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In the next instalment from our series Startup Life, Iva Bravic Millereau tells us about her globetrotting journey to Hong Kong via Shanghai, Moscow, Miami, Canada and Croatia. We find out more about what it takes to run a successful business, the importance of wellbeing and her plans for the future.

More than ever, we’re looking to focus on our wellness — the fragility of our ecosystems and our health. And early 2020 saw the launch of Hong Kong’s latest wellness brand, RE.VITYL™ by Croatian Iva Bravic Millereau and New York-based Rashia Bell have focused on bring natural products using elemental energies to the market with healing crystals, plant oil products and stylish silk accessories.

 

Name: Iva Bravic Millereau

Profession: Co-Founder & Managing Director

Industry: Wellness and E-commerce

Inception: 2019, Product Launch May, 2020

Company size:  4

 

Tell us about your business. What do you do and why did you start it?

I am the co-founder of RE.VITYL™, an elemental energy brand, which is a new startup in wellness that determined to make you fall in love with sleep and enhance your well being. RE.VITYL™ is the outcome of a long-lasting friendship, and shared passion for wellness, mind-body connection, female empowerment, and the quest for genuine relaxation.

We truly believe in the relaxing and restorative powers of native plants and crystal stones, and their ability to bring about true wellness, harness positive energy, and ultimately enhance your quality of life.

Rashia Bell, my co-founder is an Energetic Interior Designer and certified Crystal Energy Healer through her company The Cristalline, that shows people how to harness the energy within both themselves and their spaces, through natural crystal stones.  We are excited to have RE.VITYL™ build upon the work that she has been doing for some time, as our new company allows us to offer consumer-based, functional, wellbeing products featuring elemental energy and the ability to bring it to a wider audience.

Every wellness product sold contains therapeutic health benefits, and is sourced from quality focused, nature-minded, and mindful suppliers spanning the globe. In particular, we pride ourselves in working with small female-founded businesses that produce excellent products that are at the forefront of both technology and are nature created.

What's behind the name of your beauty/wellness brand?

RE.VITYL™ is play on words emphasising the feeling of the verb revitalise, or the action of infusing something with new life and vitality, which is what the intention is behind every product we create.  The pre-fix RE. on all of our products echo’s and elevates that action.  Our hero product, the RE.LEASE Eye Mask in particular, features a mixture of 16 crystals that combined have the ability to change the way you decompress, rest, sleep and revitalize yourself at the end of a long day so that you wake up feeling rejuvenated.

The RE.VIYTL Release Kit
Tell me about your best and worst day at work?

My favourite days are when ideas and work are flowing with a natural resonance in multiple areas. For myself and our business, that particular experience is definitely unique. We are a global brand, as each member of our team is based in a different part of the world, so we are literally working 24 hours a day in some capacity! Usually in the morning, I start my day by talking to my co-founder in the US, so that we can prioritise my objectives for the day before she goes to sleep. During the day I am in communication with our team in Europe and our manufacturers. Then Rashia and I try to have a touch base before I wrap-up for the evening and she is starting her day.  When this goes like clock-work, I feel like I have my best days.

Even in the worst days we have something new to learn. I am a mom to two young children and my husband travels a lot for work, so there’s always unexpected surprises that require my attention. It is in those stressed moments, that I try to not only learn but be adaptable so that even those challenges I am able to take in stride.

What do you do when you're not at work?

Hong Kong is such an amazing city, with so much to offer to our soul and sense of wonder. Each free moment we can, my family tries to spend as much time possible outside in the lush nature and beaches the city has to offer. When the time comes to nourish my mind and body, I ground myself with yoga, pilates and my meditation practice and the Reiki lineage that I recently trained in. In the last year, I also have gotten into journaling, and have found it is an excellent tool to liberate my mind, and reset from the day.

RE.VITYL RE.LEASE oil blend
You've lived around the world, tell us where and what each place has taught you about business.

I have been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work and live around the globe. Each place I have lived in has left me changed and left a lasting imprint.

Living my teen years in Canada as a contrast to being born in Croatia, you thrive on the belief that everything is possible, there are no limitations to what you can achieve in life within the premises of the Canadian dream. You can arrive an immigrant from a war-torn zone like my family did, and still build an amazing life as entrepreneurs for yourself. This has instilled so much in me that I have carried into my business. My time in Europe thought me the value of having one expertise to go after and work hard to perfect it. In Russia it is paramount to create genuine and real connection in both life and in business to thrive. And I carried this with me when I was living in the US as a means to channel the attitude that you can do anything you put your mind too. Life in China is fascinating and all about speed. If you are too slow to respond to that request it will be off the table. So it is important to work hard and the results will come. All of these cultures have contributed to my passions, my way of life, and the goals and work ethic that I bring into my business.

Iva in Croatia
You moved to Hong Kong recently. Why is this an important market for you?

Hong Kong is the lively epicenter of Asia and, geographically it allows you to touch and have the opportunity to be a leader in business in the Asian market. I have never met so many entrepreneurs in one place as I did in Hong Kong and that energy and pace are a constant source of motivation for my business.  In addition, its focus on health and wellness fits in perfectly with my passion and our brand.

What advice do you have to someone looking to do a start up?

First and foremost you have to be willing to take the leap! When you decide to go after a startup dream, make sure that it is one that is a vehicle for your passions, and that it is something what is going to fill your cup up in some capacity each day. Startups take a lot of time, energy and perseverance to see it through, so you have to be able to confront your fears and doubts, and be willing to move through them by any means necessary.

How do you define success?

Professionally, I define success as, living your life with purpose, and making a difference in whichever way you can. Supporting small companies, sustainability in ways that are enhancing the wellbeing of people are all things that are very important to us, hence these are also the keys tenants of our brand. Personally, it is having a happy and healthy family, where there is the freedom to pursue your goals and dreams.

What are your 2020 goals?

Our goals, even during this challenging time, really haven’t changed from what we first envisioned. We aim to increase our brand awareness and expand our direct consumer reach by shipping to additional markets; are also looking at strategic partnerships with some key online and offline retailers; have some new product offerings in the pipeline for fall/holiday season; and lastly, our ongoing goal is to impact how people experience rest, sleep and wellbeing.

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Jing Zhang
Editor at Large
Jing has lived in the UK, Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and now splits her time between the latter two. Despite studying psychology and anthropology, she has worked in media, magazines and newspapers for over 12 years, covering fashion, culture, arts and design, and social issues. Having developed an expertise in Asian creative industries, she's a regular speaker/moderator at forums and events around the world like the Australian Fashion Summit, Fashion Asia and Inside Retail. She appreciates living in extremes and is just as comfortable in luxury spaces as gritty streets. When she’s not working, discovering or globetrotting, she’s reading escapist novels with a glass of red in hand.