Yatta - valued moments with Rhina
Meet Rhina from company called Yatta. Soon it’s going to be one year since they “moved“ to their office at Das Packhaus. And for now, they’re loving it. I had a lovely coffee chat whit Rhina, who truly inspired me in so many ways. She’s not typical woman in business world, so called man world. Most of the female entrepreneurs are more then less trying to change the anti-feminism, but Rhina as feminist is using this power; power of being a woman in men’s world.
Use your advantage of being a woman. Fight it, but also use it.
P: What is the meaning of company name? The same, meaning something good (I google it).
R: Yes, Yatta is actually Japanese saying for something good, or when you did something great than you say: „Yatta“- yes, we did it.
P: But why Yatta or „we did it“?
R: Because we wanted to help give people to achieve this feeling when it comes to their homes, a feeling of success. Short happiness, the valued moment.
P: Who did the logo?
R: Matthias is the master in that (smile).
P: Where did idea come from?
R: Matthias and I have been working together for a really long time, so we had our project called SYNArchitecture and there we were doing architecture projects, but at one point we slow down and now we are keeping the community and that’s quite a big global community of architects and designers. We both did the same studies so we have a similar background. At university, we had one great, genius teacher (Zaha Hadid) for who we worked in China. And while we were there we wanted to do something with that knowledge but in the different field. And that's how everything got started. Everything we do in architecture is about systems and similar to programming, so it's very close to IT. We wanted to experiment now with interior design.
P: And Cozyo?
R: This is our start-up name, Yatta is the company and it has two projects: Cozyo and CozyBanana. On the web: COZYbanana.com, we love blogging, make short videos (presentation one), we give people advice. Recently we did funny videos about celebrities home looks, inspired by their style.
P: Hahah, funny. So why Cozy Banana? It’s super catchy, but still.
R: Well, pretty simple; its fun, yellow. Basically we all work hard, but its important to have fun at work.
P: Word! It is super important to have fun at work and enjoy what you’re doing. Happy employees make happy customers.
How many of you are in the team?
R: So we are three founders and we have four more people, but they are not in Vienna. And we have a cooperation with technical university. And now we our looking for 2 new team members a marketer and a machine learning engineer!
P: How long have you been here, at Das Packhaus?
R: We have been now almost a year.
P: How do you like Packhaus?
R: I really like it, cuz it’s relaxed and you can be yourself. I like the people and the variety of other companies in the House. I also love the garden where I can bring my dog. I don’t think I can find a better place for me to work.
P: And we enjoy having you, your team and of curse the PawPaw (doggie). I think that whenever there is any dog at the ground floor, people become a bit more relaxed, just for a moment they forgot about stress. So, thumps up for puppies at the ground floor :)
I notice that you’re in one of the projects, teams of Women Entrepreneurs. Do you feel that it’s different, more difficult to be entrepreneur woman, architecture entrepreneur?
R: At university, there is 50/50 regarding the gender. But „outside“, the percentage is lost. I always tried to see the positive side, it can be an advantage because somehow your are noticed. So, women should take the advantage of this. In the entrepreneur's area, I am part of a community of Female Founders.They are offering mentoring programs and I got a really amazing mentor, which is Marie-Hélène Ametsreiter. She is experienced in business and with start-ups and also a woman! And I got this because I am a woman, but my co-founders don't have this opportunity as I had. So thanks to female founders I meet people who want to support you, people which you normally wouldn’t get the chance to meet.
Also, is known that investors invest in man founders way more often than in women, but I think that all starts because there are fewer women founders. We need more! It’s not that often to see start-ups where the leader is a woman so I really admire the ones who do it.
P: Your team looks pretty successful, also regarding the relationship. So how are you divided by tasks that you do?
R: Matthias is our creative director he is taking care of our strategy and external team of creative freelancers. Andrija is the leader in IT, he also has to lead a team and he is in charge of our academic cooperations. And I am working with customers developing the business. I could say I try to be close to our customer problems. I am also pitching our project and have the possibility to go out and connect with people.
P: If you could give one advice to young entrepreneurs, or just regular folk like me, who has some vision, dreams… who would you advice them/me?
R: Do volunteering or take a job at a start-up, that is just starting. Not in a big company, but be part of something that just begun and they still need to make it happened. If you work in start-up business you could learn so much. And if you have the desire to have some business to in future than having these experiences could save you a lot of time and energy. And the second advice would be to connect with another founder. They probably had the same problems as you are having, so just find those who are willing to help and ask.
P: So you and Mathias are married, right? How is that working for you, being business partner and life partner the same time?
R: Yes, soon we’ll have the second anniversary. We started to work with each other already in university, we already had many projects together, so we already experienced that part. We tested, it worked. We are very professional and in office, you would never assume that we are a couple. You can sense it because we have a dog :)
It’s actually really nice to work with your partner, you are consistently working on ideas, job, sharing knowledge…
Yatta! Polona L.
15 facts about Rhina:
Your name and surname: Rhina Portillo
Your profession: Digital Architect
Your hobby: home decoration
Your weirdest thing you do/like: eat fruits with a salty flavour sauce (salsa Lizano)
Your favourite dish: Tapas
about Vienna: coffee houses
about Vienna: extremes hot summer and cold winter