Women Who Lead

Women of the Year 2021: Rebelstork CEO Emily Hosie is Revolutionizing the Baby Gear Resale Market

Pregnant woman wearing stripped jumpsuit holding stomach

From Olympic athletes and tech startup founders to social impact champions and business changemakers, our inaugural 2021 Women of the Year guide features 37 impressive leaders who are making a difference, both individually and as a collective. They’ve all navigated incredible obstacles to get to where they are (often on an uneven playing field) and yet, despite this, have still managed to summit their industries and change Canada—and the world around them—for the better. In our series of one-on-one interviews, get to know each honouree a little better: their values, mission, lessons learned, and the other women that inspire them in their own lives.

Q&A

Emily Hosie

CEO, Rebelstork

 

What is your elevator pitch to the world?

Emily Hosie: We empower parents to become informed shoppers by creating a transparent purchasing experience for baby gear, and extend the life cycle of their gear through a hassle-free resale experience.

What excites you most about the work that you are doing?

Emily Hosie: We are building an ecosystem for baby gear consumers that starts at the time of purchase with the first-ever instant resale value calculator, which estimates the resale value of an item at the time of purchase, giving parents insight into the true value of what they buy. 

Since baby gear has such a short window of use, this insight can help parents with financial planning when they’re preparing for their baby. Ultimately, the parents can resell their gear in a safe, hassle-free way on the Rebelstork platform and know the gear will help another family that needs it.  

Where do you think you have made the most impact in your company and community? 

Emily Hosie: If the gear is returned at a retail store, they are often destroyed or sent back to the manufacturer. We’re building relationships to ensure gear does not end up destroyed or in a landfill by allowing them to resell on the Rebelstork platform after quality and condition checks by the Rebelstork team. 

Pregnant woman climbing ladder
Photo courtesy of Rebelstork

What kind of problems are you trying to solve?

Emily Hosie: We’re helping consumers make conscious choices about their purchases and the lifecycle of their purchases after they have finished with them. Ultimately, we’re helping parents declutter, as Millenials and Gen Z parents are living in smaller spaces, and many are adopting more sustainable lifestyles where minimalism and “less stuff” are a priority.

What does progress look like to you?

Emily Hosie: To me, progress is moving forward no matter what. Whether that movement is small or large, that movement equals another step in the right direction, another successful consumer experience, another parent inspired to use our resale calculator, or another item sold on our platform. 

What are you doing that no one else is doing?

Emily Hosie: We’re very excited about having built the first instant resale value estimator, a pricing technology that uses artificial intelligence to determine the potential market value of what the consumer wants to purchase, and before they want to sell it.

Why is your work important?

Emily Hosie: While collectively we are all pursuing ways to tackle climate change and other important environmental initiatives, we believe that Rebelstork presents a solution for retailers, condo developers, and baby gear manufacturers in helping keep baby gear out of landfills while giving companies and parents a safe and hassle-free space to resell baby gear. We are on our way to becoming B Corp certified, ultimately being a force for good in this country.

Was there ever a turning point in your career that fundamentally changed your business for the better? 

Emily Hosie: My father would always tell me to go and work for the best of the best companies and fill your toolbox with knowledge and information you otherwise wouldn’t have access to. 

I worked in high-demand jobs at some of the largest retailers in the country, and I worked so hard for them. I would also step up and join committees so I could learn from those around me and those more experienced than me. These were all points in my career that continued to teach me over time.  

What have you learned about yourself as you’ve built your company?

Emily Hosie: Being an entrepreneur can be overwhelming, from sourcing inventory and finding customers, to keeping up with trends in retail and marketing. It can be a scary journey but I have learned that I would not have it any other way. I have learned about resilience and how to be resourceful, no matter how discouraging things might get. Problems are meant to be solved, and I am meant to move forward. I’ve learned how to harness these strengths. This is how Rebelstork has grown over the past two years, and how we’ll continue to grow as we expand into new markets. 

What has been the most challenging part of building the business?

Emily Hosie: Like any business, uncertainty is a challenge, whether it’s uncertainty with investors or partners, to the baby gear industry overall. While every win feels momentous and losses can hurt, maintaining neutrality so your employees or community don’t feel that uncertainty is difficult! Learning to compartmentalize those uncertainties is a major challenge in building a business.

Woman in striped jumper holding pregnant belly
Photo courtesy of Rebelstork

What has been the most rewarding part of building the business?

Emily Hosie: The Rebelstork team is the most rewarding part of building this business. I am honoured to have some of the most talented people in the retail industry leave their jobs and join me in building Rebelstork from the ground up. I truly value their insight and expertise.

What questions do you think all leaders should ask themselves before building a company?
Emily Hosie: Are you ready to pour your blood, sweat, and tears into a company? Can you move through failures? If you can’t, you’re not ready. 

In your experience, what do you think is the quickest way to get people on board with your mission?

Emily Hosie: Passion and a clear vision. Passion about an idea and a mission can be shared and once there is a clear vision on how to get there, the opportunities for others to get involved present themselves naturally.

What is your mission? The bigger picture? 

Emily Hosie: Our mission is to help families declutter, save and make money, and ultimately contribute to the circular economy, and use our technology and resale platform to get there.

How do you define success? What does it mean to you?

Emily Hosie: Success means feeling like you [and your team] have given it your all at the end of the day. Have we met our goals or done everything in our power to get there? If not, have we established a new plan to get there and used whatever resources are available to us? That level of drive and constant move to achieve our goals is success to me.

What is one lesson that you hope people will learn or walk away with from your work? 

Emily Hosie: We all have the ability to create something that hasn’t been done before.

If you could go back and give yourself advice, what would it be?

Emily Hosie: Don’t be so hard on yourself.

Who is a woman in the community that you admire? 

Emily Hosie: I’ve been fortunate to build a toolbox full of mentors and advice from other founders. If anyone has taken a risk in starting their own business, I admire them. Some, I know, and others I aspire to meet. Honestly, there are so many wonderful women succeeding in and leading businesses today.

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Feeling inspired? Meet the rest of the 2021 Women of the Year