We caught up with the Co-Founder of Richer Poorer, Tim Morse about the beauty in having a family and starting a business.
What influenced you to start your own business? How important is collaboration?
From an early age I've always been interested in fashion and have had a strong entrepreneurial spirit. I had been sitting on an idea to start a sock brand for about 8 years prior to launching RP. However, it wasn't until I met my business partner Iva Pawling some years later where the idea became a reality. We shared many similar interests in fashion, technology and the desire to build our own brand. She really was the one that measured the space and validated the idea. Fast forward 8 years and we now offer a full line of mens and womens basics and sell in over 20 countries. Collaboration is extremely important. Whether that’s providing a safe forum for your internal team to have equal opportunities to communicate their ideas or partnering with like mind brands to make cool shit. We often talk internally about collaborations being as much about the journey and human element of two brands working together as it is about bringing a product to market.
Describe a set back and how you overcame it. How has it shaped the person you are today?
I think one of the biggest setbacks over the past few years was having to purchase RP back from our previous owner. We had sold the company in 2015 but were still running the day-to-day and in hyper-growth mode. About a year later we received information that our parent company was in a bad financial position. Iva and I quickly came up with a plan to purchase RP back prior to the parent company shutting down. This was obviously stressful on so many levels but I learned during this time is that you have to be relentless in pursuit of your passion and dreams. Do your best to anticipate, move quickly and always follow your moral compass. Things will work themselves out in the end.
What is the best piece of advice you would give your younger self?
I have a couple nuggets which I’ve learned along the way. The first one being, when something seems to be good to be true it typically is, so follow your instincts in those situations. The second is, lose the ego. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not a weakness and will propel you much further down the path to success than your own ego will.
How do you balance your career and home life?
I feel very fortunate in that I love what I do and the people I work with. However, that can present its own set of problems as it makes it difficult to “turn off” at times. As founder/owner of a business I feel a tremendous responsibility to deliver for our employees and customers. Iva is constantly reminding me that one of the main reasons we started our own business is to have more say in the direction of our lives. With that being said, I’ve had to learn to set boundaries for myself. When I’m at home and with my kids I try to make sure I'm present. Simple things like setting the phone aside, closing the computer and giving them my undivided attention is a priority. My kids are 5 and 9 so I’m acutely aware of the fact that I only have them for a handful of more years where Dad can do no wrong.
How important is your sleep and how does it affect your work?
Sleep is obviously extremely important. However, since starting the company I’ve learned I actually need less sleep than my 20-something year old self believed. Having kids will quickly make you realize this as well. It’s about quality over quantity of sleep for me but I try and clock in about 6 to 7 hours a night.
What are your morning and night-time rituals that put you in the right mind-set?
In the morning I typically get up about 5, check email, grab a cup of coffee and listen to the NY Times podcast The Daily. Then depending on if there are waves I’ll try and go surf, otherwise I head to the gym. If there’s one thing I’m religious about, it's working out. I seriously doubt I'd be the least bit successful in life if I didn’t place importance on health and fitness. In the evening I typically put my kids to bed about 7:30-8:00PM which honestly is my favorite time of day. While they're at a young age it’s amazing to watch their imaginations run wild and listen to their stories. It really puts what I do and why I do it into perspective and motivates me to provide them with the best possible life.
What does the future of Richer Poorer look like? What are your goals?
We’ve experienced solid growth the past couple years but I truly believe the best is yet to come. Our team is rock solid and the product is amazing. They say it takes a solid 10 years to build a business. We’re just over 8 years in, so the next couple of years I believe will come down to execution. My goal is to continue to build an amazing community of customers that embrace life and hopefully enjoy doing so in Richer Poorer product.
Do you have a mantra?
A rising tide lifts all boats.