A Personal Interview With Our Owner
Posted on 05 April 2018
Sarah reflects on two years in business, how it all started and what's next!
Do you have any daily rituals?
Coffee first thing is a must! Just the one lasts me all day. Once my family is out the door (In a perfect world) I squeeze in a short yoga practice then get myself ready for the day. In the evening before Lochlan’s bedtime, we always read 2 books as a family in our bed. Also, I have to admit, I do check instagram every night before I go to sleep.
What food can’t you live without?
Asian food of all kinds. Sushi, Ramen, Dim Sum, Korean, Thai. Yum!
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be patient, do more yoga, try not to sweat the small stuff, life just gets better!
Where did you grow up?
If you could travel to a different country tomorrow, where would you go?
What is your favourite city?
What is your favourite piece of clothing and why?
Jeans, I live in them. Dress ‘em up, dress ‘em down. One perfect pair can do so much. That’s my style.
What is your favourite colour?
Of all time? Grey or maybe white. I do go through phases of pop colours, I think I am finally transitioning from a long run with blush pink to bright RED!
How would your best friend describe you?
Crazy! Thoughtful, hyper aware, driven, happy.
How do you spend your Friday night?
Family Pizza night! We let our 3.5 year old eat pizza on the couch while we all watch a family movie. It’s a treat for everyone!
How did the idea of Sattva begin?
I love things! I love clothes, jewelry, spaces, dishes and good thoughtful design in general! I truly believe that good design can bring another level of joy to people’s lives. Whether it be a dress, a house or something as simple as a dish.
Getting dressed in the morning should be a positive experience, you do it every day! Why not make it pleasant? We all know the saying ”happy wife, happy life”. Is it true? Dare I suggest “happy woman, happy world”. When a woman uses fashion as a means of matching her outside to her inside she is comfortable, confidant and at ease. She feels at home in her own skin and she glows, putting forth the best version of herself. Of course, this can’t all be accomplished by one dress but if the other work has been done, this is the part that completes who she are! Every woman deserves to have a few well-designed things that make HER feel her best! Her unique version of beautiful!
Is that why you decided to start a business?
As for the business, I never actually planned to open a retail shop, although It had crossed my mind a number of times as something I would enjoy doing. It was really a matter of circumstance, and events, life lead me in that direction and I followed!
Why did you choose to focus on fashion and design?
Did you know that the garment industry is the second biggest polluter in the world, next only to the oil industry? No? … I didn’t either. Being a fairly decent consumer myself, that information didn’t sit very well with me. Not all production is bad but “Fast Fashion” is a major issue, for so many reasons. This type of mass-production is filling landfills, causing labor exploitation issues and, in my personal opinion, teaching the younger generations not to value anything and that everything (including clothing) is disposable. This is not the way I want my children to grow up. I want them to care for their belongings, work hard to get things they really want and choose wisely.
What motivates you?
Many things! And many people! But the motivator to keep moving forward with Sattva is the power of conscious consumerism and human connection! It’s not just about looking good but also feeling good about your decisions and your power as a consumer. At Sattva every garment has a story to tell. Whether it was made by hand, ethically traded, environmentally manufactured or made right here in Canada, it will be a product of love. With each purchase you are connected to someone or some bigger cause, an element I found was missing form my experience as a garment consumer.
It’s this type of connection that raises our collective energy, as women, as a community, as a city, a country and as citizens of the world.
Our mission statement for Sattva is “choose beauty, give back, live with awareness” There is a secret sentence before that phrase which I have never shared .. It’s “Sattva will increase the vibration of consciousness by” ……
For me it’s the part that gives me that tingly feeling, that keeps me aligned and makes me certain that at this moment in time, I am doing exactly what I am supposed to. With one small change every day, we can make a big shift together.
What were the most exciting parts of the last two years?
Oh my! It’s all exciting, never a dull moment!
The chamber of commerce “new business of the year” nomination was pretty cool, we didn’t win but we were a finalist!
Anniversaries are fun! They are a time of reflection, the only time I stop to consider how far we have come and even give myself a pat on the back.
Hiring my first “boutique coordinator” aka manger was a real milestone, I felt like I had made it! I get very excited working with my staff in general, more so than I expected.
I’m about to have my second baby about 4 weeks from now, that’s what’s next! As a small business owner, it has taken an incredible amount of time and resources to prepare to take 3 months “off”. I’ll try to phase myself back in to the daily routine of the shop slowly, while retaining the staffing level we have developed for my time off as a platform for exploring the next stages of growth. We are pretty tight for space here; a small extension to the physical space at the boutique is first on the list!
Who has been the most influential to help you establish your business?
Ceed, and their SEB program got me started! They gave me access to startup funding and, based on my acceptance into the program, the guts to move forward. My advisor Elizabeth Collis at CEED really helped push the boundaries of the program with me and slow me down enough to consider things I may have otherwise overlooked.
My mentors, of which there are many, but in particularly Donna Alteen, Lisa Drader and Margaret Armour. Their support has been so valuable.
My whole staff, past and present, each one of them has taught me so much and contributed to the development of our brand.
Who couldn’t you live without?
My team right now (Madison Page my manager, and Natalie Ryan my product specialist) is stronger than ever, I am SO grateful to have them and super excited for the year to come.
And to our customers! Without them we wouldn’t exist. They are the best and are truly an amazing group of women. We are so lucky to have so many wonderful, interesting, caring women walking through our front door every day. Please keep coming!
Who would you like to thank?
My whole family near and far, for their years and years of support. Recently, in particular I have to thank my mother in law Trish Mosher, not only for being one of my best customers, but for supporting me with the ongoing struggles of being an entrepreneur and young mother.
My son Lochlan for showing up in the world and giving me reason to re-design my life this way.
Most of all to my husband Shane for the time he had dedicated to this project as my architect and handy man, for his patience with me in these early days of entrepreneurship as a mother and a wife, for his unconditional love and support but most of all for his infinite belief in my ability to succeed. He believes in me so deeply, him believing makes me believe and onward we go ...