Having worked for years in the corporate world, sisters Rim and Rita Elias decided to leave it all behind to pursue their business vocation and fulfill their dream of creating a brand of their own. This is what they first did in 2014 with ELAMA, a brand specializing in fur coat refashioning, and more recently with RETYCHE, a boutique selling second-hand bags and accessories. Their mission: to make luxury accessible to all. Meet Rim Elias, a passionate woman who wants to give our favorite treasures a second chance.
RETYCHE is your destination for the most coveted second-hand luxury goods. Buying a luxury bag or accessory is not always affordable, we have a desire to make luxury affordable for everyone.
With ELAMA, we give a second life to our customer’s coats. As time went on, we started to resell their luxury handbags as well – and that’s how the RETYCHE brand came to be.
We've always had a special connection with the Rockland Centre; my sister and I grew up here, and we have wonderful memories of this place. It's also one of the most upscale shopping centres in Montreal.
Behind RETYCHE, there are two sisters: Rim et Rita. What are each of your strengths?
My sister Rita is the go-getter, seizing opportunities, pushing us to do crazy things, and take big risks that are paying off today. As a trained CPA, she also takes care of the company's finances and management. I'm responsible for our brand image, marketing initiatives, and sales.
What are the benefits of working with a family member?
Rita is my best friend – we support each other for every decision we make. Even when we disagree, we trust each other. We share our ultimate objective – growing our company internationally, to leave it to our children one day.
What is the best business advice you have ever received?
Be optimistic, or even a little naive - and above all, believe in your project. Sometimes when you know more, you take fewer risks. We have never doubted our projects: success is a certainty for us.
What advice would you give to future entrepreneurs?
Work hard, with the best possible team, and most of all, treat your employees like gold.
How do you select each luxury second-hand product?
All RETYCHE products are inspected by our authentication team. We also use a software program called ENTRUPY, which provides certifications on all our products. We do a lot of trend research to select and sell the most highly coveted products.
Why is it important to buy local?
Supporting the local economy is imperative. At RETYCHE, we try to buy and consign products in Canada. It is also an advantage for our customers to buy locally, as they will avoid paying taxes and customs fees.
We will officially open our RETYCHE boutique in Rockland Centre, which was previously known as ELAMA. Our ELAMA products will still have a section in the RETYCHE space. We are also working on many exciting projects and collaborations with local and international celebrities. We continue to invest in our online presence, we want to grow our presence in major Canadian cities.
The Chanel bag of your dreams: Second-hand Chanel flap bag, $4,899 at RETYCHE
Louis Vuitton's multicolored monogram print – for a true throwback to the 2000s: Second-hand Louis Vuitton Petit Noé shoulder bag, $2,795 at RETYQUE
This Balenciaga bag has gathered a cult following: Second hand Balenciaga Brown Motocross Mini City Bag, $1,499 at RETYCHE
Our AUTHENTIC crewneck sweater bears a special significance: it was created to celebrate the first anniversary of retyche.com, as well as Women’s month: AUTHENTIC crewneck, $59 at RETYCHE