don’t make assumptions” Sometimes I made the mistake of assuming growth. Anything can happen and if something is going well it’s important to take advantage of the moment and not assume things will be the same the following month, week, or day.
- “Wait for help before helping others” The last thing you want to happen is to be pushed back in work because of something in your personal life. This is an ongoing mistake I still kind of struggle with but if you’re pushed back by something not work related, it can really hold you back. If you know someone doesn’t have the intention of being your friend, see what they have to offer first before spilling what you’ve learned all on your own, the hard way.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. Thanks so much!!!! The most impactful way I can think of is to make a movie of my story because it is one like no other and more people remember movies, so hopefully one day it can inspire them to believe in themselves and stand for what they think is right and do nothing but good, non-related I also have ideas of new inventions (I know completely off topic) that I think could change the world.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
It’s my pleasure, thank you for having me!