Matt & Andreya - The Founders Story...
Matt and Andreya Townsend, the creators of Vida Vida (the fashion accessories brand specialising in leather satchels, laptop bags and luggage), met on the idyllic beaches of Fiji in 1999, where they found they shared the same passion for fun times, crazy adventures and a general love of life. From then, experiencing new countries, new cultures and new discoveries shaped their lives together which really began in earnest when they were married in 2008.
Andreya has spent her working life in fashion, from her Saturday job in River Island at 16 to working at international brands like Diesel, Helen Storey and Ghost after she had finished university and working her way up to UK Sales and Marketing Manager at Replay Jeans. Even though she found she could climb the working hierarchy with relative ease she also knew that this was not the path she saw for her life.
Matt studied geography at UCL and knew from the beginning that working for anybody else didn’t give him enough time to explore the world and surf as much as he wanted! Although he wears Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops for most of the year, he knew that Andreya’s eye for fashion, design and style was excellent and saw no reason why they could not set up their own business together. He wanted this new business to involve travelling to find hidden artisans and beautifully handmade products from around the world (basically, he wanted to be a pirate!). How hard could it be he thought (Matt tends to be a very positive person!).
This dream was realised in 2005 when they came back from South America having met several wonderful local people who hand-make uniquely beautiful products. Vida Vida was established with a stall at the famous fashion market of London’s Portobello Road. They soon realised that the aim of Vida Vida was to partner British design with beautiful workmanship carried out by small family-run businesses from around the world. This meant that all their business relationships were forged on friendship and trust (and the name Vida Vida, meaning Life Life, was born out of the idea that Andreya and Matt’s lives were joined with the lives of the special people they had met and worked with on their travels).
This way of business proved fruitful and Vida Vida grew quickly, firstly with the addition of other market stalls and their own workshop in India and then wholesale, permanent retail outlets and online sections of the business were developed. Although Vida Vida has become a larger business than when they first started, Matt and Andreya still spend regular parts of the year working alongside their team in India and they are frequently making trips abroad to find more “treasure” and craftsmen who they can build positive working relationships with. Until 2020, Matt was often on the stall in one of their markets - bringing a tropical ray of sunshine to even a miserable London day, as he continues to wear his (sometimes almost nauseatingly bright) Hawaiian shirts throughout the year.
Following the dramatic global events 2020, Matt and Andreya chose to close down the retail outlets and market stalls to focus on the ever growing online side of the business.
They now balance their business life with parenthood after having their first son, Herbie, in 2011 and a second, Reggie, in 2014. Both boys love playing but always like to lend a hand with the business. Whether it’s a journey to the post office to send particularly urgent internet orders (which the post office lady, Rashila, always seems to look forward to and a Kit Kat is generally awaiting our arrival!) or sitting in empty stock boxes pretending to be pirates (like father like son!).
Vida Vida has now set up a large office/warehouse/distribution centre nearby their home in West London, which stops any chance of Herbie or Reggie being accidentally sent out with the orders!
The team at Vida Vida work hard to make sure suppliers are happy, products are beautiful and on-trend, the service to the customer is first class, and that Matt and Andreya have a business to be proud of and excited by.
If you would like to contact us about anything at all you will find all our details on our contact page.