Viv was born in a class project my senior year of college. “Find a problem, then come up with a solution to that problem.” was the guideline. The project lasted the entirety of my senior year fall semester, turning into a hobby that I never stopped wanting to work on.
When I think about problems in the world, I often think about those that affect womxn. I was raised by a powerful woman, a single mother who immigrated to the U.S. to achieve the American Dream and she did just that. Beyond that, I was learning more about the waste we create and how each individual can make an impact with something as simple as their consumption choices.
After lots of research through focus groups, surveys, library readings, and talking with my peers I learned about how substantial the lack of sustainability and ingredient transparency in the period care industry really is. I figured I would attempt to shine some light on the topic. I mean, it was just a class project and I was a senior- what could go wrong?
I reached the end of the semester where I gave my final presentation - a pitch in front of judges my professor brought in. While my peers were mostly just happy to be done with their final assignment, I found myself taking notes on their feedback. I knew I wasn’t ready to give up on this endeavor.
So, I leveraged my university’s resources, completed an accelerator that Boston College was hosting the following semester, and continued on the journey with Viv. Now, starting this company at twenty-one meant I didn’t have a ton of “industry experience”. So, I got really good at asking questions and finding the right people to ask these questions to. Then, I put in the work. On Thursday nights, I was at workshops. On early Saturday mornings, when the campus was silent, I was in a classroom with a whiteboard, mapping the brand experience for the customers I didn’t even have yet. It was those calls between classes and hours in the library late at night that built what I have now.
With the support of some great mentors, I was accepted into a second accelerator a few weeks before I graduated. Having structure, a little funding, and a ton of mentor connections made this summer incredibly impactful, yet also really hard.
Fast forward to launching preorders, vending at markets, anxiously awaiting for the product to arrive for weeks, and hand packaging the first-ever boxes in my living room. In the past few months, I learned so much more about being an entrepreneur than I ever could have imagined.
On my harder days as an entrepreneur, I think back to the early days of that class project to help me think big picture. I have found my problem, and I am building a solution. Period care affects womxn’s lives in so many ways, and to be even a small part of the movement to better menstrual care pushes me through the roller coaster of entrepreneurship.
Katie Diasti is the founder and CEO of Viv for your V, a company trying to tackle the sustainability problem surrounding the period care industry. You can follow their journey at @vivforyourv on Instagram.