In the lead-up to Rise Up, we asked our ambitious female founders a few questions about their entrepreneurial journey and what inspires them. Meet Wendy Quach, founder of & Again - an online thrift store.

Where were you born and where do you call home now?

I was born right here in beautiful Aotearoa and live in Auckland.

What did you do before you decided to start your own business?

By trade I worked as a Digital Content Marketer (didn't enjoy it) and made the pivot to work in Customer Success Management at a start-up SAAS company. I've always dabbled in entrepreneurship but nothing really stuck. After moving back to Auckland from London during COVID, I wanted to give this 'starting my own business' a stab... and here we are!

How did the idea for & Again come about?

I'm super lazy when it comes to clearing out my wardrobe. I hoard way too much and promise myself I'll sell it online later - but I never bother. And if I wanted to consign my clothes, most stores didn't accept the brands I had - so there was definitely a problem/gap here. All while that was happening I stumbled across The True Cost on Netflix and that was a huge wake up call for me, so there was something to be done here. I wanted to create a modern thrifting experience that is accessible to women all across Aotearoa and to break down the barriers and make it ridiculously easy to recycle! So I combined my passion for fashion, sustainability and tech - mushed it all up and & Again was born.

What has been your biggest challenge in your entrepreneurial journey?

Being a solo-founder, the obvious things for me have been the lack of resources, money and time. But actually one of the biggest challenges has been with myself. I'm constantly learning, growing and pushing myself every day. So battling with my mental health has been a huge challenge. When you strip out all the glorified bits of running your own business - it's tough! Choosing to put yourself first takes strength and I think this is something I love to be transparent about.

Who has been your biggest cheerleader along the way?

My partner has undoubtedly been my biggest cheerleader. He supports me through everything, I truly wouldn't be able to do what I do without him. He also provides great (free) labour.

What or who inspires you?

I love the small business scene - there's just so much passion and energy flying around. A business I really admire is Moustache Milk & Cookies. I've been following their journey for a while now. I love the rawness and energy that Deanna (the founder) has. That kind of authentic vibe and passion is what I hope to bring through with & Again.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Just do it Wendy! Sounds cliche but these four words have truly pushed me to stop overthinking and just give things a go!

Do you have any advice for female entrepreneurs in NZ?

I think as women we have so much to offer - we're creative and we're great problem solvers! My advice for other female entrepreneurs (but also myself) is to really believe in yourself, you really flourish the most when you cut the BS out and believe in yourself from within.

Running your own business must be hectic, how do you unwind?

Eating, I am a really big foodie! To balance this out, I've been trying to find a physical activity I enjoy, so I've recently picked up bouldering with a bunch of friends and have been really enjoying it :)

What three things can’t you live without?

Instant Ramen, coffee and sunscreen (wear your SPF ladies!).

If you won Rise Up, what would you use the money for?

Winning the grant money would absolutely kick-start some huge growth for & Again. I've had to bootstrap and make do with what I have, so it's really tested my ability to stretch out resources. But it would be nice to have some breathing room and to put that money into three key areas - warehousing, staff and marketing.

Register for your FREE ticket to see Wendy and our other inspirational female founders present at our Rise Up Pitch Night on 23 November in Hamilton.