We talked with Maria Meshcherskaya (founder of arvme.com) about why art is the best topic for starting any conversation, her inspiration behind ARV, and her startup journey.
Maria! Long time no see, thanks for being with us. So, what is ARV and why should we know about it?
Firstly, thank you for having me! And yeah, let me start from the beginning.
ARV is an app that is meant to help you find friends while exploring art pieces from all around.
Cool! and why should we make friends through the art?
Well, it’s not mandatory, but! highly recommended. For me, art always was an endless source of inspiration, extraordinary findings, and of course ideas. Undoubtedly, it’s a great topic for starting any conversation, doesn’t matter whether you are into art or not, it still gives you this “middle ground”.
How does it work?
So, after you registered, you see the list of art spaces each of which leads to the online collection of the place. You can browse and explore various art pieces at the same time, join the chat about a particular work and possibly find adherents. The beauty of it that mutual passions connect people from all around and if you are into Chagall or any other artist you can meet someone from Europe, China, or Australia, who shares the same interest.
Sounds fantastic! How to start the conversation if you just recently joined and don’t have any art background?
That’s a good point, I’d say you simply need to be curious; you can start with a question about the idea behind the work, discuss the color palette or how does it resonate with you. You don’t need to be an expert to do so and engage in all sorts of chats.
I’ll try it. Tell me more about what inspired you to create ARV?
I’d say 3 things: shyness, passion for art, and family inventiveness.
I always was a shy kid and wanted to make friends, but wasn’t sure how exactly to do so, without being confused about which questions to choose. Besides, from a very early age my mom often took me to museums and all types of excursions, so to ask things during it felt appropriate and I wasn’t shy to do so. Finally, it’s our family thing to solve challenges in a unique way, so let’s say a combination of these factors worked well and after quite some time I finally came up with the solution.
That sounds like a pretty easy path, was it like that?
No, not at all. Mostly because when you create something from scratch and you have this faith in your projects, love, and support from your loved ones, the last thing you want is to fail or lose interest. It seems like a pretty obvious thing to say, but along the way you are facing so many challenges that it’s sometimes hard not to give up, change your form of employment to be able to pay back to everyone who believed in your project…
What helped you not to give up?
Support from my family, friends, and faith in the idea.
Thank you! Good luck in your future beginnings.