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Up Close: In Conversation with Tengiva CEO Annie Cyr

Up Close is Sourcing Journal’s regular check-in with industry executives to get their take on topics ranging from personal style to their company’s latest moves. In this Q&A, Annie Cyr, CEO and co-founder of Tengiva, discusses how quality shapes her shopping and how her company is simplifying textile sourcing.

Annie Cyr Tengiva
Annie Cyr, CEO and co-founder, Tengiva Courtesy

Name: Annie Cyr

Title: CEO & co-founder

Company: Tengiva

Tell us about your company’s latest product introduction:

Tengiva (Textiles Exchange Network Generating Innovation, Value and Accessibility) solves some of the biggest industry challenges, which for emerging clothing designers is the ability to source materials quickly, cost effectively and sustainability. Our new technology architecture modernizes the complex and outdated months-long sourcing and distribution processes used in the textile industry to better meet clients’ needs. Ultimately, we are making it easier for clothing brands to seamlessly source the textiles needed directly from manufacturers in the quantities they need, while enabling sellers to build their online presence, easily showcase their materials to develop new business relationships, and reach new markets.

How would you describe yourself as a consumer?

In French, we say, “Cordonnier mal chausse,” which means that we are often the worst representation of our clients. As a consumer, I do my best to buy quality items that last, and provide a look that makes me want to actually wear it.

As a consumer, what does it take to win your loyalty?

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Quality in apparel assembly, texture, appearance and uniqueness of the material. I love to wear a product and style that matches my personality. I love cool Oxford shoes, jeans and a shirt with a crisp collar.

What’s your typical work (or weekend) uniform?

I don’t have a typical work or leisure “uniform.” What I choose to wear depends on my mood and the activity, so it may range from dresses to jeans and a T-shirt.

Which fashion era is your favorite?

It’s tough to say. Perhaps now, because we’re in an era where you can pretty much wear whatever you feel like wearing.

What’s the best decision your company has made in the last year?

To completely rebuild our technology platform.

How would you describe your corporate culture?

Open, innovative and creative.

What can companies learn from Covid-19?

Supply chains are so incredibly important.

What should be the apparel industry’s top priority now?

Understanding the realities faced by their supply chain. Manufacturing—sewing and cutting—a garment is not as complicated as manufacturing textiles.

What keeps you up at night?

Nothing! I’ve learned that if I don’t sleep, it just makes things worse the next day. So, I make sure I always get a good night’s sleep—it’s the best solution to any problem.

What makes you most optimistic?

Our team. They are passionate, engaged and curious. With a team like that, there’s no way to be anything but positive.