In Conversation with Kendall Sargeant

We love seeing an Aussie making waves globally, Kendall Sargeant is one of them. She's built an enviable career path, transitioning from working in fashion to mission driven online food marketplace, Thrive Market, as Senior Director of Communications & Mission ~ while living by the ocean in Venice, California {first on our list when we can travel once again!}. We chatted to Kendall about her journey to the US, her career & the moment you realise it's time for change. With an impeccable eye for interior style, be inspired by Kendall & join us In Conversation... 


Introduce yourself, where do you live & what do you do? 

I’m Kendall Sargeant, she/her. I’m an Aussie native living in Venice, California. I’m a Public Relations professional and creator, currently Sr Director Communications and Mission for an incredible mission driven healthy online marketplace, Thrive Market. I’m also a dog mom, perhaps my most important role to date!

You’re originally from Sydney, how did you come to land in LA? 

In 2014 I was living the Aussie dream, working for Maurie & Eve, traveling Australia, selling and promoting their collections, enjoying all the Northern Beaches of Sydney (my hometown) had to offer. I’d always wanted to travel/live/work in the States but really hadn’t devised a plan as to how to accomplish this. My closest friends surprised me with a ticket to LA for my 21st birthday so I put that towards a 3 month trip. I spent half my time in LA and half my time in NYC, living alone in Airbnb’s and with friends. I moved 3 times in NYC within 6 weeks, it was mayhem but I loved every minute. As soon as I touched down in LA I knew I had to stay. After a trip home to pack up my belongings and officially resign from my job, I flew back to LA and hit the ground running trying to find work. It was exhausting, constantly networking, no car, no income etc but I persisted and ended up landing a role with Australian Fashion Labels, opening up their PR showroom, U.S Marketing function and first/only U.S storefront. It was a serendipitous experience but also something I put my energy into manifesting. And my U.S journey began.

You're the Senior Director of Communications & Mission at Thrive Market, can you tell us more about Thrive Market & your role with the company? 

Thrive Market is a mission driven online marketplace for healthy living. Imagine Wholefoods, at 30-50% the price, delivered to your door. We carry 5000 of the healthiest, most ethically sourced, sustainable products across grocery, household cleaning, beauty, pet, baby (even WINE!). Our mission is our brand and our brand is our mission so everything we do is tied to making healthy living easy and accessible for everyone. We’ve raised $4.5M toward food access and sustainability causes since 2015, and for every membership sold, we donate a membership to a family or individual in need. During this chapter in my life, it’s my dream job. I feel so lucky.

We’d love to know, what does a normal day look like for you? 

As Senior Director of Communications & Mission I cover everything from traditional Brand Marketing for our Thrive Market Brand products (owned brand), our Public Relations and our Mission Strategy. One day we might be vetting or onboarding an incredible non-profit partner as part of our #FoodEqualityNow campaign. The next day we might be hosting interviews with top tier press outlets discussing our navigation of the pandemic, or how we’re reimagining how folks shop for groceries. The next day we might be strategising which categories to launch, the look and feel of the brand, which talent to partner with upon launch. It’s a dynamic and fulfilling role, especially knowing that everything we do is in support of an important mission.

Coming from a fashion PR background, working with some of the biggest brands in the world. What was the biggest challenge for you transitioning from Fashion into the Food industry? 

The fashion industry is brutal, and I say that in a bittersweet way. I loved every minute, I had so much fun and met so many incredible friends. I wouldn’t change my experience for the world... but it can also be tiring, all consuming and emotionally draining. The biggest challenge for me was just fear of the unknown. If I leave the fashion industry, will I never be able to go back? Will I be kissing away all the contacts and relationships I’ve worked so hard to build? Will I be… irrelevant? I understand that’s a really egotistical thing to admit but I can guarantee it’s a real and present fear for many fashion professionals. So much of it can be about who you know, not what you know. In the end I just had to follow my intuition, trust myself and make the leap. Luckily for me, my baseline skillset and my 10+ years experience as a publicist and marketing professional transcends no matter the industry.

When did you know you wanted to make the change? 

Toward the end of 2019 I really started to think about where I was in my life. I guess I was having a quarter-ish life crisis, if you will. Morally, I wasn’t sure if working in the $2.5 trillion fashion industry (one of the biggest polluters and second biggest consumer of water), was for me. On a personal level, I had too many clothes, too many things that didn’t mean anything to me. I was tired, like emotionally drained. I started to analyse where/what I was spending my time on, who I was spending that time with, was it making me happy or was it prohibiting me from being the best version of myself?

I knew I had to make some changes, I wasn’t sure if a complete professional change was necessary so I started small. I picked up an interior design class at UCLA for three months, I started guitar lessons, I overhauled my closet and my home to make small, sustainable changes. I started journaling, I deleted a bunch of apps from my phone... You get the point. During this period I put into the universe that I’d be open to a career change, I interviewed a handful of times, mostly for mission driven business and when it came for me to meet with Thrive Market, I was blown away by their mission and brand story. I knew I was right where I needed to be.

Your home is gorgeous, tell us about your styling - what inspired you? 

Thank you! When my boyfriend and I moved in together a couple years ago we decided we wanted to invest in pieces we absolutely adored. I guess too, on a personal level, as I come into my 30’s and really settle into womanhood, I wanted to make sure home felt like a safe, quiet, inspiring, joy filled space. 

I’m predominantly inspired by French farm style. I like texture, organic fabrics and worn, wooden surfaces. Majority of our furniture is antique, picked up from flea markets, or Etsy, or various weird websites which when asked, I genuinely never remember the name of. I wanted a home filled with nature's color palette, so we have lots of neutrals, beige, olive/sage greens. Pops of orange and yellow, because I love citrus. I think using fruits and vegetables as decor is as beautiful as it gets. I’m inspired by Matisse artwork, Ricardo Bofill’s architecture, think tall ceilings and natural light. I’m a fan of rustic stoneware, found objects. I prefer pre-owned books, you know, with crinkled pages. During various work trips to Europe I’ve been known to extend my stay a day or so to visit local flea markets and come home with odd one of a kind things shoved into my carry on. 

One day when I own a home, entertaining will be a top priority. So having a beautiful Spanish garden and a big old antique dining table for hosting dinner parties and drinks with the girls will be essential. Natural light is also absolutely necessary. Laying in bed with a coffee and the paper (and my puppy) on a Sunday with natural light flooding through the window is quite literally, my idea of heaven.

What makes it such a special space for you? 

I think that I share the space with my boyfriend and our dog, Honey. That, and the fact we’re in a quaint street in Venice, California. We don’t own the home, but we spent at least 6 months searching for the right house nonetheless. It’s a 1920’s three bedroom bungalow, with a small front yard, on a beautiful tree lined street. It’s everything we need and more, we are very lucky.

How do you style your MARLOE MARLOE pieces? 

Less is more when it comes to MARLOE MARLOE pieces. Just let the pieces breathe. I love the contrast of the bone against the antique elm wood console in our guest bedroom. I mentioned earlier I love using citrus as a prop, so a tangerine, a lemon and some MARLOE MARLOE is all I need to give a room some life.

Finally, 2020 was a challenging year ~ what’s on your agenda for 2021? 

Celebrating the small stuff. As the world opens up a little I’m looking forward to picnics in the front yard with friends, some road trips when we can. I have my fingers crossed we’ll be able to spend Christmas with my family this year. In the end that’s the only thing that matters -- spending time with loved ones.

Kendall styled our LUCIE vase & VANITY SET of 2. 

Follow Kendall Here.