Episode 166
July 11, 2023

Pro Planet and People, Period.

with Katie Diasti, Founder and CEO of Viv

About this episode

Katie Diasti is changing the world of period care as the Founder and CEO of the non-toxic and sustainable period brand Viv! She joins Lee to share her story of growing up as a first-generation Egyptian-American in Tampa, Florida, before a college project sparked her idea for the brand, with staggering data to fuel her passion. We touch on the early stages of growth at Viv, leveraging affiliate marketing to reach a wider audience, and fundraising as a young woman building a period care brand, before Katie shares what surprised her on her business journey, challenges her three-person team has faced with 2000 retail doors, and what’s next for Viv! In closing, she shares a word of advice with listeners.

This episode is sponsored by

Exclusive Deals from Our Sponsors:

•    AWESOME CX by Transcom provides high touch, personalized customer experience services to consumer brands of any size! Email Lee at lee@stairwaytoceo.com to learn more about their award-winning services and Awesome Coffee Chats.

 In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

[01:04] Introducing Katie Diasti, Founder and CEO of Viv, a non-toxic, sustainable period brand.

[03:37] What it was like to grow up as a first-generation Egyptian-American in Tampa, Florida.

[10:08] The college project that ignited Katie’s idea for the brand.

[15:56] Usage data that fuelled Katie’s passion for sustainability in the industry.

[19:10] Products and materials included in the Viv range, including the user-friendly Viv Cup.

[26:11] Early growth drivers, affiliate marketing, and fundraising as a young woman building a period care brand.

[29:28] Why focusing on retail has come as a surprise to Katie.

[34:28] Where the name Viv originally came from and why Katie loves including ‘for your v’.

[36:17] Challenges her three-person team has experienced with 2000 retail doors.

[37:50] What’s next for Viv and some valuable advice from Katie’s journey for new entrepreneurs.

 To Find Out More:

Viv on TikTok

Viv on Instagram

Viv on Twitter

Katie Diasti on LinkedIn

Lee Greene on LinkedIn

Stairway to CEO

Stairway to CEO on Instagram


“I’ve loved how Viv has shifted as a persona. I very much wanted to personify a brand when building Viv, thinking of it as an older sister or this badass person you look up to.” [0:14:08]  

“In my own life I was looking to make more sustainable swaps, and I knew that there was a whole generation with me that was looking to be more of an eco-conscious buyer as well as more socially conscious, but there was no brand on the shelf that was really targeting those issues and resonating with the Gen Z and millennial audience.”  [0:16:37]

“Bamboo is not only better for the earth, [but] it also uses way less land and way less water to grow.” [0:18:43] 

“Knowing that we could have [period products that are] both better for you and better performance was great.” [0:18:31] 

“Viv pads actually break down in 150 days compared to 800 years.” [0:18:44]

“So many people are new to a menstrual cup, so making it as approachable as possible has been key.” [0:20:03]

“Building a startup also takes a village. It’s like raising a family in that sense.” [0:23:38]

“You just have to know that [affiliate marketing] might not work sometimes. Being okay with that in the early days is crucial.” [0:24:56]

“It’s about finding investors that believe in you. You never want to be begging someone to believe in you because that’s just not a great fit, either. It needs to be a two-way street in terms of interviewing the right fit for you.” [0:27:01]

“Wild how some of the things that you think are just for fun or might not have that big of an impact can really change the course of your distribution and growth. Because we’re giving so much of ourselves, being very authentic, and really embracing and embodying the Viv brand always. We’re always in Viv colors at every networking event.” [0:33:26] 

“Nothing is ever going to be 100% perfect when you launch and you’re never going to feel 100% ready.” [0:28:35]

“If you’re not looking back and you’re not a little bit embarrassed by the first thing you ever ship out or launch, then you’re taking too long to launch. Launch and grow.” [0:38:58]

“Just start. That’s the hardest part. That mental hurdle.” [0:39:14]

Read the transcript

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