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Kay Sides: “Our ultimate goal is to cause the least amount of harm to our environment, animals and people”

Switching my focus to who I can support has also been very important for me. There are a lot of people and families that have a lot of need right now more than ever, and focusing on this keeps a really real and healthy perspective for me. For both my agency HATCh and R0AM, service is […]

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Switching my focus to who I can support has also been very important for me. There are a lot of people and families that have a lot of need right now more than ever, and focusing on this keeps a really real and healthy perspective for me.

For both my agency HATCh and R0AM, service is deeply integrated into our business model, and we have chosen to do a continuous monthly support effort since April. In April we supported Feeding America, in May Make More Masks, in June There With Care, in July Dressed for Success, and we continue to support different organizations on a monthly basis. Giving back is at our core.


The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Many of us now have new challenges that come with working from home, homeschooling, and sheltering in place.

As a part of our series about how busy women leaders are addressing these new needs, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kay Sides. She is a respected force in the fashion space, known for her keen expertise as a brand builder, a tastemaker and visionary creative innovator. Her acumen of developing products, brand strategizing, merchandising, and integrating marketing, messaging, and distribution has been demonstrated throughout her career. Kay’s most recent venture is her new shoe line, R0AM, which was created a year and a half ago with the commitment and passion to produce an incredibly well made, comfortable shoe that embodied performance attributes as well as being fashionable, cool and uber comfy.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

Thank you so much for having me 🙂

Hi sure, I was on my way to grad school and working in the summer at Chanel and the VP asked me to stay and get into management. I flipped a coin and made my decision — I was 19 years old at the time. That began my fashion journey…

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started at your company?

It’s really hard to pick just one…………It has been a really colorful journey 🙂

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

For ROAM we are working on making a completely ethical and sustainable shoes.

Our ultimate goal is to cause the least amount of harm to our environment, animals and people.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I have been really blessed to intersect with so many amazing people…..

I started HATCh with the amazing Betsee Isenberg. She is one of the strongest and boldest humans on this planet. She was older than myself and so self-assured and successful. We are totally opposite but that is what made our dynamic really work. She inspired me so much with her outspoken and strong personality and how she would stand up to and fight for what was right all the time, no matter the person …Even though we are not partners anymore she’s a good friend to this day. I am so grateful for her and her beautiful fearless warrior self.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Can you articulate to our readers what are the biggest family related challenges you are facing as a woman business leader during this pandemic?

I don’t have young children that I need to homeschool as my daughter is out of high school. but i have many friends that are going thru that…For our family, it has been creating our own time and space apart as grateful and beautiful of a time it has been to stand still, be together, enjoy each other and do fun things together.

Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?

Making sure each person has their own space and time to be by themselves…not everything has to be done together.

Can you share the biggest work related challenges you are facing as a woman in business during this pandemic?

I typically work very strategically and during this time, there’s not a lot of things any of us can control. The limited analytical insight has definitely been challenging….

Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?

I always have super transparent communication with my brand partners and my team and I have created even more communication and openness during this time…..it’s the only way to get through this with honesty, trust, respect and surrender…oh and lots of laughs and good vibes. Any small random act of kindness you can do for your team and people you work with during this time really makes a big impact of support ! Kindness is KING 🙂

Can you share your advice about how to best work from home, while balancing the needs of homeschooling or the needs of a family?

I am super fortunate that my agency / building has been open during this time.

Can you share your strategies about how to stay sane and serene while sheltering in place, or simply staying inside, for long periods with your family?

We are very very fortunate to live at the beach. So safely going on runs, bike rides, skateboarding, yoga, working out, walking our dog, taking in the sunrise and sunset has been game changing. Recently we started having social distance sunset dinners on the beach. It’s been so nice to safely be able to see one or two friends at a time in a safe, chill, beautiful way in nature.

Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

I am no expert in migrating through this….Personally I have just kept gratitude as my beacon which really helps me.

I have my moments just like everyone else of anxiety, sadness, and feeling overwhelmed but then I just sorta check myself and remind myself how fortunate I am to be in a healthy body, have a lot of love in my life, a roof over my head, food to eat — just drilling down to the basics that so many people around our world do not have.

Switching my focus to who I can support has also been very important for me. There are a lot of people and families that have a lot of need right now more than ever, and focusing on this keeps a really real and healthy perspective for me.

For both my agency HATCh and R0AM, service is deeply integrated into our business model, and we have chosen to do a continuous monthly support effort since April. In April we supported Feeding America, in May Make More Masks, in June There With Care, in July Dressed for Success, and we continue to support different organizations on a monthly basis. Giving back is at our core.

Daily Exercise, yoga, meditating and working out also keeps me hopeful, balanced and strong in my mind focused on hope and gratitude.

From your experience, what are a few ideas that one can use to effectively offer support to their family and loved ones who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

Just listen….everyone feels in some way that they are going backwards…whether it is professionally due to loss of income, loss of job, loss of opportunity, loss of growth, personally especially for our parents generation or grandparents…it feels that they are losing time…

Personally — some people feel they are standing still — not able to travel, not able to see family.

Give everyone their own space and tempo through this — there is no blueprint or right or wrong way…each person has to find what helps or works for them during this time. I think allowing people we love space to move through this is really key…

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I always believe that real integrity is doing the right thing when nobody is watching or it’s not being put on Instagram…this line of truthful action only strengthens your inner spirit and alignment of your true self and being. There is a deep peace internally when you consistently walk and choose integrity. This is relevant to my life of health and balance in all ways….t defines everything. The trust i have with myself allows me to trust and believe the highest in me and in others. The choices I make for my health allow me to get healthier and stronger day by day — mind, body, soul, and spirit. The integrity of my work and my work ethic allows me to be an example of action for others. You don’t have to talk about what you do when you live this way as every action big or small is clear and visible to others. If you are cutting corners in one area of your life there’s a good chance you’re cutting corners elsewhere…and these types of small daily erosions really have a cumulative effect on your relationships, your body, your work etc…

I’ve created my own narrative for mistakes or missteps where I thank any tough situation or experience. It has helped me develop a different relationship with stress or mistakes where I really am able to embrace it and bring it close and have true gratitude no matter how tough. It allows me to open to a greater place, space of learning and growing from it. This has made me not afraid to fail, take a chance…and this also dictates the environment have in my agencies…we keep it real but mistakes are just opportunities always for growth and learning.

How can our readers follow you online?

@kaysides88

@roamwears

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!


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