Sarah Garner of Retykle
‘A Date With Ains’
This week’s ‘A Date With Ains’ guest is the lovely Sarah Garner of the luxury retail platform (with a twist), Retykle.
After spending over a decade working with luxury fashion companies and her first hand experience as a mother, Sarah had the brilliant idea to create Asia’s first buy and sell platform for high-end baby and kids clothes.
I was lucky enough to spend the morning with Sarah talking about all things ‘Babies and Business’ including how she deals with overwhelm, why she doesn’t subscribe to ‘mum martyrdom’ and her practical tips for juggling motherhood and running a successful business.
Sarah was cool, calm and collected and full of awesome wisdom!
Let’s get into it Sarah! Where are you from/where did you grow up:
How long have you been in HK:
How many kids do you have + ages:
I have 2 kids. A little boy who is 2.5 years and a baby girl who is 10 months.
How long have you been in business with Retykle:
Approximately 1 year.
Tell us about your path into entrepreneurship….
Prior to Retykle I worked in corporate luxury fashion for 10 years – Holt Renfrew (women’s buyer), Lane Crawford (women’s buyer), LVMH (DFS) (global planning manager), Richemont (Shanghai Tang) (director of merchandising, planning, visual merchandising, product development).
I left the corporate world before I had my first child and Retykle was born out of first hand experience with receiving beautiful ‘hand me downs’ from a very generous friend and watching my son race through sizes in the first six months of his life.
I was so grateful for the generosity of others, as I accumulated a fabulous ‘good as new’ wardrobe of luxury kids fashion. In fact, until today, we have hardly bought anything new. In return, I started to give gift certificates of the estimated resale value of the hand-me-downs as a thank you: that’s when the seed was planted.
I soon realised that most parents are desperate to do something about the stockpiles of outgrown kids clothing that are overflowing in their closets, but they just don’t have the time or energy to resell through existing channels that require doing all the listing and photographing and managing manually. I also realised that these same parents would happily accept something in return if there was an easy and convenient way to resell it.
How has being a mother benefited your business?
The business wouldn’t exist without my first hand experience as a mum.
I work much more efficiently having to balance both. I required a sense of purpose to go back to work after having kids and my first born inspired a change in goals.
Do you believe in balance? (The notion that we can have it all and balance business, family and our own life desires?)
Yes, but not every day or week is in balance!
Do you ever have days where you feel that it’s just all too hard? I’d love to hear how you work through them!
I have days where I feel overwhelmed but then I just tackle the one or two things which will have the greatest impact on the business and I feel a great sense of relief even if there are loads of smaller tasks outstanding.
If I’m having a down moment, I grab onto a positive wherever I can find one – whether it’s someone new in our community, positive feedback, a new customer, an offer to fund etc.
What does a typical day look like for you?
6:30 wake up, breakfast, play with kids, exercise (Wednesday/Friday) or drive my son to school for a 9am start.
I’m at the office around 9:30am and home by 5:30pm. I play with the kids, we have our bedtime routine and then they’re both in bed by 7pm.
This is followed by dinner with my hubby and then I’m working on the couch until about 11pm.
Any tips for overcoming or working with ‘mum guilt?’
Make the most of the time you do have together and have confidence that their smiles mean they’re ‘A Ok.’
I make a habit of putting away my screens and giving 100% attention when we are together.
I also don’t strive for perfection. I think doing my best is a high enough standard and I think guilt is a construct that you have control over.
I don’t subscribe to mom martyrdom. I think it’s a recipe for unhappiness. I believe that if we’re happy as parents, that’s over half the battle to happy kids.
Finish this sentence: everything changed for me when….
I had my first child.
My words of advice for women who are juggling motherhood and business would be….
Make sure your support system is strong.
Live the time you have together rather than capturing it.
Delegate where possible, simplify and prioritise. Automate, hire, keep priorities top of mind so that you have as much of your most precious resource available… time.
What’s next for you and your business? What are you working on?
We are running our first offline event at Maggie & Rose on June 9 & 10. (More details below this post!).
We are also pitching for a FedEx Grant, focusing on improving our technology, seed funding, and we’re expanding our team!
Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Sarah Garner is the founder of Retykle, Asia’s first retail platform that sells pre-loved, luxury baby and children’s clothing. Retykle’s mission is to make buying and re-selling great quality baby and kid’s clothing as convenient and as stylish as buying new.
Prior to Retykle Sarah worked for luxury fashion companies including Lane Crawford, LVMH, Richemont Group and Holt Renfrew. She knows first-hand how many high quality items often sit in closets with their tags still on or barely worn waiting to find a new home. Retykle helps meet price and eco conscious needs without sacrificing style or quality.
Sounds fabulous, right?