Welcome to the 360i #SideHustle blog series, where we showcase the awesome side projects, hobbies, start-up businesses, and other ventures created by the entrepreneurial and always-curious employees here at 360i.
By the time 360i Account Director Dani Calogera was 7 years old, she knew how to run a register, manage retail inventory, and create marketing collateral, all thanks to the support of her family of entrepreneurs who value “the creative spirit.” Fast forward two decades: when Dani isn’t overseeing creative campaigns for some of 360i’s top entertainment clients, like HBO and Bravo, she’s helping to launch and run Vivrelle, a first-of-its-kind membership club for luxury handbags, jewelry and diamonds. We sat down with Dani to learn a little bit more about her #SideHustle.
360i: Let’s start at the beginning. What made you want to start a membership club for luxury accessories?
Dani Calogera (DC): One of my very best friends got married last November, and like most brides, a big part of her vision for her special day involved clothing and accessories – her dress, what her bridesmaids would wear, the jewelry she’d choose to complete her outfit. It wasn’t until she started looking for diamond earrings to rent that she noticed there were a bunch of clothing and accessories rental websites, but they didn’t really have the quality or the variety she was interested in.
My friend and I (along with her soon-to-be-husband) put our heads together and came up with the idea to create a one-stop shop for accessing hundreds of high-end accessories a flat monthly membership fee. And Voila! Vivrelle was born.
360i: What a name! Where did it come from?
DC: “Vivrelle” comes from two French words – “vivre” meaning “to live” and “elle” meaning “she.” Since Paris is the epicenter of fashion, we wanted to infuse that legacy into our brand.
360i: What sets Vivrelle apart from some of the other clothing and accessories rental services out there?
DC: For one, we’re a one-stop destination for not just handbags but other accessories like jewelry and diamonds – you can access everything from Chanel handbags to Cartier watches. We also have a flexible membership program starting at $99 per month, so you can choose which level works for you. Finally, and we love this one, we offer an influencer program where we allow members to access the closets of their favorite influencers, so they can act on the inspiration they get from people they follow on social media.
360i: What makes your #SideHustle possible for you and the co-founders?
DC: Each of our skill sets – finance, PR, marketing & branding – are different, and they each contribute something important to Vivrelle. Having flexibility is also a huge factor for me. Early on, I set the expectation to my business partners that my full-time job would be my priority. They’ve been really great about allowing me to contribute my part on my terms. I don’t necessarily need to be in the office or online from 9-6, so I usually tackle my portion at night or on weekends. It’s proven to work well for us so far.
360i: How has working as an Account Director informed your business?
DC: Having experience with the large brands I work on at 360i like Bravo and HBO has definitely given me the building blocks I need for this, especially in terms of understanding our audience, building our brand, and getting the word out. But Vivrelle allows me to work on new aspects of the business (e-commerce, membership) and dip my toe into some new categories (luxury goods, fashion) that have likewise helped me in my role at 360i. It’s a nice cycle.
360i: How much time do you dedicate to Vivrelle?
DC: Every minute that I’m not at the office!
360i: Why is this important to you?
DC: From a career development standpoint, it’s been amazing to work on a start-up brand where, for once, our audience isn’t established and we have to consider who it is and how we reach them. Building a brand from the ground up, creating recognition and identity, and providing a valuable service while endearing the customer to us will continue to be important for me and my long-term growth.