#TEAMVIVOVITA and the two women behind it all

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the incredible owners of sports and outdoor company, Vivo Vita Sport - Mari Du Toit and Janine Muller. Based in Pretoria, Gauteng, Vivo Vita Sport is a female-owned and operated company specialising in the distribution of sports and outdoor goods. With a combined 25 years of sales experience, Mari Du Toit and Janine Muller have represented well-known brands such as New Balance, Hi-Tec and Rudy Project.


If you haven't heard of Vivo Vita Sports, then you should really check them out as they are rising to the top of the sports distribution game with brands such as USWE, Alba Optics, Coros and Orucase. 

Tell us a little about Vivo Vita Sport?

Being very keen mountain bikers and active in the cycling community, we always liked new gadgets, funky new socks or a trendy pair of sunglasses. Obviously realising quickly that they all come with a not so nice or trendy price tag! We shared the same dream, to one day import our own unique brands.


"A Dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A Plan backed by action becomes a reality."

In 2016 we decided to convert the dream into a goal. The plan was not so clear at the time, but one thing led to another, and it soon became reality when we identified and secured our first brand in 2019.

  • Vivo Vita means “Live Life” and we strive to live this out every day
  • We pride ourselves on delivering a whole experience and not just offering a product
  • We are passionate about getting more women on bikes
  • We choose to partner with brands that share in the same vision
  • Our mission is to bring INNOVATION, INSPIRATION, and most of all, PASSION to every sport and Outdoor enthusiast out there



What has your journey looked like in the South African sport and exercise market?

Our journey has been a real rollercoaster ride, but one that we would not exchange for anything else in this world. We have learnt some things the hard way but we have also loved learning something new every day. We have met new people and have made friends, we have laughed and we have cried. But through all the ups and downs, we believe that if something is meant to be, and you follow and believe it with your eyes fixed on the sky, everything plans out the way it is supposed to.


Has covid had a big impact on your growth

Wow, we can write a 5-page essay on this topic! But I’ll try to keep it short – we basically started with our first brand, 5 months before the very first Covid 19 lockdown in March 2020. We received our first shipment in October 2019. We had no clue what was about to hit us. We didn’t have a great following at the time, our product was only in a few retailers and we had a very basic website with no e-commerce online shop of any sort. Our backs were totally against a very high wall. Quickly realising that we need to adapt and embrace the new normal, we used the time in lockdown to build a new website and add an online shop to try and move some products. From a growth point of view, sure Covid had an impact, however, in hindsight, we believe all things happen for a reason and we realise that we expanded in a more conservative way which has really been a blessing in disguise. Too big too quickly is also not ideal for any small business. We also took the opportunity to rebrand the VVS brand, and that has made such a big difference for us. So yes a few negatives, but for sure many positives that came out of it as well.


Tell us a bit about how you select brands to bring to the market/distribute through Vivo Vita Sport

We are constantly on the lookout for niche brands, something different but also something similar to what is currently in the marketplace. If you believe in the product you sell, it just makes it so much easier to sell it. And if you have something different to offer to the consumer, you have a captive audience and the passion for what you do remains on track.

Once we have the product, it is super important to provide quick and efficient service to back up a good quality product. The after-sale service is often more valuable than the sale itself.

"People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. The goal is not to do business with everybody that needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe." – Vivo Vita


Are men intimidated by two women who are totally rocking the industry?

LOL – not sure we are rocking it just yet! I think it is more the other way around – to not feel intimidated in the male-dominant industry. But I have to say, our biggest support has been from guys leading the way in the industry, and our success to date is very much owed to them by giving us advice and guidance. We just absolutely love the cycling/running/outdoor community so much. It is like we are part of a tribe in some way. We all have the same passion and work towards the same goal, and that is to grow the sport and get more people outdoors. And that is why we love what we do.

What is your advice to aspiring businesswomen in the sports industry?

Don’t listen to the critics, follow your heart (and sometimes your head too) and if it doesn’t make you happy anymore, then move on and find something else that does!

Surround yourself with like-minded people. The ones who inspire, the ones who are passionate, the ones who motivate, the ones who are grateful and the ones who are open-minded.

What's next for Vivo Vita Sport?

We are continuously looking for niche brands to add to our basket of products. As a female-owned company, we would be honoured to be recognised as one of the leading companies when it comes to the distribution of cycling/running/outdoor goods in South Africa.

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