[RECESS] is when we get to hear the stories of the good people behind the pop-up. It's our favourite time and we're happy to share the conversations with you.
With #HARTrepublic set to open their one-week pop-up on October 21, we caught up with founder Kaylyn Monk to learn more about the East-Coast based online fashion retailer. Kaylyn's been travelling across the country from Halifax and arrived in Vancouver earlier this week.
@thisopenspace: Hey Kaylyn, what's in a name? How did you come up with #HARTrepublic for the brand?
Kaylyn Monk: Hart Republic is not-so-sneaky play on words that represents what we stand for - living life with booming heart and passion day-to-day.
You left a career as an engineer to start this. Tell us about the day you decided to take the leap.
KM: I started building Hart Republic alongside my career and lived a double life of engineer by day and fashion obsessed entrepreneur by night for six months before taking the leap. After 4 years as an engineer it was finally the right time to make the move I was craving. Famed by some as a quarter life crisis (thanks, Mom), I decided to take a leap of faith and follow this insanely raging passion. I've always had the desire to work for myself with my wildly independent personality. It took a little guts, but I'm doing it.
What brings HART republic out West?
KM: We have a big vision to be a strong online retailer for lady bosses all over Canada. Making the trek across the country to the west coast was the next step to expand from our east coast roots.
Where can we find the #HARTrepublic girl on Monday morning? On Friday night?
KM: The #HARTrepublic girl is bold, confident, and a little badass. On Monday morning, she's hustling. Making magic happen & embodying the lady boss lifestyle with a contagious smile on her face. Friday night she's off duty, time best spent surrounded by the fabulous people in her life.
What brands can we look forward to seeing and who are your top 3?
KM: I found all of the brands that I carry through Instagram. I'm always on the hunt for unique brands that have a strong story behind them. Transitional pieces are a must when catering to the working ladies who need styles to get them from office to play, all day every day.
Greylin has the "you're not going to find that anywhere else" effect, for those who crave to be one-of-a-kind. Harlyn has a classic style with an edge, for those who adore being covered in buttery soft silks (who doesn't, really?). Velvet is all about the fabric. If you're first reaction when shopping is to do the "feel test", then this brand is for you. Irresistible soft fabrics with simple care - the feel of silk without dry cleaning, it's a Velvet heaven.