Female Founders: Vetzabe Rivera of Vivid Belleza On The Five Things You Need To Thrive and Succeed as a Woman Founder
An Interview With Candice Georgiadis
Time-everything takes time. You will not get into a business with instant gratification and success, even with a huge following. You have to be dedicated and be willing to miss out on time with friends and family.
As a part of our series about “Why We Need More Women Founders”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Vetzabe Rivera, CEO of Vivid Belleza, a Female Latina Owned Beauty Brand.
Vetzabe is a proud Latina from Delaware who embarked on her entertainment journey via MTV’s Teen Mom 2 co-starring alongside her husband Jo Rivera ten years ago.
In 2017 Vee began her influencer career as a beauty guru quickly growing her community of glam loving fans. Vee’s mission as a multi passionate mompreneur is to inspire other women particularly mom’s to tackle their goals with style and passion; showing women they can truly have it all.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
I was on a reality TV show for a long time, and I gained a large following from my tenure on the show. I always knew I wanted to leverage that experience and become an entrepreneur. I have always been obsessed with makeup and all things beauty and decided to create a business based on the things I was passionate about. I started Vivid Belleza and it turned into not only a brand but a community of beautiful women. I love my small business now and I am glad that I was able to have the TV opportunity that in turn helped grow my business following. I feel like it was utilized as a backbone to what I would create in the future.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
The most interesting thing that has happened since I started my company was that I was in a print magazine. I didn’t think that was something that was going to be attainable as a Latina owned small business. However, being able to see your brand that you created in a magazine is the most rewarding feeling.
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?
My first mistake was not knowing how much inventory to purchase. When I first started the brand, I ordered a huge quantity of lipsticks. I thought the following I had obtained on social media would be enough to sell it out. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, and I was stuck with product for a little while. I had to really push sales and market the items to sell them. It helped me to learn more about my audience and the process of the business. You will learn what works and what doesn’t in the process of creating your business.
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 about that?
My husband really helps me stay focused and motivated. If it wasn’t for him pushing me and motivating me to start the business, I probably wouldn’t have done it. I am very grateful for him and his motivation and kind words to me. Even when I feel like I am failing, he always picks me back up and helps me to see the bigger picture and helps me to realize I have a really great thing going here. I always want to put my best foot forward. He is the person who always brings that out in me.
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. According to this EY report, only about 20 percent of funded companies have women founders. This reflects great historical progress, but it also shows that more work still has to be done to empower women to create companies. In your opinion and experience what is currently holding back women from founding companies?
As women, we aren’t even comparable to men in the job market on a pay scale in a corporate environment and I think that intimidates women in starting their own businesses. They may not feel confident in their decision to create and produce their ideas. It can feel impossible to take yoru ideas and turn them into a career. I think some women get frustrated and don’t have the support. I feel like we have come a long way but I myself, want to show other women that they can put their plans in motion and create a career out of their visions and become successful.
Can you help articulate a few things that can be done as individuals, as a society, or by the government, to help overcome those obstacles?
I think as individuals, we need to look at our competition as a community and tap into that to help uplift and motivate one another. If you are working with like-minded individuals such as CEOs and Founders of companies who are women, you can create a network that you can utilize to help build and motivate your own brand. We really need to do more in supporting one another in our ventures and become more helpful to each other.
This might be intuitive to you as a woman founder but I think it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?
I think we need to show that we can be CEO’s of our own companies and our own lives. Most of us have families and husbands and we want to be empowered to be able to do all those things and still contribute to the household income as well. I feel like there is a different mindset in this day and age where we feel like we can have it all. It’s tough but it’s very rewarding. There are challenges but in the end to see the fruits of your labor come into successful fruition, it’s a great feeling. We need more women leaders and founders to be an example for the future generation.
What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a founder? Can you explain what you mean?
Just because you are a business woman, people automatically think you are rich and successful. It takes a long time to build. I am in my third year of my business, and I still struggle sometimes. I am still a one woman show and wear many hats by being the content creator, the photographer, packaging, marketing, social media management, and more. It takes work, time, and effort. You just need to remember your why on the days you want to give up. that. It takes work, time, and effort You need to remember to not give up when its hard
Is everyone cut out to be a founder? In your opinion, which specific traits increase the likelihood that a person will be a successful founder and what type of person should perhaps seek a “regular job” as an employee? Can you explain what you mean?
I don’t think everyone is set up to be a founder because we all think different and have different traits. We also still need employees at “regular jobs”. I think all jobs have their pros and cons. I can only speak for myself that I think to be a founder you must have persistence and consistency in order to be successful. Once I was consistent, I was able to watch my brand skyrocket.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
- You will need storage for your inventory-I used to work out of my den and I quickly learned that it wasn’t going to be enough space for my products and daily tasks I needed to achieve in my business.
- I would not only be the owner of the business but a million other things for example, content creator, website designer sometimes, accountant, I wear many different hats that I didn’t think I would.
- Social media would play a huge role in the sales and marketing of my brand and it changes constantly. There is always a new platform popping up that you have to learn and utilize.
- Time-everything takes time. You will not get into a business with instant gratification and success, even with a huge following. You have to be dedicated and be willing to miss out on time with friends and family.
- You will face challenges and you have to remember your why on the bad days.
How have you used your success to make the world a better place?
I think I have. I have at least tried to make it a nicer place for the people who know me and who have been following me for years. I always do my best to interact with them and let them know I care about them, and I am appreciative that they are investing in my products. I feel like Vivid Belleza has become a community where we can build and uplift one another. The purpose of my brand is to motivate and encourage women to let them know they are beautiful, confident, and successful, and can do anything.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I always wanted to put together a fund to help small Latina business owners. I spent a lot of money in the beginning that I never thought I would, and I think it would be helpful to encourage and support others who were interested in starting their own brands. To create a community of other women who were business owners where we can help one another in the brand building process.
We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
I have always wanted to sit down with Jennifer Lopez She has a lot of successful businesses that she has created. I would love to pick her brain and see how she balances life between being an entrepreneur and a mom. She is one of my favorite people and she is Latina, like myself.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.