IN THE KNOW with Garett & Mara Halayko of Catapult/Make Good Agencies
The Husband-and-Wife duo that is Garett and Mara Halayko are both well-known and well-loved industry veterans with over 20 years’ experience representing some of the biggest lifestyle brands from across the globe. In 2019 they made the decision to move their respective showrooms to their home in beautiful Squamish, BC, as it turned out, a very timely change ahead of what would become a worldwide pandemic. We sat down and caught up with Garett and Mara to chat about the last couple of years, brand and staff additions and the big news that they are combining their agencies into one new entity!
Hey Guys! How are you doing?
Hey Scott! We are great. The sun is shining, and we are stoked for the changing of the seasons. Life is good.
Perfect! So, what’s new with your respective Agencies?
Tons! We have a new team member, Casey Jo Loos, working with us both. On the Make Good side we have new brands in the mix. Lune Active which is a sustainable athleisure collection based in Amsterdam. Sandcloud Turkish towels which has been making a ton of noise in the US so we are stoked to be part of the launch in Canada. We also added Odesse Solid Fragrances which is run by our friends at Avenue Distribution. For Catapult Agency we have partnered with the team at Kandui to manage Canada for Florence Marine X and Simple Shoes. We are also now representing the Hawaiian inspired OluKai Footwear for BC. We are beyond excited for the future.
That’s a solid lineup of brands, congrats! Looking back on the last couple of years, what have been some of the biggest challenges in both your businesses?
How long have you got? Truly the hardest part for us was the uncertainty in our world. This is a small industry full of incredible people that were forced to close with no idea what the future held. We cancelled/pushed off orders, had product cancelled at factory, and the continuing freight disruptions. In our eyes the best thing we could do was to simply offer our support. Add to that we have two awesome kids that needed to be home schooled and guided through the pandemic. It was a bunch.
I hear you, kids being home-schooled was a lot! As a husband/wife team, building your own businesses in a similar line of work how do you manage to keep a work/life balance and what lessons have you learnt?
We met through this business which gives us an understanding about the demands it comes with. It’s a blessing and a curse. We have to make sure to remove work at times as it’s very entwined in our life. With that said each of us have knowledge the other can lean on when challenges arise. In the beginning we realized that focusing on our own brands worked best on many levels. Now that we’re 10 years into our business partnership and many more in our relationship we are ready to unite as one agency. Knowshow exclusive!
Make Good and Catapult are going to combine and move forward as Rise & Shine Sales. With this exciting transformation come renewed energy, ideas, and excitement after a tough couple of years. We are sun seekers that move through our life with positivity and mindfulness. Our agency aligns with these values which makes it easy to be authentic.
That’s awesome! Welcome to the world Rise & Shine Sales and raising a glass to you both! In your experience working with various brands and retailers over the years, what do you see as the biggest challenges that lie ahead?
There are many layers to this onion. On the brand side we see future challenges in production, fulfillment, cost of goods, and freight. For our industry to remain relevant all brands need to weather the storm in order for everyone to succeed. On the retailer side we see availability of goods, cost of goods, cost of doing business, staffing, and the ever-changing retail landscape of digital vs brick and mortar.
And despite many challenges in the industry the last couple of years, what are some positives that you have seen?
We are beyond inspired by the lengths our retailers have gone to adapt to the challenges thrown their way. Every day we see new ways of doing business and driving sales all while the world around them changes minute to minute. The tools we’re provided on the brand level have increased and evolved with the demands of our retailers. The fact that an account can view a line from the comfort of their own home and still feel a connection to their rep and brand in pretty amazing. On a personal level we got to know our kids way better, added a new member to our family in our frenchton Bodhi, and have spent more time exploring BC.
You guys have been a big part of KNOWSHOW history, what are you most looking forward to as we return to in-person events this summer?
Connection. We miss everyone. The Knowshow has been a huge part of our lives since the first show. We’ve made life-long friends, established successful partnerships, and made countless connections through the years. It provides an amazing environment where reps and buyers come together under one roof. These 5 days a year allow us to grow our existing brands while helping us to launch new ones. As Western Canadian reps being able to connect with even our furthest accounts is invaluable. Here’s to many more successful years of Knowshow for all the brands, reps, buyers, and retailers.
Great catching up with you both, looking forward to having you back at the show this summer!
For more information about Catapult Agency visit: www.catapultagency.ca
For more information about Make Good Agency visit: www.makegoodagency.com