Ronak Trivedi, CEO of Pietra, a platform for creators who have an idea for a brand or product line and need a place to start, has an audacious goal. His mission is for Pietra; currently, 80% women users, to launch one million women-owned brands in the next five years.
Pietra’s goal is to materialize a future in which a single creator can design, manufacture and ship the next best-selling brand within a centralized hub that offers accessibility into an industry unlike ever before. The platform puts the power back in the hands of creators, helping them retain more ownership of their companies.
I spoke with Ronak about the Creator Economy and how he wants to change the landscape for female entrepreneurs.
Kate Talbot: Tell me about why you started Pietra?
Ronak Trivedi: I’ve always been passionate about building things that enable others to reach their full potential. The undeniable trend of the Creator Economy (and larger passion economy) helped shape Pietra into what it is today. I first noticed that the power was starting to shift from the institutions to the person in a way we’ve never seen before. Big institutions used to be the only ones with the resources and capital to reach an audience and sell a product. Now, Creators have a far larger audience than even some of the biggest companies and can sell their product online to people all over the world. However, I also noticed that there was such a lack of tools for Creators to build meaningful commerce businesses, easily. Whether you’re sourcing, storing, or even shipping products — everything seemed harder than it needed to be.
I wanted Pietra to be a changemaker for Creators. Instead of Creators being taken advantage of by larger brands renting out their audience, I wanted to build something that allows Creators to own their audience and keep the same financial and creative control over their brand or product line, as they do with their content.
Talbot: Can you share a success story of influencers using Pietra?
Trivedi: One of things that I think is worth addressing is that follower size is not really related to success! At least that’s what we see from the data. We’ve seen traditional “nano-influencers” outsell “macro-influencers” all the time. It’s all about authenticity about what you’re creating and connecting with your audience.
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One influencer on YouTube with 1.3M Followers, Hailey Sani, launched her fashion brand ILYBABY earlier this year and hasn’t been able to keep her loungewear line in stock fast enough! She’s a super talented 20 y/o based in LA and has big plans for her brand. She’s not only built a thriving online business but has now started to be approached by retailers to carry her brand. Hailing from Turkey, Hailey immigrated to the US in her teens where her fans got to see the story of an immigrant living the American dream. An amazing success story!
Similarly, we have Ella Rose with her skincare line SKIN BY ELLA ROSE. Ella has a slightly smaller following than Hailey but has launched her skincare line and sold out multiple times within minutes of launching! It’s kind of amazing to see these young entrepreneurs building successful brands at such an early stage in their career. It’s a testament to the next generation of Creators and how creative and business savvy they really are.
Kira West, community cultivator and content creator, wanted to merge her interests into the more balanced theme of wellness.The World jewelry collection is travel-inspired jewelry, The Earth Collection features functional basics that are elegant yet durable. These collections represent the freedom to define what wellness means to you.
Talbot: What content creation trends work best for building out a product with Pietra?
Trivedi: By far, the best thing a Creator can do is bring their audience along for the journey. A Creator’s audiences want to see as much of the process as possible. This brings authenticity to the brand and separates it from the mundane aspects of sponsored content. It also humanizes the journey for the Creator and shows people the love and hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
Talbot: Can you speak to the impact Pietra will have on female entrepreneurship?
Trivedi: The vast majority of Creators using Pietra are women entrepreneurs. I think that Pietra, in just a few years time, will be the platform that helps launch the most women-owned business in the world.
Talbot: How do you choose the vendors on Pietra?
Trivedi: We have a team at Pietra’s that solely focuses on bringing on the best suppliers into the Pietra network. Many of these factories already work with big brands like Gucci, Ralph Lauren, and Harry Winston, to name a few. These are the best suppliers and manufacturers in the world and Creators get to work directly with them to bring their vision to life.
Talbot: How do you see the creator economy booming within the next couple of years?
Trivedi: I think that we’re experiencing the largest opportunity in branded commerce in our lifetime. Creators are now getting the tools they need to start building a career online. Creators are their own mini-enterprises and it’s really exciting to see the new ways people are helping Creators build meaningful income sources online. At Pietra, we like to remind ourselves that anyone can be a Creator. If you’re online, creating content, and building an online brand – you’re a Creator! And it’s our job to build the tools that enable the next generation to earn a living that starts online.
Talbot: What advice would you give to those trying to monetize their brands via social media?
Trivedi: Be authentic and build WITH your audience. Whatever you do, cultivate authenticity by being transparent and honest with your audience. There is no more “big reveal” moment like back in the day. Now your audience wants to see each step of your creative process and celebrate the final product with you. Whether you’re designing a product line or deciding which outfit you should wear to Coachella, your audience wants to be invested in whatever you do.