Interview with Hey! VINA CEO Olivia Poole about her Tinder-style app for female friendships

When I was working on my dissertation, I was researching on all the platforms where I could meet women my age. I was looking for fashion and beauty opinions on a school assignment, but was surprised when I stumbled on this app called Hey! VINA. It’s sort of like Bumble BFF, but it’s so much more aesthetically pleasing with its pastel colors, and it allows women to connect after filling out detailed profiles about their interests. It also allows women to hold group events and gatherings, which can definitely take the pressure off of making friends. I spoke with the founder of the app, Olivia Poole, who gave me some insight behind the app and why women should embrace the support for one another.

Can you explain why you thought there was a need for the app? I launched Hey! VINA in 2016 because I knew firsthand how difficult it is to find friends as an adult. At the time, I had moved to San Francisco and I didn’t know anyone, let alone have an inner circle that I wanted (and needed) so badly. After starting a women’s only wine night series, Ladies Who Vino, I realized the power of bringing women together in a safe place. I created VINA to scale that experience out to the world! I decided that using a dating app like interface but with the sole intention of women’s friendship was the way to go, because I tried (and failed!) at messaging the other cool girls on other dating sites to be friends. The results proved that I was onto something—as VINA reached 100,000 downloads in its first week on the App Store.

What is your favorite feature of the app?
I love our personality quizzes! They help you see how people’s personalities fit into the equation of being a good match, plus they’re a lot of fun!

What advice would you give for someone who is going to be meeting their first VINA?
Remember that the vina you’re about to meet is here for the same exact reason as you! You both downloaded Hey! VINA for a reason and you’re here to make a connection and develop a friendship, so don’t be nervous because you’re both looking for the same things in life! You already have VINA in common, so just let the conversation build from there!

Can you explain how VINA is a bit different than Bumble BFF?
Our members say they love Hey! VINA because we’re exclusively focused on women’s friendship, so the platform is very feminine and designed with that sole goal in mind. They also love how we show so much more than photos, plus they love being able to host and attend plans created by other people in the community! Lastly, many of our members aren’t looking for dates, so they’re not comfortable having a dating app on their phones.

You can download the Hey! VINA here using Google Play or the Apple Store.

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Quote of the Day

I will be leaving for London next week, and I am so nervous for this new adventure that I’m embarking on. At the same time, I’m so excited to see the growth I’ll have as I adapt to living there.

All of my travel experiences have definitely left me with tons of fun stories to tell people. I always live my life with the mentality that if something doesn’t work out, at least it’ll make a story with some sort of lesson at the end of the day.

Quote of the Day

It was raining all day, and it reminded me of one of my college friends texting me asking if I wanted to play in the rain. Amused, I thought it was cute at first, but it really is a great mindset to have.

You can dwell on the negatives of a rainy day and stay in bed all day (which isn’t necessarily that bad when you have coffee and Netflix) or you can appreciate the days that aren’t so sunny.

Quote of the Day

Rather than just dropping in a quote, I’ve been elaborating on why a lot of these quotes really speak to me. Yes, this one might be simple, but I think a lot of people have a hard time grasping this concept.

In fact, I’m sure a lot of people misinterpret this. Expectations and standards are two different things, and I think people get confused by the two. When you have standards, you know what you want for yourself and you attract based on the energy and the mindset you give back to people. That’s where appreciation comes in. Positive things happen to positive people, and I can attest to that.

When you expect certain things from people all the time, you’ll likely be disappointed constantly. When you imagine a situation playing out in an exact way, you’ll likely be frustrated when it doesn’t come to fruition.

When it comes to expectations, you can only control one person and that’s yourself. You can choose to stay frustrated because life didn’t go as planned, or you can try to learn from mistakes or mishaps. Life sort of just happens, but your character is more so defined by how you react.

Quote of the Day: Debating About Destiny

Today’s quote is from one of my favorite Selena Gomez’s song “Back to You.” For years, I never believed in destiny. I thought everything just happened randomly. But the past few years have changed my mindset a lot. I think everything happens for a reason, and if something is meant to be, it’ll happen.

Obviously there are exceptions with that. You’re not going to get a dream job by simply waiting or sitting on the couch, but if for some reason, you end up in a certain city or if someone comes into your life, I think it happens for a reason. And if somehow, you hate the city you’re in or things don’t work out with someone, start thinking about why this occurrence is happening to you. People are either a blessing or a lesson in your life.

So why do I love this song so much? I just love that despite everything that might happen with someone, you know you’ll somehow come back to each other whether it takes weeks or years. And if they don’t, then it wasn’t meant to be. Again, obviously there are exceptions, but having this sort of mindset that everything happens for a reason has not only made me happier, but also content with my past.

I’m curious what people think so if you agree or disagree, feel free to comment below!

Quote of the Day

If anyone can give you advice about life and living it to the fullest, it’s definitely Jack Kerouac. What this
Pinterest

Too many times in life, people put their happiness on a pedestal. They say “Once, I get through A, B, and C, I’ll be happy.” Others do it without realizing. They can’t wait until the weekend. They say “I can’t wait to leave this job, or this school,” or whatever stage they’re trying to surpass. Part of success and happiness is the journey that leads up to it. People spend too much time focusing on the future to truly appreciate the present. Life is too short to be taken so seriously, so remember to appreciate the little moments in each day.

Quote of the Day

This is one of my favorite friendship quotes. Real friends are always there for you no matter what without any sort of judgement. They’re there to laugh with you, support you and simply be a shoulder to cry on.

Hope you enjoy this quick post.