The Company You Keep


VIVRA was founded through one woman's passion to create a solution to a problem: having no stylish or functional way to carry her phone and cash when going out. In this episode of The Company You Keep, hear how through a process of trial and error, Emily and Sarah partnered up to take their product to new heights and build a thriving community of loyal fans along the way. 

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VIVRA on the nuances of business partnerships and unique products

In this episode, we take a look at what's involved in turning one of the most ridiculed and mocked items ever put to market into a hip accessory, coveted by a whole new generation. Once only donned by wide-eyed tourists and the fashion-challenged, the humble bum bag is back with a twist.

VIVRA is the brainchild of two enterprising young women, Emily Bitkow and Sarah Hua, who have given this hands-free wonder a modern makeover, to 'change the way you move'.

Being strategic about outsourcing specialised areas has boosted sales and left the business in better shape. When asked about tapping into external resources, Emily said: "I think that it's really, really important when you have a small business that you get out there and that you talk to as many people as possible about what you want to do and what you need. There is nothing wrong with asking for help.

"I know that a lot of people have pride around asking for help, but if you do not ask for help, you will not be led in the right direction. You need to talk to people. Because someone will know somebody. It's difficult because obviously, it's human nature to be a little bit judgmental and whatnot, but you have to, I think, in business, you have to see everyone as an opportunity because you just never know who knows who. Who they might introduce you to." 

Sarah echos this sentiment by adding: "I would say if you've got a great idea, definitely ask outside your inner circle, outside of your friends and family, for feedback. Because they are the people that will be honest with you.

"They won't be worried about hurting your feelings. There's going to be no filter there. So, definitely, before you throw any finances at it, make sure you are getting enough feedback before you launch.

"Secondly, I would always say that whatever you forecast that you'll need financially for the business to get it off the ground, multiply that by three because there will always be unforeseen expenses and you don't want to get caught short." 

Top 10 business champion

VIVRA has been recognised as a Top 10 Business Champion in our Together in Business member recognition program. 

Disclaimer: Our guests are real business owners and their experiences are their true stories. The guests express views and opinions that are from their own learnings and insights.

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