The Process Lab: Community-Focused Gift Giving with Alexandra Pourvali from Gively Studio
“The business is not just for me. It can be an extension of my personality and it’s here to support other people.” -Alexandra Pourvali, Founder of Gively Studio
Gively Studio is a gift-giving service that began as a subscription box model and has evolved into a holistic life-style brand that focuses on allowing consumers to give customizable gifts remotely. The founder, Alexandra Pourvali is a Design graduate from Rhode Island School of Design in Los Angeles, California. Gively Studio is dedicated to curating a gift-giving experience that allows for creative freedom and staying in touch with loved ones. Alexandra expresses the value of gratitude and community when it comes to her business’ mission. Her goal is to develop Gively Studio into a friendly lifestyle brand where artisans and crafters come together as a digital community to share ideas and inspire one another.
Curating A Meaningful Gift-Giving Experience
Alexandra’s story begins last spring when she was in her senior year of college. She began working on her portfolio for a thesis project that was inspired by creating meaningful products that allowed individuals to stay in touch easily through gift-giving. Alexandra explains her vision for the brand as “a product that can be communicated to people regardless of where you are and something you could give people if you weren’t able to see them all the time.”
During the early stages of development, Alexandra had to keep in mind the different factors that would contribute to the growth of Gively Studio. These factors included figuring out Gively Studio’s brand identity, the colour palette, partnerships, maintaining an online presence and more. She also came up with the three fundamental values of Gively which included gratitude, creativity and gift-giving.
The Value of Community
Alexandra has made tremendous progress with her brand even though Gively Studio is a relatively new company. The young entrepreneur values the idea of community. Keeping this value in mind, she is enhancing her business so that Gively Studio becomes more than just a platform where artisans and consumers can connect.
Alexandra envisions creating pieces that people could build a community around; imagine hosting guests at your house and showcasing pieces that speak to you to your loved ones. In addition, Alexandra is also working towards creating a design agency where she can consult with small businesses on brand strategy and identity. She explains, “the business is not just for me. It can be an extension of my personality and it’s here to support other people”.
Designing Gively Studio’s Future as a Business Owner
In telling the story behind Gively Studio, Alexandra describes her journey from being an illustrator to a designer. In her university program, she found herself gravitating more towards telling stories and curating creative perspectives as opposed to illustrating pieces that did not necessarily have continuity. She states, “as an Illustrator, I would have been discouraged that the story stopped when the image was completed. But as a Designer, I am able to string a larger number of images together to create a narrative that goes on”. Today, Alexandra is working towards consolidating and directing the creative aspects of Gively as the lead designer, while finding ways to iteratively incorporate partnerships and collaborations in the future of Gively as a hub for artisans and makers.
Alexandra also touched on the importance of walking the fine line between crafting the brand as a designer and adapting her products to what resonates with customers. In the future, she hopes to come together with other creators who have distinct ideas and styles, find a common ground between both their styles, and create a unique collection that is an amalgamation of differing yet harmonious elements. She aims to share her innovative collaborations with a greater community that is already interested in either her or the collaborator’s work.
Impact of COVID-19: Pitching Prototypes over Zoom
Because of the pandemic, Alexandra encountered several problems such as not being able to show her Gively prototype because it is a physical item that has to be seen. Another major issue was the digital component of relying on Zoom in order to talk with people. Alexandra admits that interacting via Zoom is challenging because it is not the same as talking in person. However, despite the challenges, Alexandra discovered that she had more flexibility with her schedule and could work remotely at any time.
Alexandra Pourvali is a brilliant example of a young entrepreneur that greatly values collaboration, creativity, and community. What was once a gift-giving subscription box is now evolving into a beautiful yet minimalistic service for all creators alike.
When asked what her vision is for her company, Alexandra mentions that she is striving to share her creative outlook and the characters she creates in hopes that they resonate with her audience. Alexandra envisions Gively Studio growing beyond Instagram into an online conversation space where she can facilitate discussions, give feedback as well as understand what consumers are interested in. Similarly, she wants to become a mentor within her community and give advice to those who are planning to start their own businesses.
Upon asking what her vision for the world is, she said “I want people to be selflessly invested in one another’s goals and here to support each other.”
Finally, Alexandra points out that starting a new business can be tough; however, the ongoing encouragement from peers and professors greatly motivated her through the process. Alexandra is also empowered by the female business owner community. She credits Create and Cultivate, Boss Babe and Girl Boss for inspiring her to start her brand.
Alexandra hopes that by turning Gively Studio into a lifestyle brand she will continue to create illustrations and graphic designs while also curating alongside small businesses with the intention to uplift one another and grow. An exquisite brand like Gively Studio is surely one to check out this holiday season!
Image credits: Gively Studio