Catherine Tang | Founder of Saya The Label
Catherine is the powerhouse behind Saya The Label, a Toronto-based athleisure brand. She discusses the importance of slow fashion, loves Shanghai, and eats Swedish Berries as a part of her morning routine. Read on to find out more about Catherine and Saya.
How do you describe what you do?
I run an e-commerce athleisurewear brand, as well as design and oversee production of the pieces. As a small business owner I act in almost every role — marketing, content creation, customer service, finance — and I love it!
What’s your favourite thing about what you do?
There are so many things I love about running a small business! The two things that stand out would be meeting new people (including other small biz owners) and reading lovely emails/messages from people taking the time to let me know how much they love the pieces they’ve ordered from us .
How did you get your idea for the brand?
I’ve always been that person who wore leggings out to dinner, or wore a sports bra as part of an outfit — this kind of led me to create pieces that could be easily incorporated into someone’s every day wardrobe (and not only for working out in). I’ve designed everything with minimalistic, timeless silhouettes so they can be kept for a long time! Prior to starting Saya, I worked in retail for a very long time, and I knew the insane margins companies were putting on athleisurewear products. My goal was to create accessible, high quality pieces for everyone!
What’s your vision for your brand?
Where do you want to take it? I truly believe in Slow Fashion — not only in the sense of mass production and manufacturing, but also taking the time to design to create meaningful pieces. Good things can’t be rushed! I’ll be keeping our current core collection (we only restock when necessary) and the next big focus is working on extended sizing. I’ve got a few new things coming down the pipeline, but they’re still being reviewed as we speak!
What would you say are the top three skills needed to become an entrepreneur?
I'm not sure if these are “skills” but: 1. being able to adapt to changes out of your control 2. having empathy for those around you and 3. not taking yourself too seriously ; you should be having fun with what you love to do!
Where is your favourite destination in the world?
Wow, this is such a difficult question! If I had to pick one, it would be Shanghai — there is a lot of history and culture there, but it’s also become so modern within the past 7 years. It is really nice you can experience both sides in the city. I’m a huge fan of art and architecture and they have some of the most beautiful galleries in the world!
Is there an adventure that changed your life?
It’s not going to sound very far - but I travelled solo for the first time to Miami this past January right before the pandemic hit. It was cool to do everything on my own time, eat meals at restaurants by myself, and explore the city by walking everywhere! I met great people by using the Airbnb Experiences option — paddle boarded and did an art tour on electric scooters. Highly recommend everyone to travel solo at least once in their life!
What’s your favourite way to recharge/relax?
Favourite way to stay active? It’s funny, because how I clear my mind and how I stay active have the same answer I run! Even though running is a physical activity, I find it really relaxes me and helps me set my intentions for the day.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
It is going to sound so, so terrible — but I do my morning skincare routine while eating a bunch of Swedish Berries. I’ve been doing this for a while now, and for some reason candy gives me enough energy in the morning to get going and doesn’t make me crash by early afternoon!
Is there a cause you’re passionate about?
The NRDC (Natural resources Defense Council) is an organization Saya donates every year to. I do my best to minimize the carbon footprint the company has on the planet by using recyclable packaging materials, however most of our orders are shipped via ground. We make a year end donation to the NRDC in the cost of fuel surcharges to try and offset our impact on the environment!
Do you have a piece of jewelry that’s sentimental to you?
I have a simple sterling silver ring I haven’t taken off my finger in over a decade — purchased it from a small market in Cuba when I was there with my family
Jewelry Lightning Round:
Silver or Gold? Both!!! I’m a mixed metal kind of girl
Chunky or Dainty? Dainty
Chain necklace or pendant necklace? Chain necklace
Huggies or oversized hoops? Oversized hoops
Signet ring or stacking ring? Stacking ring
Where can people find you? (IG, YouTube etc)
IG and TikTok — @sayathelabel