My beautiful friend Jacalin Ding is an epic fashion designer and social entrepreneur. She launched her label The Rushing Hour with a vision to create simple yet edgy pieces for the millennial woman that delivered on style, wearability and created a positive impact in the world. We caught up to talk creativity, passion and purpose plus she shared her tips for turning a business into a social enterprise.
What inspired you to launch The Rushing Hour (TRH)?
The idea started when I was frustrated about how little time we have in the morning to get ready for work – and as a fashion-conscious lady – I like to be a little different and edgy every day.
My style is modern minimal luxe, so black and whites have to be a little bit more exciting. So The Rushing Hour was born based on these 3 key values:
1. Minimal clothes that are low maintenance: Simple, yet edgy — and wrinkle free, because who has the time to iron these days?
2. Create a positive impact: The millennial woman is conscious and aware about the result of her choices. As a designer, I always strive to think about how my creation impacts the end user. With The Rushing Hour, I wanted to deliver the feel good factor in and out. We’ve partnered up with ONE GIRL. Every time we make a sale, we will contribute to one girl’s education. (ONE GIRL focuses on West Africa)
3. Be real: There is so much noise out there, we wanted to make sure we represented the brand in the most raw state possible. The debut collection, UNDIVIDED, enlisted 7 unique Australian women — all from different ethnic backgrounds and some modelling for the first time — to showcase the collection. It is important to us as a label to educate the next generation of women, helping them to realise that beauty is not manufactured, it’s simply who you are.
How do you define minimal living?
I have come to realisation that living minimal is a life changing theory which leads to a happy and fulfilled mindset. The beginner steps to began minimal is:
1. Discard – I only live around things I love
2. Buy quality not quantity – ignore the sales
3. Pay attention to what you love/don’t love – an ongoing self discovery exercise
Living less meaning you’d have more time for the most important thing in life: spending time with love ones and less trying to find your phone in a cluttered home.
Desiring less is such a luxury feeling: that happiness is no longer filled by things/objects (the temporary spark of joy). It’s a long journey and self discovery process.
Overall, I’d define minimal living as conscious living. The Rushing Hour fashion, we only want to focus on creating style that matters. This book The Life Changing Method of Tidying Up by Kon Mari has changed my life. Also I’d recommend watching Netflix documentary Minimalist after reading the book.
What makes your clothes (or the brand) unique?
The Rushing Hour produces timeless, quality monochrome street luxe fashion with a cutting edge design.
We use tech-savvy production methods such as laser-cutting apparels and 3D printed and jewellery.
The inaugural basics collection brings together architecturally-inspired designs that are sharp and edgy, inspiring those who wear them to speak for all women who are challenging the tired norms of femininity.
Each piece from The Rushing Hour is labelled with an inspiring quote from heroic woman throughout history with the aim of encouraging a new generation of females to become their own superhero – to stand up for equality and taking action every day to make the world a better place.
The Rushing Hour does not Photoshop models. Our photographs are authentic just like the clothing.
The team at The Rushing Hour does not rush fashion as they don’t want to fall into the mass production trap. Every year, millions of tons of textiles end up in landfill. We provide products with quality and classic silhouettes that have a longer lifespan; good for the soul and good for our planet.
You’ve partnered with One Girl – how has sales from TRH contributed to female education and ending poverty?
Finding the right charity was difficult… I did a lot of mind-mapping regadring my personal values and how The Rushing Hour can represent those. I felt very aligned with One Girl’s brand story when I came across its website. The One Girl team has done some incredible work over just a few years, and the team is a dream to work with.
“The Rushing Hour woman leads a busy life, so we aim to provide clothing that’s easy to mix and match and environmentally beneficial. Our collection has a minimalist sensibility with a polished edginess. Some of our unique fabrics come wrinkle free, because who really has the time to iron?” “With every item sold, in collaboration with One Girl — we will sponsor a girl’s education costs for one month. When we help to educate a girl, it’s one step towards ending poverty.”
So far the funding had been contributing to building school facilities as well as contributing to buying books and supplies for the girls in West Africa, Sierra Leone.
How has TRH changed your life?
Everyone needs a creative outlet. Being my own boss is definitely a treat, as I can let my wild creative DNA run wild. As a creative person, TRH is giving me the opportunity to feel alive: constantly discovering, creating and challenge every aspect of business I never thought I would.
What lessons have you learnt as a designer and entrepreneur, any words of wisdom to share?
Starting your own business is so exhilarating, but the idea of getting a social enterprise off the ground is the real motivational fact that gets me out of bed every morning.
For anyone who doesn’t feel that they belong to 9-5, your gut feeling is always right. The moment I left my last full time job, I never looked back.
First thing first, know your values and your vision. If you want to start a business just to earn money, you may never be satisfied. Your vision should be further than that.
Set goals: Have a big goal and break it down to small weekly goals
You need to know your numbers. You can outsource every other task in business but as a business owner, your priority should be knowing the numbers and know where you’re going.
Tick the basics of business etiquette: Be on time: If you promise to get back to someone by that time, always make sure you do. Because trust can take you a long way; Answer your emails but don’t just say “thank you” and don’t write a long essay; Procrastinating is the enemy to success: Do it now, schedule it in. Don’t wait.
Thanks Jac for sharing your vision with me. To learn more please see www.therushinghour.com
Photo Credit: The Rushing Hour and Team (@usfinhair, @themakeupbytammi, @foraggiophotographic, @soundzlikemez)