Meet Rati Sahi Levesque, President and Chief Operating Officer at The RealReal. Rati worked with her co-founder Julie Wainwright to grow the business from the ground up, all the way to taking the company public in 2019, while fundamentally transforming the retail industry.
Rati’s journey is a true testament to resilience. Raised in a hardworking environment, her entrepreneurial spirit was nurtured from a young age as she observed her parents deal with the demands of being small business owners. Rati faced her own challenges as she strived to reconcile her dual identity - as an American and as the child of Indian immigrants. These life experiences gave birth to her tenacity, forcing her to adapt quickly and constantly push the boundaries - whether it was dealing with rejection by investors, learning to level up as a leader in fast growing business, or making timely and tough decisions on a daily basis.
Tune in and learn from Rati’s extraordinary journey of defying the odds and building a thriving business with over 32M members. In this episode, you will uncover the secret to making effective trade-offs in the face of complex problems, and how resilience triggers personal growth and drives success despite challenges.
[03:02] What shaped Rati
[07:43] Early career clarity
[11:19] Knowing your value
[14:30] Obstacles and fears Rati has overcome
[17:33] Staying focused during volatile times and during setbacks
[20:37] Making key decisions
[23:30] The type of people that make you better
[27:14] Getting by early on
[28:29] Shifting to lead a larger organization
[33:38] Having mostly female employees
[35:55] Top 3 things to focus on
[37:13] Rati’s company’s vision and how it drives their values
[33:16] Building key business relationships
[44:47] Lightning round questions
“I have a bias toward action.” – Rati Sahi Levesque
“If you’re not staying up at night thinking “Oh I really wish we could do this one thing for ourselves,” then you’re not making trade offs.” – Rati Sahi Levesque
“We care about our sellers, that’s how we build trust.” – Rati Sahi Levesque
“Sometimes you have to go on that journey of self-discovery to find your group, your people, and build resilience.” - Rati Sahi Lavesque
“Being honest with yourself is the key to personal growth and success.” - Rati Sahi Lavesque
“Believe in your vision, lead with data, and push through barriers to achieve your goals.” - Rati Sahi Lavesque
- “Circe” by Madeline Miller
- "Between stimulus and response, there’s space, and that space is our power to choose our response, and in our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
- Little things like sleeping, taking walks, or getting a massage.
- Anything by M.I.A.
What book has greatly influenced you?
What is your favorite inspiring quote or saying?
What is one word or moniker you would use to describe yourself?
What is one change you've implemented that made your life better?
What power song would you want playing as you walk out onto a stage?
- “Circe” by Madeline Miller
As the first employee, Rati Sahi Levesque worked with Julie Wainwright to launch The RealReal, growing the business from the ground up, transforming the resale industry, and taking the company public in 2019.
As President and Chief Operating Officer, Rati oversees the company’s revenue channels and operations, including its rigorous authentication process, machine learning and AI tech developments, its operation centers and retail footprints, its team of master authenticators and experts, as well as its marketing and merchandising functions. In her tenure, Rati has developed a playbook when it comes to resale, helping teams including merchandising, operations, sales, retail and marketing understand how to leverage technology to scale TRR through all of its functions and channels. She has leveraged technology to lead the company to where it is today, helping to attract 32.5M+ members, keep 32.7M+ luxury items in circulation, and pay a total of more than $3.4B in cumulative commission payouts.