The "Eve" top by artisan Ivano Tella.

Artisan platform Vida & Co. has closed on a $29 million equity investment from Cimpress.

The $2.5 billion mass customization and printing firm will become the majority owner of Vida & Co. Vida founder and chief executive officer Umaimah Mendhro and her executive team will continue on as co-owners of the business. The plan is for Vida to remain autonomous, while gaining access to the capabilities of Cimpress, such as in technology and procurement.

Robert Keane, Cimpress founder and ceo, said, “We are investing in Vida because of its innovative and fast-moving approach to disrupting the large market for retail-grade consumer products via mass customization.”

Vida had been backed by Google Ventures and Y Combinator. The company offers apparel, accessories and home decor products designed by artisans from around the world. It partners with brands and celebrities such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Golden Globes, Steve Madden and Cher.

Vida is known for its global supply-chain that produces mass-customized items that range from custom-printed cashmere scarves to 3-D-printed jewelry. Vida also offers education and empowerment programs for its factory workers to help them and their families.

Mendhro said, “We believe the traditional retail industry, where a group of buyers predict demand and build inventory before any sales are materialized, is broken.” She noted that with a growing global creative community and demand from consumers for unique products, Vida benefits through its partnership with Cimpress due to the latter’s technology and mass-customization infrastructure.

Vida recently inked a collaboration with Lord & Taylor for an art-inspired accessories and home collection that will also feature custom-made pieces of wearable art.


A look from Vida.  Michael Crook


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