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This entrepreneur wants to set chefs free by making them their own boss (VIDEO)

We continue our Lady E series this month, featuring the founder of Clubvivre, Maria Kuvshinova. In essence, Clubvivre is a platform for users to book private chefs for their house parties and other special occasions. The platform caters to events big and small, from two people to a crowd of over a thousand. The ‘vivre’ in Clubvivre is actually a French word which means ‘to live’.

Clubvivre wants to upend traditional catering

What inspired Kuvshinova to start Clubvivre? Previously, she worked in a corporate environment plagued by busy schedules. She was also bored by the same choices when hanging out with friends – going to restaurants which don’t feel special or inviting people home and having to deal with cumbersome preparation and cleaning work.

She also felt that the existing catering industry often only allow customers to choose from a limited amount of standard packages that are not well-suited for the occasion.

So Clubvivre offers an efficient online solution where you can search for a chef to deal with the logistics of cooking at your place.

Overstretched

Kuvshinova faced a dilemma before deciding on the Clubvivre path. She was the founder of EvenPanda, a platform that lists unique peer-to-peer experiences which people can book. In January 2013, she decided to be “less ambitious”, let EvenPanda die, and pivot to Clubvivre. It wasn’t easy to abandon a venture she has invested much energy, emotions, and time in.

Yet she finally felt in control of her own startup and was thrilled by the bigger opportunity she uncovered and that one vertical she could identify with.

“Stay focused, less is more,” says Kuvshinova. “[With EvenPanda], we launched in four cities through a virtual team. We created rigorous plans and overstretched ourselves. Building a startup is like running a marathon, you have to pace yourself.”

Also see: Bullied in a ghetto, this woman transforms into a fearless entrepreneur (VIDEO)

Her advice to fellow entrepreneurs?

“Focus on demand first; keep supply to a minimum until you figure out demand.”

[Video production credits: OHBOY! Pictures]

See more video interviews in our Lady E series:
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See more interviews in our Female Entrepreneurship series:
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Editing by Terence Lee

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