Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Raquel Tulk, CEO and Founder of Viita, located in Montreal, QC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At Viita, we want to transform how women feel in their underwear while we take care of the planet. We are the first patented leakproof underwear in Canada. Our customers are people with vaginas who leak, isn't that everyone with vaginas? We follow the beautiful journey from the first periods to menopause and light bladder leakage. Our underwear allows for comfort but also for a first step towards an eco-conscious life decision. Whether you are wearing them as a replacement for your single-usage items or as a compliment, we don't judge!
Tell us about yourself
I started my business 13 years ago as a school project/competition, which won first place. I then decided to go on the Quebec version of ''Shark Tank'' which allowed me to quickly enter the Quebec market with my incontinence underwear. We have now expanded into period underwear and brought our business to be an almost fully e-commerce brand. Working on both the B2B and B2C sides, I can confidently say that B2C (customer contact) is what drives me every day. Seeing people enjoy our products and have life-changing experiences is the best gift.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My best accomplishment is pivoting my business during the pandemic, all while being 42 weeks pregnant. We totally reinvented ourselves out of necessity, but it was the best decision ever. I don't think we would have done it otherwise, and it could have ended badly. I had a gut feeling, and it paid off.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Every stage of life, combined with the stages of a business, comes with a different set of challenges. When I was building my business in my 20s, the biggest challenge was trusting myself and making room for my voice at the table. I was easily impressed by others, and it sometimes led me to make wrong decisions. Right now, my biggest challenge is balancing my work/life balance. Being a mom is now my priority, but I also don't want that to make my business suffer. I am learning as I go! There is no other way, right?
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't be impressed by anyone, no matter how great their journey seems. Be inspired and make your own mistakes and beautiful journey.
- When the deal seems too good to be true, it is! Trust your gut!
- Don't give away equity at the beginning; stick with the struggle.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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