Arnault Castel, Kapok

9 October 2015

Meet Arnault Castel, Director / Founder of Kapok

1. What advice would you have for someone looking to get into the same role and industry as you? 
Retail is fun, fast-paced and exciting but it's incredibly tiring and stressful. If you're looking into starting a carreer in retail, work for at least 6 months as sales person on a shop floor. You will understand very fast if this is for you.

2. What have you learnt from your years working in the industry?
You can never rest. retail is changing very fast, when you think you understood how customers think and shop, they have already moved on. The best way to stay on the pulse is to talk daily (face to face or through chat) with team members that are working on the sales floor.

3. What career books would you recommend reading?
"The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace" very well written, fun to read and a lot of great advice to create an exceptional workplace. Who wouldn't want that?

4. What should always be taken seriously? What should never be taken seriously? 
When someone is asking for help, it should always be taken seriously; and gossip should never be treated seriously.

5. Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life? 
My business partner carlos granon. We have been working together since 2001. we enjoy working on different aspects of the business and we have very different characters, which makes us very complimentary. Launching a start-up is exhilarating but very stressful, so I cannot imagine doing it alone. it's important to talk and find solutions together when things go wrong (which happens quite often.)

6. What’s the number one thing you want to achieve in the next five years? 
I would really want to help kapok become a game-changer. Changing how people consume in asia, helping talented designers find an audience, surprise customers when they step in our stores and create a place where my team love to work.

7. What is your favorite Networking conversation starter / ice breaker?
As [a] few people may know, I am quite an introvert. Networking events are really not for me. I usually prefer small casual meetings over drinks or food. Being introduced by a good friend can help break the ice.

8.  What is your favorite Hong Kong restaurant(s)? 
It's changing all the time. at the moment Mott32 for the interior, the delicious dim-sum and that char-siu!

9.  Where is your favorite place to brunch in Hong Kong?  
A good brunch needs good food, company and a great relaxing atmosphere and the right music. honestly, nothing beats home for a good brunch.

10. What is something you are looking forward to in 2016?
Kapok's 10th anniversary. We are planning a lot of happenings including a massive party. I want this to be a very fun day to thank everyone that helped put kapok on the map, from designers, [our] team, to our customers. 

11.  In order of importance, how would you rank: happiness, money, love, health, fame?
Happiness, love, health, money and fame. 
Fame is really not important !