Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Rachel Avery, whose lingerie and swimwear company, Kalloné Intimi, offers an alternative to mass-market options when it comes to properly fitting pieces for younger demographics…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I own Kalloné Intimi, a lingerie and swimwear company. We currently have two storefront locations and an e-commerce site. I get to do everything from accounting to assisting customers in the store.
Why did you start your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so starting my own business was always something I had wanted to do. I started Kalloné because I have always found it difficult to find bras and swimwear that fit me properly. Being 28 inches around for a long time (I have finally grown to a 30!), I couldn’t shop at the mass-market lingerie stores where my friends shopped because they didn’t have my size. Instead I would have to go to stores that targeted a much older demographic to find proper fitting garments. I realized that I was not the only one with these issues and that there was a lack of quality stores that focused on fitting a younger demographic.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of what I do on a day-to-day basis is getting to learn about the product and the trends in the industry. The most challenging part would have to be keeping up with all of the emails and phone calls – I sometimes wake up at a ridiculous hour so that I can respond to all of the emails in my inbox before the rest of the world is up.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
If my kitchen table is covered in paperwork, it’s a sign that I need to take a step back and reorganize my life.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I plan to have grown the company to have multiple locations across North America.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge that I’ve had to overcome is my age – I have had to prove myself to several people including customers who think I’m too young to know what I’m talking about. I‘ve also had to manage employees who were older than me. In order to overcome it, I had to grow up very quickly and work that much harder to gain people’s respect.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Success to me is doing what you love; waking up each day excited because you get to go to work. I think that having financial security decreases stress and in turn results in happiness, but I do not think that happiness is something that you can buy.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
The most memorable milestone for me would be our very first sale.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Everything happens for a reason. If you didn’t get a job/promotion that you really wanted that is because an even better job is on its way. I have had to remind myself of this a lot over the years when things didn’t go as I had planned them to. I love the cookie metaphor – if you eat an ingredient such as baking soda on its own, it may not taste very good, but the cookies will not turn out without putting baking soda in the mix.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
I absolutely love the food at Grazie in Vaughan. Growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, a very Italian community, I have always loved Italian food, so Grazie makes me feel like I right at home.
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
I love to read a good book or watch one of my shows on Netflix.
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
I love the Caribbean. I am a huge fan of cruise ships because you get to stop at so many different places. I also love the Mayan Riviera (mainly for the guacamole).
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
Anything by Miranda Lambert (I’m a country girl at heart).
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
I would probably be working for a Fortune 500 company or a consulting firm (which is what majority of my classmates are currently doing). But I know that I wouldn’t be truly happy doing anything other than what I’m doing now.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I support various charities, but mental health awareness is very important to me. I know that many people suffer from mental health issues and a lot of them do not get the help they need.
What to you is notable?
To me it is notable when someone does something for someone else that most people are not willing to do. I think that there are many random acts of kindness that go unnoticed and that it is important to recognize these things.
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Photos by Tara Noelle Photography