Mikhavita Wijaya is the co-founder of Vie For Living, a furniture business based in Indonesia, specialising in custom furniture.
How did you get your business started?
Furniture has been the bread and butter in my family for decades, and I still remember exactly how I spent most of my childhood hanging out at my parent’s furniture factory, (and getting bored of course) and today, I could not thank them enough for those experiences. I was born and grew up in Indonesia where I have had the opportunity to learn many things. Especially how people incorporate culture, art and social into different things. For me personally, I put most of my attention into handicraft and furniture.
Today, I have had the privilege of sharing Indonesian culture worldwide through furniture, and my brand VIEforLIVING has just recently opened in Melbourne, and soon we will be open in North America.
My husband initially started the business and ran it up until 2013. Then together we decided to rebrand everything. It was the hardest yet the best decision we made. We then concentrated all of our efforts on our branding, structure and strategy. We have been through so much; a lot of blood, sweat, and tears have gone into getting us where we are now. Currently, we are now expanding our business into manufacturing, retailing and expanding our projects.
What lessons have you learned so far on your business journey?
- Love what you do, make it your passion.
- Do thorough market research to find the right ground.
- Have the right brand, strategy, and structure.
- Identify the target market and their behaviour.
- Understand your core strength and added value.
- Keep updated and educate yourself on the latest trends in the business world.
- Think outside the box.
- Find the right mentor.
- Read more. Personally, I love to read the autobiographies of successful people, how they tackle problem-solving and keep moving forward.
- Do not forget to have fun!
How important for you has it been to have a mentor?
Firstly for me, a mentor is someone that you can look up to, that fascinates you and gives you perspective in life. My parents are my first and closet mentor. I will always remember when my father told me; you are the creator of your destiny, and that’s what I always hold onto.
I find my mentors through reading and watching video's of successful people, I learn how they became who they are today and how they cope with their stepping stones, learning through their experiences so that I don’t make the same mistakes. I have been in love with Warren Buffet ever since I was 18 years old, I look at him as my lifelong mentor, for his business mind as well as life value.
It is important to always find the right mentor, so we can stay on the right track according to our goals. However, it is mandatory to have the right team to work with, so you can always brainstorm your ideas and strategy, and at the end of the day, two heads are always better than one.
What are your top three tips for starting a business?
1. Love what you do; this is very important you don’t want to be sleepwalking through your whole life.
2. Work smart and be persistence
3. Dream Big
Mikhavita Wijaya completed the RMIT Bachelor of Business (Economics and Finance) (Applied)
"Love what you do; this is very important you don’t want to be sleepwalking through your whole life." - Mikhavita Wijaya