If you had to explain sustainability to an alien, how would you?
Aurora started on her Recreative Apparel journey with no prior background in business or in fashion. I wish I had had access to a mentor to help me with my pre-launch. Most Canadian mentorship programs are only available to entrepreneurs once they’ve made their first sale. Finding the right local manufacturer can be likened to an adventure worthy of an Indiana Jones movie. No kidding! Having a business mentor with local manufacturing experience would have saved me many headaches, wasted time and money.
Launching a brand during Covid-19 is very tough – what have you learnt?
In business like in life, even with the most careful meticulous of planning, things can go pear-shaped. It took over 2 years to launch Recreative Apparel and then COVID happened, bringing with it a lot of change and uncertainty. I am fortunate that I work full time. Recreative Apparel is my passion project. My business is online and I don’t have any employees so I have little overheads, my product is timeless, and I do small-batch production.
It’s been hard raising brand awareness and devising a marketing strategy in those uncertain times. My website is live but how do I get the world to pay attention when everyone is worried about losing their job or are risking their health to keep essential services functioning. There’s no playbook for marketing in times of COVID.
In business like in life, even with the most careful meticulous of planning, things can go pear-shaped. There’s no playbook for marketing in times of COVID.
How do you recharge?
I moved back to Vancouver in 2016 as I wanted to live near the sea and the mountains. Cycling around the seawall in Vancouver is one of my favourite ways to relax, practising yoga also helps me stay grounded. In the Spring and Summer months, I love hiking at the weekends all over beautiful B.C. I am really looking forward to getting a stand-up paddleboard next and practise social distancing on the water!
What do you think / hope post Covid business life will be like?
My hope is that COVID is making people rethink what truly matters in life such as health, family, friends, and the earth. We live in a fragile eco-system and it is up to every single one of us to keep that balance going. Our economic model – the pursuit of infinite growth at the expense of the environment -is unsustainable. We can’t go back to “normal”. The economic downturn is here to stay and the recovery will be slow. It sounds gloomy I know, but we can’t go back to business as usual. This is what led us here in the first place. We should all rethink our over-consumption habits and business owners should rethink their over-production business models. My wish is for consumers to purchase mindfully locally from brands that are putting the earth and people before profit. Only then, positive, conscious change can happen.
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