Founders of Material Wrld, Jie & Rie, are helping woman tackle their overwhelming closet and evolve their style by offering them a marketplace to sell their high-end items. This badass pair is changing everything you thought you knew about the consignment game. We chatted with them about building their brand and how empowering each other has been a major key to their success.
What is your hometown?
JIE: Wuhan, China
RIE: Kariya, Japan
What brought you two together?
JZ & RIE: Our shared desire to make the closet clean-out process a super easy one that empowers you and makes you feel your best.
How did you know the other was “the one”?
JZ & RIE: We both had non-traditional backgrounds at Harvard Business School and bonded during graduate school. We moved to NYC to work in fashion and share our love for creative businesses that do good and celebrate individuality, oh--and dancing!
What advice could you give on working closely with a friend and balancing a personal and professional relationship?
JZ & RIE: Be real and open, always share your thoughts and feelings.
What inspires you about each other?
JIE: Her positive energy which brings out the best in everyone.
RIE: Her balance of being a go-getter while also being thoughtful and caring.
What are the biggest challenges of being your own boss and how does your partner-in-crime help you?
JZ & RIE: Spending time effectively not just efficiently, prioritizing the most important tasks. We’ve defined a clear set of four core brand values--acceptance, authentic, inventive, and bold--we apply these when we assessing new team member’s cultural fit.
What is your process when approaching your creative work?
JIE: I start by defining a clear objective and then dive into full exploration.
RIE: I start with an open canvas and let no limitations or restrictions block the idea.
How do you inspire other women? How do other women inspire you?
JZ & RIE: We inspire women to self-express and evolve their style and lives with our service. We also feature inspiring reinvention stories from powerful women to share the positive energy of change.
[When approaching creative work] I start with an open canvas and let no limitations or restrictions block the idea.
How do you motivate each other?
JZ & RIE: We celebrate each other’s unique strengths and daily contributions, big or small!
What do you think is better about the female bond that doesn’t come from doing the hustle alone?
JZ & RIE: Having someone who really gets it and always has your back going through the startup rollercoaster--celebrating all the highs and climbing up from all the lows.
Where do you go in NYC to unwind?
JIE: My rooftop gym. It has the best view of downtown Manhattan.
RIE: My bed :)
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure (life’s all about balance after all!)?
JIE: Shake Shack
RIE: Sleeping for 15 hours