Founder, ZAVVA Shots; co-founder, Più Lifestyle
Gabriella Zavatti has had an entrepreneurial streak since she was a child. “I still have all my sketchbooks from when I was 11 years old, filled with designs and ‘branding’ for the companies I dreamed up — before I even knew what branding was,” she reminisces.
ZAVVA Shots, which offers liqueur shots at retail outlets around town, was born in 2011. Seeing an opening in the market for artisanal alcohol, the Hongkonger launched the business with an ambition to market a brand that “had a real voice and personality.”
Starting out at 10 shops, the products have now expanded to several hundred outlets across Hong Kong and are also available in Taiwan and Singapore. The brand recently opened its own distillery in Italy and is soon launching in Europe.
“I like to think that we’ve proved to other budding entrepreneurs that the ‘small potato’ can indeed come out on top through hard work and staying true to what it is that you set out to do.”
“I was just 23 when I started ZAVVA, so I really grew together with the business,” she says. “A lot of people thought I was crazy to take on an industry that was so dominated by a handful of large global players.” Zavatti says that the business has provided Hong Kong with a new drinking alternative, representing a city that is “small, compact and bursting with energy.”
Her entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t end there. Zavatti recently co-founded loungewear brand Più Lifestyle alongside her husband Bastien Le Coz and friends Valerie Mattos and Michael Tenenbaum. A collection of versatile “loungewear you can wear out”, the pieces come complete with tailored cuts and lush fabrics.
Her very first job? A variety of internships as a student.