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October 01, 2021
What’s handmade, cute, sustainable and keeps your hair out of your face? The answer is Siena Vida scrunchies. Who knew scrunchie can do so much? We caught up with Vanessa who started Siena Vida in the midst of pandemic after she learned to sew from her Nonna (talent clearly runs in Vanessa's family).
So stop what you’re doing, make yourself a cup of whatever hot you fancy, grab a snack and get ready to be inspired. 💭💭💭
What's the best piece of advice you've received? I’ve received a lot of great advice but one that really sticks with me is: “I am an entrepreneur. I do. I learn. I do it again. I do it better.” It helps me remember that I don’t have to be perfect. I just need to keep getting better than I was yesterday.
Instagram or TikTok? Instagram
What makes you smile? Food
Fave snack? Pizza 🍕
What's the last song you listened to? 11 PM by Maluma
Favourite place on Earth? Siena, Italy (which inspired the name of our small business).
What’s your favourite movie ever? Coco or any of the movies in the John Wick series.
What’s the best thing that happened to you this month? Being able to get back into a consistent schedule with my yin-yoga classes.
Hiya Vanessa, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a multi-hyphenate and a marketing graduate who has a passion for inspiring myself and others to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. I’m an avid world traveler and I absolutely LOVE trying new cuisines and foods.
Where did you come up with the idea to start your own business? Why the scrunchie?
The idea of being an entrepreneur was always something that I was interested in and the pandemic was the catalyst for change I needed to finally launch my first venture. The idea for creating Siena Vida came from combining my favourite hair accessories, scrunchies, with sustainability.
What has been the biggest milestone in your business to date?
The biggest milestone thus far in Siena Vida’s short history is having our first wholesale order with The Bottega Shop – a BIPOC, women-led small business with a focus on fair trade, quality products made by BIPOC brands and artists. When I was launching Siena Vida, one of my goals that I wanted to focus on was having my scrunchies carried at other eco-friendly stores.
What advice would you give to a budding entrepreneur looking to take the leap?
I’m going to keep it really simple – GO FOR IT! It’s not always going to be easy or fun but being an entrepreneur and working to create your own vision is ALWAYS rewarding.
What is something that you think is a common misconception about owning a small business?
The biggest misconception about owning a small business is that you get to choose your own work schedule. While it’s true that you do get to choose when you want to start and finish work, in order to be successful your business requires you to dedicate more hours than a full time job.
Siena Vida plants one tree for each online order. Why did you decide to partner with TreeEra and what does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability means everything to myself and Siena Vida as an organization. It wasn’t enough that Siena Vida only creates eco-friendly products or uses eco-friendly packaging, I wanted to do more. That’s why partnering with TreeEra was a no-brainer. They’re a Canadian company that helps other organizations accelerate their sustainable journey. Siena Vida plants a tree for every order to reduce our carbon footprint and combat carbon pollution.
Which Siena Vida scrunchie is your all-time favourite?
I get this question all the time, especially from individuals who are looking to purchase gifts for their friends or partners, and my answer is always the same – the Dusk Silk scrunchie! The Dusk Silk scrunchie is a deep burgundy colour (which matches our brand colours) and is incredibly fluffy and soft on your hair. An added bonus: the silk is upcycled and sourced from a women-led business in Toronto!
If you were to have one word tattooed on you, what would it be and why?
It’s not one word but a small saying: “Pura Vida.” I heard this phrase a few years ago when visiting Costa Rica (one of my now favourite places in the world). Pura Vida directly translates to Pure Life, a saying Costa Ricans greet each other with in every conversation. It is an expression of happiness and living life to the fullest, a mantra I use to inspire my everyday life to take things slow, continuously explore and be open to new possibilities.
Lastly, where do you see Siena Vida in the next five years?
My goal is to turn Siena Vida into a lifestyle brand expanding outside of hair accessories to other everyday products. I want to be able to show consumers and brands alike that promoting sustainability doesn’t mean compromising quality.
Thank you so much Vanessa! Where can people find you?
Social media: @shopsienavida
If you’re ready to replace your hair elastic with its trendier alter-ego, the scrunchie, go ahead and check out Siena Vida. You’ll not only be supporting a woman in business, but you’ll also be doing your hair, and the earth, a favour.
WHAT IS SMARTBITE COLLECTIVE? Smartbite Collective shines a spotlight on changemakers in our community that live according to Smartbite principles. We started Smartbite Snacks because we want to live our lives on our own terms while creating a positive change around us. We don't wait for things to happen, we get up and happen to things. Roadblocks don't discourage us, they fuel us. We believe that life is what you make it, how you impact it and also how you look at it – rice cakes are just rice but wine is just grapes. To us simplicity, boldness, kindness and giving a shit (yes, we said it) are everything and when we meet someone who embodies all of the above, you bet we'll ask tons of questions.
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December 01, 2021
Have you been wondering who is behind all those eye-catching videos we've been sharing on our Instagram Reels and TikTok during the past three months or who is that blonde femme fatale popping on our feed lately? Her name is Genni, she's into healthy + plant based snacking just like we are and we absolutely adore her. Scroll down to get acquainted. 👋
July 27, 2021
May 25, 2021
Meet Yoko Segawa, our talented May collaborator who believes that cooking is a basic form of self care and we cannot agree more. We first encountered Yoko on Instagram Reels, where she serenely shares recipe details of her healthy, plant based creations in 30 seconds or less.
Yoko's IG account, @yokos.kitchen an extension of her YouTube channel of the same name, has an immediately recognizable style. The pastel pink hues, fresh flowers, unique food creations and tunes that flit between mellow electronica to delightfully carefree pop tracks will instantly put you at easy.
We recently caught up with Yoko and chatted about everything from what she misses most about Japan to how the macrobiotics made her fall in love with a plant based food.