Okay to Rest: Small Vancouver business launches weekend pop-up store

Jul 8 2022, 10:17 pm

The sudden standstill the pandemic forced on the world inspired one young Vancouver woman to notice the importance of rest — something that many folks neglect. This realization prompted her to start a leisurewear business that has since thrived.

Claire Hacker is the founder of Okay to Rest (OTR), which started in late 2020. For the first time since launching, she will be opening a pop-up store in Vancouver with exclusive merch. 

From initially operating the business out of her basement, Hacker told Daily Hive she was mesmerized by the growth of OTR, which has amassed over 24,000 followers on Instagram.

What just started with printing crewnecks for her friends in the fall of 2020, by December that year she initiated her very first launch, “and the rest was history.”

 

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You can find merchandise that reads, “Sensitivity is a Virtue,” “Still Growing,” or another customer favourite, “Rest! The Universe Will Thank You!”

There are dozens of kind reminders on Hacker’s pieces, but the overall message is “there is strength in softness.” 

“Being gentle with yourself and not giving into guilt signals when trying to rest your brain and your body can be quite hard,” she said. “These pieces act as a vessel for a much deeper, very important array of messages that clearly hit home for a lot of people.”

 

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Hacker said the success of her business and social media presence has been surreal. 

She shares with her online audience about her experiences with mental health. But with the growth of her account, she admits, she gets increasingly anxious sharing her thoughts and feelings. 

But the community growth on Instagram “is truly out of this world.”

“I have never met more kind, supportive, empathetic people,” she said. 

“OTR has been a major catalyst in my healing. Being able to work on something that I wholeheartedly believe in is such an amazing thing.

When walking around Vancouver and other parts of the Metro Vancouver area, you may have spotted some of the OTR totes, sweaters, and water bottles, which have helped connect people in the community. 

“The amount of stories I have heard from people who have had amazing, eye-opening conversations with friends and strangers about these clothing pieces is truly amazing for me,” she said. “So many “ah hah” moments that I think resonate with so many people in so many different ways depending on what they may be going through in any given moment. The community connection is what makes all of this worth it.”

This weekend, Saturday, July 9 to Sunday, July 10, from 10 am to 5 pm, you’ll find the pop-up store at 343 Railway in Vancouver. 

 

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