Michael stumbled across thrift as a young fella when he began buying and selling clothes through online marketplaces. Since then Retro Roots has grown into the brand it is today. Recently we had a chat with Michael and would love to share what he had to say.
Tell us a bit about yourself
G'day, my name is Michael and I am currently studying at the University of Otago, doing a double major in marketing and management. I was raised in Auckland for all my life and was lucky enough to attend King's College and Saint Kentigern College. The backstory of Retro Roots is when I was a growing boy in year 10, (15 years old) I had some clothes that didn't fit me anymore. I listed them online and sold them for more than I bought them for and found out that there was money to be made. From then Retro Roots has evolved and grown to what it is today.
What's been the highlight of Retro Roots' journey so far?
A highlight for me would be in the Summer of 2020 I sold Retro Roots products at the New Zealand vintage market and sales went through the roof! It was so cool seeing the customers in person for the first time, especially after the rough year 2020 was with Covid 19. Another highlight would be in the same month attending Rhythm and Vines where people would come up to me and have a yarn.
Tell us a bit about life outside Retro Roots.
Currently in my first year at the University of Otago and loving it. To get away from the Big Smoke of Auckland in a school routine, was quite a change but University life, inside and outside the lectures is a load of fun. I would normally have a couple lectures a day, go to the gym, hangout with friends and also do some Retro Roots admin.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you go back and give yourself when starting Retro Roots? What are some of your biggest learnings to date?
Some advice I would give myself would be to have a mentor or someone that you can go to for advice, ask loads of questions and pick their brain. A big one for me is to ask loads of questions, do heaps of research and read. There is loads of free information out there, you just need to put in the mahi and hustle. There are so many hours in the day that you can put to use, instead of scrolling through TikTok you could be watching informational videos or bettering yourself so you can smash out the tasks and goals ahead. A big learning I have had is to be consistent and create valuable content. This will lead to views and therefore sales. It's a bit hard now with University and not having much time but managing your time wisely and being organised is really key.
What's next for Retro Roots? What exciting things are in the pipeline?
The next plans for Retro Roots is to have a few pop up shops, may that be at a festival or in a brick and mortar. Another one is to grow our online following. Nothing too exciting yet as I'm still only 19, so I think a priority is to finish my degree and go from there. I have always been a big dreamer and goal setter so I have a couple things up my sleeve I want to achieve down the track.