An Interview with BY VIVE Co-Founder and COO Louma Bachrach
BY VIVE is the world’s first online aftercare concierge that leverages a network of verified artisans specializing in different skills. Co-Founders Jesse Johnson and Louma Bachrach created the company out of the desire to preserve and cherish our planet and our memories.
How is BY VIVE creating change in the fashion industry?
· OUR PLANET: The fashion industry is one of the largest polluters globally. Even though it has been hard at work to innovate, the industry has a long way to go. Most items still end up in a landfill and less than 1% are recycled. Did you know that extending an item’s life by only 9 months, can decrease planetary impact by 30%? Bringing one of your pieces back into rotation cuts its combined carbon, waste, and water footprint by 82%. Four out of five of us, have pieces we’ve stopped using because they need servicing. At the end of the day, the most sustainable garment is the one you already own.
· Over 10,000 Luxury Items Repaired: BY VIVE is passionate about merging innovation and craftsmanship. They’ve handpicked all artisans and extensively pre-vetted them. Each artisan has a different set of refined skills to handle any type of desired aftercare. They each have 10+ years of experience and collectively hold all relevant repair certifications from brands, the GIA, and many more. Together they have meticulously repaired or restored over 10,000 luxury items.
Find out more about this unique company from co-founder Louma Bachrach in the interview below.
Can you start by introducing yourself and telling us, in your words, about your inspiring story? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
I was born and raised in the serene Bavarian city of Munich, or as we tend to jest, “the biggest village in the world.” My roots, however, are anything but tranquil.
My family home was a vibrant hodgepodge of cultures. My parents are Israeli immigrants, and my grandparents are holocaust survivors who left behind their homes in Czechoslovakia, Lithuania, and Italy. I grew up with a parenting style that miraculously combined Middle Eastern fervor with German discipline and organization. My dad worked in entertainment, so our home echoed the art of storytelling and passionate discussions punctuated by Italian hand gestures.
Even though I was raised to be aware of my heritage, I never felt out of place in Germany. My community brought me many friendships, which today are as deep as family ties. Together, we were taught to integrate yet proudly stand for our differences. From an early age, I learned that the world is vast, to seek out its wonders and always be curious.
Hard work? Non-negotiable.
After graduating high school, I went to the UK for my undergraduate studies. I had an insatiable curiosity for the human mind, which drew me to cognitive neuroscience and a dual degree in Arts and Science. That’s where my love for interdisciplinarity was born.
Quite unexpectedly, I got an offer from Amazon to join a small team tasked with launching Amazon’s first in-house accelerator program. What was supposed to be a one-year stint turned into a five-year adventure. It was a crash course in tech, large-scale operations, and mastering the art of being a jack-of-all-trades.
In 2021, mid-Covid-pandemic, I decided to pursue an MBA in Madrid. That’s where I met my Co-founder (Jesse), and BY VIVE took shape. As an expert in fashion Circularity, Jesse saw a need to disrupt the outdated aftercare industry. His pitch: “We’ve all heard of reuse, recycle and reduce. But the backbone of all – repair and care.” It immediately made sense. After all, it is no secret that the fashion industry is one of the largest polluters globally. Affection for vintage is also booming in a $38B second-hand market. With my background, BY VIVE became an end-to-end solution that brings seamless aftercare to fashion supply chains.
When did you know it was time to become a full-time entrepreneur?
I guess I’ve always had a bit of an entrepreneurial itch, probably a genetic hand-me-down from my dad. Watching him be creative, wearing all sorts of hats while calling the shots at his own business, was fun.
Dinner at our house was often like a mini ‘Shark Tank’ episode. We debated world problems and pitched solutions ranging from the practical to the downright absurd. The thrill for me was always to take an idea from that table and make it real. It’s the ultimate puzzle, the ultimate challenge.
The catalyst for finally taking the plunge was a combination of timing and, let’s call it, cosmic alignment. I had just wrapped up my MBA, so I was already at a crossroads, figuring out my next move. I didn’t have to break free from a cushy 9-to-5 and good salary, which honestly would’ve made the decision a lot tougher. My Co-Founder Jesse and I clicked instantly, which didn’t just make the journey smooth but sparked the confidence to take that entrepreneurial leap. He’s not only clever but also down-to-earth and just has his heart in the right place. Having the right partner will make all the difference.
I’ve always been this hybrid of a fashion aficionado and a tech nerd. Finding a concept that I truly believed in and blending those worlds was like hitting the jackpot for me. Plus, I strongly believe in optimizing the world, not adding more to it. The sustainability aspect sealed the deal.
Can you share some of the most important lessons you’ve learned from your successes and failures in business?
The most invaluable skill you can cultivate in business and in life is adaptability. The world is a wild, unpredictable place. Just when you think you’ve cracked the code, it throws you a curveball. So, it’s not so much about having all the answers but about building an unshakable confidence in your ability to roll with the punches and cross a bridge when you get to it.
In my short (but intense) career, I’ve observed a recurring theme in both business successes and failures: stakeholder alignment. I’m talking about the degree of mutual understanding and of disagreements. Alignment is fundamental to coordination, decision-making, and to a collective workforce. Misaligned expectations are detrimental. The biggest culprit: Assumptions. Never assume. We often think we know it all, so we don’t need to communicate what we think or how we feel – we’re all on the same page. But frequently, we’re not even reading the same book. Alignment isn’t a one-time event; it’s a continuous process. It requires a lot of work and vigilance. Mostly, asking a lot of questions. You’d be surprised how many problems can be solved or avoided altogether by simply asking for clarification. I have that realization every day.
Btw, I’ve found this lesson isn’t confined to the boardroom. It equally applies to the complex, messy realm of human relationships.
What are your top 3 mobile apps that help you stay organized and on top of your game?
Well, the boring answer is Notion, Outlook, and LinkedIn. But if you check my app usage, you’ll see my Spotify is open 90% of the time. Good tunes really help me focus.
What initiatives or actions do you believe are crucial for fostering a more supportive and inclusive business environment for women?
We’ve all sat through corporate diversity seminars where everyone nods, takes notes, and then goes back to business as usual. If we’re serious about creating a more inclusive environment, we’ve got to start by normalizing candid conversations. I mean real, honest dialogue that all genders feel comfortable with. The dialogue has become so fraught that everyone feels like they’re walking on eggshells.
These conversations should start early – at school, maybe even Kindergarten. Let’s teach kids to abandon stereotypes and understand that both genders share responsibilities – be it in the home or the workplace. Teach them that success isn’t measured in hours clocked but in value created. By the time they enter the workforce, they’ll be light years ahead.
Regulatory changes are the silent giant in the room. We need policies that genuinely support women at all career stages. Equal pay, of course, but more so paid parental leave, subsidized childcare, and other family-centric policies. And let’s not forget work-life balance. I’m not suggesting we install a nursery next to the break room (although, why not?). But, whether it’s remote work, flexible hours, or job-sharing options, we need arrangements that acknowledge the complexity of women’s lives. The entire system is flawed. Ultimately, these aren’t “women’s issues”; they’re human issues, societal issues.
What advice would you give your younger self when starting this journey?
Advice is a peculiar thing. It’s only as good as our ability to internalize it.
Remember all those times someone older and presumably wiser imparted their life lessons to us? We nodded along, thinking we got it. The truth is, we didn’t. Not truly. The real understanding, the kind that roots deep within and changes our behavior, usually requires a blend of maturity and lived experiences. It’s one thing to be told something and another to feel it in your bones.
Many of the principles I live by today were advice I received early on. But back then, it was just words, abstract notions. You need to trust the process. Today, when I receive advice that seems sensible, I actively seek out experiences that will either validate or debunk it.
Anything that helps me to truly internalize it.
So, if anything, advice to my younger self would be pragmatic – which stocks to buy, who to avoid. The rest? Well, you live, and you learn.
Do you have a favorite quote or motto that inspires you?
One that’s always stuck with me is Winston Churchill’s “Never waste a good crisis.” What I really like is that the quote is not the obvious message of finding the silver lining in a bad situation. It’s about recognizing that there is a chance for learning and transformations that ONLY a crisis can offer. The term “waste” suggests that failing to extract value from a crisis is almost a dereliction of duty. To me, it says, “Hey, if you’ve got a challenging situation… and you don’t take advantage of it, shame on you.” It’s changed my mindset: A crisis doesn’t just happen to you. It’s something you can actively engage with.
I also often refer to a quote by Michelle Obama. When asked how she navigates high-stakes rooms filled with big shots (mostly men), she said, “Here’s the secret: They’re not that smart.” I love that. It’s a potent reminder that we’re all just winging it, trying to figure it out as we go along, doing our best. It’s a reality check and a call to trust your own instincts and abilities. Especially in intimidating situations run by know-it-alls, the idea can be liberating.
Want more inspiring interviews? Read An Interview With Life Coach Amanda Hess – The Neurodivergent CEO, or read The Business of Yoga an interview with Kassandra Reinhardt, or learn about Sara Sutton Fell Founder and CEO of FlexJobs Who’s Making Meaningful Work From Home Happen, part of our interview series spotlighting successful women in business.
Melissa Stewart is the founder of SheOwnsIt.com. She is a Purveyor of Possibility, Entrepreneur Advocate and Coffee Addict. She believes that behind every successful woman is her story. What’s your story?