Hello, I'm Aditya. I founded Viviva Colorsheets from my dorm room in med-school as a 2nd year student in GS Medical School, Mumbai in late 2015. I have always been fond of water coloring, but after joining med-school I found that I hardly ever painted. It was so inconvenient to carry all the equipment - the pans, tubes, palettes… ughhh! A diagnostic technique that involves picking a colored substrate off a paper sparked the though: What if I tried to make a sheet with water colors on them. The idea stuck and I started looking for a way to do it. Over half a century ago, my grandmother used a particular Japanese liquid watercolor that she recommended might work in dried form and this was a big breakthrough. I collaborated with an expert on colorants to develop the technology. It took us over 2 years and tens of iteration till we got them to be just right. This is where my brother Rohan joined in to help with building the product and the brand. Our mission with Viviva was clear from the beginning: We wanted to share with the world the same joy that I felt by being able to paint anytime without a mess.
The name for the brand was an almost obvious choice: Vi Vi Va are our grandmother's initials. 'Viva' or a minor variation of it in almost all Latin based languages means - Lively. That perfectly described our colors and the woman they are named after.
In May 2017, we launched a crowdfunding campaign - the design was ready but it would cost me a kidney to make them in small volumes. We needed some initial customers to build a larger batch size. Little did we expect that Viviva would capture the imagination and interest of so many artists! We got so much support from so many wonderful artists to spread the word - Kattvalk, Audra Auclair, Emily Artful, Tillith, Charvillena, FrugalCrafter Lindsay Weirich, Parka Blogs, Meredith at TheWittyGrittyPaperCo., TheArtSherpa, Angela Fehr and so so many more! (I'm sorry I had to leave out some here).
Our campaign was funded 5x over the target and we were left with the pleasant but undeniably daunting challenge of fulfilling 12000 units from our makeshift manufacturing facility. An unexpected flooding in August 2017 in Mumbai where a majority of our vendors are literally threw cold water on our plans but the amazing community of Viviva users stood by us!
A year and a half hence, we're now a family run small business with a thriving community of artists. Some amazing people have joined us in our mission. Sejal who looks after customer support and Sachin who leads the manufacturing with his team. Our most recent addition to the team is Simela of @pizzlepaints fame who leads community building and social media. We've shipped the Colorsheets to over 90 countries and have made so many friends. It has been incredibly humbling and immensely fun experience and we're just getting started. As Granma says - Keep moving! Although for the life of her, she can't figure out how an innocuous suggestion spiraled into a global movement :D
That's me painting a thank-you note to all our backers of the Indiegogo campaign.