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Hidden Gems: Meet Kati Kanerva of reDress

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kati Kanerva.

Hi Kati, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I’m originally a TV Director and Writer From Finland. I moved to LA 4.5 years ago and worked in TV industry until I opened up reDress in November 2021.

I grew up with the concept and used to sell my clothes in Finland at rent-a-rack stores and also to shopped in them. When we moved to LA with my husband and dogs, I realized there aren’t many places where you can easily sell your clothes. My friend took the concept from Finland to Australia four years ago and it has been huge success in there. She also encouraged me to open one in LA. After working on TV for ten plus years, I was ready to try something new. My husband Joonas is my business partner but working on the background as he has his full-time job in real estate investment. Besides working on TV industry, I had a Scandinavian fashion and Vintage pop up little while in Downtown LA and Eagle Rock. We wanted to open up rent-a-rack store already earlier but Covid put a pause for our plans.

Global warming and the amount of waste in the world has been worrying me so I thought I’d try to do my part by offering a place where people can easily sell their preloved clothes. Renting a rack is a great way to recycle the clothes you don’t wear anymore and also great way to shop preloved. We have new racks starting every day and the inventory changes quickly. In-person shopping is better than selling or buying used clothing online as sellers and buyers are local, there is no need to ship the clothing all over the country.

We hope that renting a rack becomes a similar trend here as it is in Finland and people go through their wardrobes once or twice a year and sell the pieces they don’t wear anymore.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
We’ve been open only 1.5 months and we have had a great start. The amount of positive comments we’ve been getting has been amazing. People really seem to love the concept. Of course, every new business has some struggles like workers not showing up when there’s only few days to the opening or difficulties finding staff but fortunately nothing major. Also, Covid did not make the opening any easier.

We’ve been impressed with reDress, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Rent-a-rack is a Scandinavian concept and it means that anyone can rent a rack from the store and sell their good quality preloved clothing. People can reserve a rack, price the items and track their sales online on our web portal. We provide everything: coat hangers, hand tags, security tags, etc… The vendors can bring 50 pieces at once + 5 accessories (shoes or bags). They can track their sales real-time and the sold items can be replaced with new ones. It’s like having your own rack/own little business in the clothing store.

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
We opened up our business in the middle of the pandemic so we don’t even know how would it be without Covid. Hopefully, we’ll learn that soon. It was a really big risk we took and we were obviously worried if there’s going to be another lockdown. Even the Covid is the major crisis at the moment, we can’t ignore the environmental crisis we are in.

Pricing:

  • Rack Rent: $99 a week + 15% commission
  • Offer we have at the moment: $139, 14 days + 15 % commission

Contact Info:


Image Credits
Carlson Cheng (all images)

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