In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Jennifer DiPasquale interviews Francis Sango and Catherine Liss, co-founders of Rezort Collection, a new women’s clothing brand that focuses on women feeling and looking their best by creating comfortable yet elegant and stylish clothes. Listen in as Sango and Liss discuss their career backgrounds in the fashion industry and how they met (0:53), how the pandemic inspired them to launch Rezort Collection (6:28), and how the apparel brand is bridging the gap between comfort and fashion (10:41). They share what was it like starting a business as female entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic (13:05), including the challenges as well as silver linings in this experience.
Rezort is launching a “COVID Essentials” bundle to lend a helping hand to struggling restaurants (15:50), and Sango and Liss discusses the products in the bundle and why giving back to other small businesses is important to them (17:04). Sango and Liss explain the meaning behind the Rezort Collection name and peacock in the brand’s logo (18:43), how they each recharge and their favorite self-care rituals (21:23). Lastly, they share what they’re most looking forward to this year, personally and professionally (24:16).
Francis Sango draws inspiration from the attitude women embody when we feel good in what we wear. Her extensive knowledge, experience and admiration for luxury fashion has made her an industry leader, however, after more than 20 years of experience working for other luxury fashion houses, she’s now moving to make her own mark as we enter this new paradigm of endless possibilities. Part of feeling good about what you wear is knowing your purchase will help contribute to a cause much bigger than our desired wardrobe. Sango wants her clothes to help you take on the world and leave it a little bit better than it was.
Since she was a teenager, Catherine Liss has always wanted to start a business. She’s just been waiting for what she thought was the perfect time. But one thing she’s learned is there’s never going to be a perfect time, but you can have a perfect idea. After years of fashion design school, graduating from LIM College in Fashion Management, getting her MBA while focusing on organizational behavior, and four years working as a buyer in the fashion industry, Liss has sharpened skills, gathered resources, and created connections. She lives by the professional mantra “love what you do,” and Rezort Collection is the result of lots of love and lots of hard work. A business in the fashion industry that can offer more than just clothes and accessories, but the feeling of being part of a community that’s giving back and growing together isn’t just a perfect idea, it’s a necessary next step.
Date: March 23, 2021
Credits: Francis Sango, Catherine Liss
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Director Kristina Stidham interviews Michelle Wenke, co-founder of Monrow, a loungewear brand known for its timeless design and comfortable fabrics. Wenke discusses her and her co-founder's career history in fashion design, the white space they saw when launching Monrow, and how they came together to create the brand.23:15
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Genevieve Rosen-Biller, founder and CEO of Bed Threads, a leader in carbon-neutral, high-quality linen bedding, is interviewed. Rosen-Biller discusses her career shift from journalism to founding Bed Threads, the inspiration behind the brand, and why the company was founded on a direct-to-consumer model. She shares how the COVID-19 pandemic uplifted the business as consumers invested in home goods, why Bed Threads expanded into bath, tableware, sleepwear and homeware as the brand grew, and the advantages of being a digital-native business.21:18
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Zoia Ali, Abby Warner and Taimi Kennerley, co-founders of The Girls Company, a company revolutionizing the way people address women's health, discuss how the business was created from an assignment during a college entrepreneurship class, how The Girls Company's cramp-alleviating band product works, and why the digital-native brand partnered with Target to launch into physical retail.14:19
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Director Kristina Stidham interviews Vanessa Quigley, co-founder and chatbooker-in-chief of Chatbooks, the photo book subscription company for busy moms. Quigley discusses the inspiration behind the business, how her struggle with mom guilt combined with her Instagram account helped create Chatbooks, and how she learned how to to lead a retail company with no prior business experience.27:18
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Melissa Campanelli interviews Nina Barjesteh, senior vice president of product development and design at DICK’S Sporting Goods. Barjesteh discusses her career background in retail merchandising, what drew her to join DICK'S, and how the sporting goods brand forecasts new product demand based on consumer habits.21:24
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Content Strategist Ashley Chiaradio interviews Stephanie Summerson Hall, founder of Estelle Colored Glass, a luxury brand of hand-blown colored glass cake stands and stemware. Listen in as Hall discusses how her grandmother inspired her to start the brand, Estelle's vintage-inspired yet refined and modern colored glass collection, and the research behind deciding to manufacture the glass in Poland.14:04
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Melissa Campanelli interviews Julie Pike, chief merchant officer at Bonobos, a clothing brand focused on delivering great fit, excellent customer experience, and a fun approach to menswear. Pike discusses her professional background in retail, what drew her to join Bonobos, and the brand's foundation in a strength-based leadership model.19:37
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Content Strategist Ashley Chiaradio interviews DeeDee Shaw, founder of Monkee's, a high-end luxury lifestyle boutique that offers the ultimate selection of quality shoes, clothing and accessory products. Shaw discusses the genesis of the brand, how her partnership and friendship with Monkee's co-owner came to be, and why she believes the business experienced growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.15:08
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Content Strategist Ashley Chiaradio interviews Salena Knight, retail strategist and founder of consulting and training business The Retail Academy. Knight discusses her indirect career journey to retail consultant, how retailers can figure out what's holding them back, and why businesses will experience exponential growth if leaders focus on fixing the biggest challenges that are often pushed to the sidelines.24:52
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Melissa Campanelli interviews Angie Tebbe, co-founder and CEO of Rae Wellness, a women's wellness company supporting calm, sleep, energy and more through pure and powerful supplements. Tebbe discusses her professional background, how she overcame the many challenges she faced while launching Rae Wellness, and why entrepreneurs need to be anchored in the "why" of their business to succeed.