We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachael Kemp and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rachael, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Without risk-taking, most things in my life would not exist. In general, I am a person of curiosity & bold adventure. I’ve always sought out the individualistic & free-spirited routes life offered, instead of opting for the status quo, or what would make me most ‘comfortable.’ I’d rather get lost in a foreign city than take a cruise to the Keys, if you know what I mean. My curious nature drives a lot of my decision-making. As a teenager, that didn’t always serve me well; but I’ve learned to posture myself and build a healthy risk thermometer over time. Funny story, one time in 2006, I wore a silky royal blue, v-neck romper to school, this was when rompers weren’t really a thing yet, & a friend of mine at the time told me, “that’s so risky.” And I’ve never forgotten that moment. One of the biggest risks I’ve taken in my life was to start my business, wayre, at the age of 24. It started with a dream (as all good things do) and has grown exponentially this year in the midst of a global pandemic. Instead of taking the majority of my early twenties to build up my work experiences & resume, I created my own. I invested everything I have – vision, skills, money, time, resources, etc. into wayre & put all my cards on the table. And little by little, it has been paying off. And even if it doesn’t, it’s worth the risk. Because I believe wayre is going to systemically change the way we approach travel & sustainable fashion. The social impact that wayre is founded upon & how it will impact people is worth every ounce of risk I absorb on a daily basis. About the same time of starting wayre, I married a fellow risk-taker, so you could say together we have plenty to go around. We bought a fixer-upper, multi-residential house in Los Angeles & have been renovating it little by little together. We utilized what funds we had available to us & took a chance on an investment property, instead of buying a white picket fence. Although in LA that means a modernized spanish style home on the west side. So how do I think about risk? I turn towards it. Because without risk, life would be bland and to me, a bland life is no life at all. The least risky thing I do is drive a Prius. 

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
wayre makes apparel for the modern traveller – It’s lightweight, packable, functional and is the easy choice to throw in your bag for a trip. It’s all sustainably made from reclaimed post-consumer plastic bottles & is made in incredible ethical factory that pays living wages. We say we’re all about traveling further with less. Less waste, less stuff, less worry. What I really want people to know about wayre is our values. wayre is built upon an admiration for and deep love of travel and, of people. Our hope is when people put wayre on for the first time, they immediately imagine themselves escaping to the foreign city they’ve always dreamt of visiting. Simply put, we hope wayre inspires travel. Specifically, conscious travel. Travel (and fashion) is hard on our planet, but with intentional effort, we can create untraceable footprints all over the world. And we’re here to learn how to travel consciously together. Additionally, wayre is for every body. Yes everybody. But more specifically – every.body. because every body type, every ethnicity, every age, etc. everyone can travel. We make an intentional effort to ensure every women can identify with one of the models you’ll see on our site. There are no two body types the same. Inclusivity is a core value of ours that will only be expanding from where we started, which was with inclusive sizing. Lastly – building wayre hasn’t been a walk in the park. But my co-founder, Chris, (who is also my brother-in-law) and I are serious about building trust with our customers & building an authentic community around wayre. There is an incredible amount of intentionality that goes into every decision we make in our company. Everything we do is funneled through our brand values, instead of making decision that will only bring us profit. Chris & I are intentional about making every piece of this journey excellent, including a quality & uncompromising product for every body, true transparency & building a lifestyle of travel.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ll make this a post-quarantine itinerary since the majority of my recs would be illegal at the moment. I’m an east-sider so majority of my LA loves slanted towards the east side. Must eats: Pine & Crane in Silverlake (Joy in Highland Park is similar, but the menu at P&C is a bit better) – Dan dan noodles, spicy shrimp wontons, & the beef roll. Din Tai Fung for dumplings – there are a few locations. The most authentic one is in Rosemead. Otium for a fancy dinner one night – the octopus is heavenly. Schedule a visit at the Board beforehand. Tacos at Angels Tijuanna – they have a bunch of pop up locations throughout LA, but I go to the Glassell Park one. It’s a street food experience to remember. Cocktails at: The Raymond in Pasadena, Goodhouse Keeping in Highland Park. People watch at venice beach is always a fun, one time must see. My personal favorite beach is El Matador in Malibu. It’s very California (I’m from NY, so I’m allowed to say that). The bike trial from Venice to Santa Monica is also super fun & gives you a classic taste of the west side. Hiking in Elysian park for some stunning city views, or the classic Griffith trial. Rock climb at Stronghold, Yoga at Kinship in HP. We’d also have to go to a korean day spa & sit in the clay ball room for a few hours.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate this Shoutout to my incredibly supportive and biggest fan, Brian Kemp. Brian has cheered me on since the day we met. He’s encourages me to pursue and fulfill my passions with resilience, to approach life with wild adventure and to never forget the importance of people. Brian isn’t just my husband, he’s my best friend and my backbone.

Website: shopwayre.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shopwayre/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachael-kemp-4b750168/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shopwayre

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