Kinda’s career path has taken her from banks and telecommunications to becoming an M&A Operations Manager here at Vinted. She shares her thoughts on sustainably-minded businesses, and maintaining an open and curious mind.
What’s your name and job at Vinted?
I’m Kinda Dalla, and I work as an M&A Operations Manager.
When and how did you join? Why? (Be honest!)
I joined Vinted in January 2021. As a sustainability and circular economy enthusiast, I had been following Vinted for a few years, and I grew more interested in joining the team as the company continued to steadily grow and expand.
I first heard about Vinted when I came to Lithuania as a student back in 2013, when it was still called Mano Drabužiai. I found it truly impressive how the team created and grew such an awesome product and scaled it globally – I thought that it must be a smart and cool team, and that it would be great to join it!
Why is Vinted’s mission important to you?
Throughout my years studying and working in the entertainment industry, I got to learn more about sustainability in design fields. It struck me how the design of everyday objects – including fashion items – can lack thought and consideration for the environment. Things don’t last, and a lot of waste is generated in the process.
For example, I got to see the environmental footprint of the children’s toys industry. But I also heard about the new, interesting sustainable approaches that are used for smarter designs, and to improve awareness around consumption. Take-back systems, exchange and sharing platforms, for example.
How I think about what I need in everyday life, be it fashion items or other objects, has changed and evolved to a much more mindful level. I’m happy to be at a company which encourages people to rethink their consumption habits.
Tell us about your typical workday. Do you have a morning ritual?
I don’t have a typical daily ritual. But I like to plan my next week on Fridays, so I can block hours for focused work, which I prefer doing before lunchtime. My mornings often start with some jazz, a quiet cup of coffee, then I get on to my work. Sometimes I start my morning with a short meditation as well, but not every day.
What makes you excited to wake up and go to work each morning?
Work is an important part of my life. I always feel energised and motivated by the dynamic, complex and interesting challenges that I get to work on all the time. Besides, I enjoy cross-functional work with Vinted’s teams. I’m naturally interested in many things in life and business, and I enjoy seeing things from different perspectives.
What do you find meaningful about your job?
I’ve always believed that the most amazing ability humans have is our ability to think and create. My job offers a space for both structure and creativity to find the best solutions and ways to go about things, along with many opportunities for collaboration and relationship-building, which, being a people person, I greatly value. It keeps me going, it’s never dull and it’s very rewarding to be a part of the M&A team that’s helping Vinted grow and scale further.
How is Vinted different from the last places you’ve worked at?
It’s different in a refreshing way. I started my career in banks and telco – they were innovative and highly structured companies, but they lacked agility and felt too formal for me. When I moved to Lithuania, I worked in small and mid-sized companies that had a friendly vibe but were challenging. There, everyone would be doing everything, and you couldn’t always focus on doing what you’re best at.
What I love about working at Vinted is that our culture allows for freedom and autonomy, but at the same time, we have clarity and structure about how the business is run. The teams are collaborative and supportive, and I appreciate that a lot.
What are the key things you’ve learned so far during your time at Vinted?
I've learned the importance of always having a concrete rationale for any decision. Also the power of maintaining your focus, and not spreading yourself too thin.
What was the biggest challenge you overcame during this time? Was it a tough lesson to learn?
I'm a newcomer to tech, and I've had to learn a lot about platform business models, our industry and competition. Naturally, it was challenging to be onboarded remotely in January and not have an opportunity to meet my colleagues at the start. But at the same time, I learned to manage my time and energy under tough conditions, and to find ways to create and develop a connection with my team.
How do you seek improvement for yourself?
I think the key things are self-reflection, asking for feedback, and simply admitting to myself that there is something that I don’t know. This helps me maintain a humble attitude to learning, and a curious mindset that accepts change. I find it very important just to take time to be honest with yourself about what can be improved in your approach to work, communication, project results or skill set, instead of constantly running off to do the next thing.
By the way, do you use the Vinted app? If so, how do you use it?
Yes, I do, mainly as a buyer. I love buying vintage bags and accessories, but I try to be mindful around not buying things I don’t need, and selling or giving away what no longer brings me joy. I’ve moved between so many flats and traveled a lot, and I’ve learned that the amount of clothes and fashion items you actually need is so small – and it’s a principle I continue to live by.
Aiming high daily is not easy – how do you relax?
I love long walks and hikes in nature. Like many people, I got to spend much more time in nature because of lockdowns. I also like running and reading – mainly poetry, philosophy and classic literature. It takes my mind off the business topics of the day, and brings me into a beautiful world of thought and emotion.
Pick a piece of media to recommend. Why do you think it deserves someone’s attention?
Two truly influential books that everyone should read: Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, and Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations.
The Hunt is an extremely powerful movie, reminding us of the paradoxes and complexities of the human condition. Also, Mads Mikkelsen is a brilliant actor.
"The Audio Long Read" podcast from The Guardian touches on many global and interesting topics, from fair trade to social mobility, culture, politics and business.