Sarah Garner

Where were you born? I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada.

Where else have you lived? I’ve lived in New York (summer internship at Bloomingdale’s buying office), Switzerland (finished high school in Neuchatel), Montreal (for University), and Hong Kong.

How long have you been in Hong Kong? It’s sometimes hard to believe but I’ve been in Hong Kong for 10 fast years.

Which part of Hong Kong do you live in? I’ve moved 5 times in 10 years but I’m currently living on the Peak.

Children and ages? My son is almost 3 and my daughter is 1.

Are you working in Hong Kong and what do you do? I founded the company Retykle  which is an online marketplace for buying and selling high end children’s fashion.

What work did you do in your past lives? I worked in luxury fashion for over a decade. I was a women’s buyer for Holt Renfrew (in Canada) and Lane Crawford so I spent the better part of my twenties in New York, Milan, Paris and London in showrooms and at runway shows. I moved on to crunching numbers at DFS for a couple of years and then to Shanghai Tang where I was managing merchandising, planning, visual merchandising and product development. I took a break while pregnant with my first child and started incubating Retykle shortly after he was born.

Photo Credit: Michelle Proctor

What brought you to Hong Kong and why have you stayed? I came to Hong Kong on a bit of a whim. I was restless in Toronto and at my job at Holt Renfrew because it felt like I was looking at the rest of my life in tunnel vision. I felt there was so much more life to live and adventures to be had before settling into the rest of time. Canada is a very conservative market for fashion and China was booming. The appetite for luxury fashion was unparalleled. I wanted to be in the heart of the action and to be somewhere unfamiliar where I would be challenged personally and professionally. That’s what attracted me to come here. I arrived with three suitcases and landed a position at Lane Crawford within my first two weeks off the plane. Not long after arriving, I met my husband, then along came two kids and I’ve continued to grow roots in this great city with my new business.

What time of day do you check Hong Kong Moms? Usually first thing in the morning before getting out of bed.

What posts do you comment on and why? I would classify myself as an observer on Hong Kong Moms rather than an active contributor.

What is the best thing you have learned from Hong Kong Moms? There are endless tips and I use the search function regularly if I have a question because someone has surely asked in the past. I particularly enjoy reading posts about food safety.

What is your favorite Hong Kong Moms post? I like to see the community rally around a good cause and make an impact. I loved the post about unnecessary food packaging at super markets which resulted in awareness, action and real change.

Photo Credit: Michelle Proctor

What do you ask Hong Kong Moms? I ask questions on Hong Kong moms when I haven’t been able to come up with the answer through independent research or the search function within the group. Without fail, Hong Kong Moms know the answer. I’ve asked about where to buy things for my kids, where to find things for my business and travel related questions. The generosity and engagement of the community is incredible.

What is your biggest Hong Kong fave? There are many faves. That’s why the years keep rolling by and I haven’t left. Hiking and beaches are a novelty coming from Canada and they never get old.

And frustration? The pollution ticks the biggest dislike. Hence my impulse to get involved in a better side of fashion which redistributes what we already have and keep it out of landfills as well as encouraging parents to shop well-made, well-priced, secondhand clothing rather than disposable fast fashion.

What is your craziest Hong Kong experience? It might not be the craziest but I think meeting my husband here was serendipitous and it will always be my favorite part of moving here.

Photo Credit: Michelle Proctor

What kind of friendships have you made through Hong Kong Moms? I have made new connections with moms who have posted about Retykle. I have been fortunate enough to have several moms (unknown to me) post about their great experiences with Retykle. In each case, I’ve made a special effort to send them a PM of gratitude because as a new business owner, having someone recommend your business on Hong Kong Moms is a very generous and impactful act.

Which Hong Kong Mom would you like you to see featured next? I would like to see more mothers who have started businesses featured as there is so much to learn from one another, a large community to support their endeavors and hopefully an opportunity to inspire others to do the same.

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