Why A Beloved Ethical Fashion Startup Closed Up Shop To Embrace An Entirely Different Future in FEST with Helpsy’s Rachel Kibbe

When this week’s guest started building her ethical fashion startup, she had high hopes for its future. But after years of hustle to grow her store, a well-known favorite among many stylish urbanites seeking cool clothes with a conscience, she started feeling uneasy about the future. She knew continued growth meant pushing for ever-bigger sales numbers or seeking out investors, who would no doubt want to see huge returns. But beating the drum of buy more, buy now, buy, buy, buy didn’t feel right at all. In fact, there was a lot about continuing the business that was starting to feel off and out of alignment with her core values. But what to do? And where to go next? In a conversation that will inspire any entrepreneur who’s reached an inflection point in her business and wondered the same, this week’s episode lets you in on the story of a female founder who turned a dark era in her business into a new future that’s more FEST-ive than anything she’s done before.

Meet this week’s guest, Rachel Kibbe, Co-founder of Helpsy.

This episode brought to you with the generous support of badass FEST biz Lyst, where you can search from over 12,000 brands and stores to find what’s perfectly right for you.


What you’ll learn

We first met Rachel Kibbe in Episode 35 of the Spirit of 608. (Man, how time flies!) Back then, Helpsy was an online ethical fashion shop. Today, they don’t sell clothes. Instead, they recycle them. Say what? Yup, Helpsy is now the largest textile collection company in the northeastern US. How exactly did this switch happen? Find out how Rachel changed directions in her business, why it made perfect sense to completely redirect a business she’d spent years building, and the pros and cons of turning an existing business into an entirely new brand in this week’s episode.

How you’ll be inspired

Sometimes a business starts with passion, enthusiasm and love starts to sour. You know you need to do something different. But what? When Rachel started to rethink the future of the ecommerce startup she’d built through years of hard work, she moved back to her hometown to do some real soul-searching. Like it often does, fate intervened. Soon, a team of people she hadn’t known before appeared in her life with a proposition – and with it, a whole new future for the Helpsy brand. Hear why Rachel couldn’t continue the store so many people loved, and how it’s turned into a new venture that she’s proud to stand behind on the episode. 

What you’ll tell your friends

Oh my god, have you ever felt guilty AF dropping your holey socks, old underwear and worn out clothes that should never see the light of day again into a clothing donation bin? Stop the self-loathing! I heard on the Spirit of 608 podcast that it’s actually way, way better to put all of that stuff in a bin or give it away to an organization that accepts cast-off clothing vs. throwing it in the trash. Yeah, really. Companies like Helpsy and others around the country are actually set up to recycle old clothes in a variety of ways, including distributing them to thrift stores or businesses that turn unwearable clothing into industrial rags, carpet padding, insulation and other materials for commercial use. 

Resource of the week

G Suite: This week, our guest recs a good, old-fashioned favorite. For a remote team like hers, this Google business solution is a perfect and easy-to-use fit.

Connect with Rachel Kibbe

Website: www.helpsy.co

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helpsyco/

Instagram: @helpsy

Twitter: @HELPSY_

Mentioned in this episode:




G Suite

Google Docs

Google Spreadsheet


T-shirt motto: Clothes aren’t trash.


This episode brought to you with the generous support of badass FEST biz Lyst, where you can search from over 12,000 brands and stores to find what’s perfectly right for you.


Find more episodes featuring women at the forefront of FEST online at www.Spiritof608.com.



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