We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Diasti and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katie, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
One of my favorite things about Viv and our team is the fact that we are our own target audience. Viv was built when I could not find a period care brand creating sustainable as well as toxin-free products that spoke to me as an eco & socially conscious consumer. So I decided to build one. I won’t doubt that starting a company in such a traditional space predominantly owned by the large players in the market is bold for a 21 year old at the time. One thing I did understand how to do was become an expert in my space. I spoke to everyone about their cycles, conducted tons of research with the help of professors from my university, and called everyone from farmers to material scientists to marketers. I was so open to learning from others and never let ego get in the way of that.
After years of studying the menstrual care space, I felt confident building Viv to be a brand for Gen-Z by Gen-Z. As we expand our team, we’ll continue to look for team players that align with our core values and bring unique perspectives to ensure we can always relate to our consumers, even as our consumer evolves. Staying flexible, listening to our customers, and learning from others has been key to our success thus far.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Viv is built to support all menstruators and provide products that are better for the Earth & your body. We crafted the Viv product line with innovation in mind and use fibers that reduce agro waste to ensure our products are more sustainable from the start while also working better. Unfortunately, “sustainable” gets a reputation of being less effective. Our pads absorb 4x the amount of liquid than traditional brands and our tampons perform just as well as the plastic & toxin-filled alternatives. We wanted to make the choice to be sustainable and kinder to your body as simple as possible for our customers.
Building a brand as a young WOC in a space with so much stigma isn’t always easy. Something that sets a fire inside me every day is knowing that Viv is working to break stigmas, provide education, and provide better products that are more accessible. When you have a mission you feel so strongly about, it is easier to get through the hard days.
A seasoned founder once told me early on in my journey to make sure you’re serving a group of people that you’d be happy to serve for the rest of your life if it so be it. I know supporting menstruators is something I am so excited to wake up and do every day.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love food, walking/moving my body, and great views.
We’d take a boxing class at my local boxing gym to start the day, try all my favorite local coffee shops, check out my favorite museums, take them to whatever new tapas restaurant I’m geeking out over at the time, and walk around the city. We’d end the night at a comedy show or a location with some live music. One of my favorite parts of friends visiting is also new friends meeting old friends, a night in with new and old friends is a must.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My friends & family have been so supportive, even when this was just a crazy idea on paper. My college friends would attend pitch competitions, help me pack boxes, and always tell their friends about Viv. Having a support system like that has been essential for maintaining my mental health while building a business in a growing space.
My big and wildly supportive Egyptian family has so much entrepreneurial spirit. They all inspire me every day and never fail to cheer me on from every small to big win. I never expected as a child of immigrants that my family would be so supportive of me doing something so bold and untraditional.
My startup community & founder friends are truly so special. I have been amazed at how willing founders are to give time to new founders. I hope to always pay it forward in the future as so many folks have helped me on our journey thus far.
Wonderkind (all product shots) Jason Au (founder headshot and film shot with founder)