If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen me rep Rising Lotus hard by now. And as the very first RL girl - and what an honour it has been! - I am rooting for RL to succeed and shower the world with beautiful prints and pieces. Beyond pretty prints and cute cuts though, Rising Lotus is a growing brand and community, run single-handedly by Hong Kong millennial and girlboss Vivien So, with a vision to empower women.
December 2017 to March 2018.
Photos by Cammie Warburton and Steven Hightower.
Stepping in today as a guest on SharedSpace’s #GirlBoss collection, Vivien shares about her call to fashion and entrepreneurship, shedding some light on the not-so-glamorous-ness of being a business owner and building a brand the bottom up, and the (something good). Being collaborative and sharing the space (haha) for different brand owners to speak is a no-brainer all around winning situation for me - we all have strengths and insights - putting it all out there helps us all to grow.
I found myself nodding in agreement with many points made below by Vivien as I put this together… I hope Vivien’s light inspires you! (Big love and thanks, Viv!)
HOW IT ALL BEGAN…
Growing up, I have always wanted to be a fashion designer. I was born and raised in Hong Kong. When I turned 17, I decided to move to the U.S. to pursue my dream of becoming a fashion designer. I studied fashion designer in college. Upon graduation, I moved to Columbus, Ohio, to work for Abercrombie and Fitch. Working for such a big company was a great experience for me, I learned so much there and I would always be thankful for that. I moved back to Hong Kong in 2015 and I worked for a local brand for a year. In 2016, I found my calling and decided to start Rising Lotus. It was the best decision I have ever made ☺
AND LIKE A LOTUS IT ROSE…
At Rising Lotus, we create comfortable, functional and stylish clothing for active women from all around the world.
I started Rising Lotus by bringing my 2 biggest passions together: Fashion & Yoga.
I named my brand Rising Lotus because I wanted to encourage women to bloom out of the darkness and radiate into the world, just like the lotus flower. A RL girl is someone who is strong and confident, someone who knows what they want in life and is willing to work hard for it. I have been blessed to be able to work with so many amazing RL girls in the past year. Clare, the co-founder of SharedSpace, is the first RL girl and she has helped us grow in so many ways. I have really enjoyed collaborating with her and the SharedSpace family.
ON BEING A #GIRLBOSS -
Many people think that being your own boss is the best thing ever because you can come and go as you wish and you don’t have to answer to anyone. While being your own boss definitely has its perks, it is not as glamorous as it sounds. Being an entrepreneur requires 100% focus and determination, it is a marathon, not a sprint. Rising Lotus is my baby and it has been very rewarding seeing it grow daily, but it has also been extremely exhausting. I have sacrificed so much to keep Rising Lotus alive and I am working super hard every day to take it to the next level. The biggest lesson I have learned as a business owner is the importance of delegating. There are only so many hours in a day and it is impossible to do everything yourself, working smartly and delegating tasks to the right people is the key to success. Being the perfectionist that I am, it was very hard for me to let go in the beginning and I am definitely still trying to get better at delegating now.
“Being an entrepreneur requires 100% focus and determination, it is a marathon, not a sprint.”
What keeps me going - Passion and Drive. As corny as it sounds, I truly love going to work every day and seeing Rising Lotus grow. I have the best job in the world and I truly enjoy every single moment of it.
LOTUS OF LABOUR
There is nothing more rewarding than seeing someone on the streets wearing your designs. I will never forget the first time I saw a customer wearing Rising Lotus, I got super excited and had to sneak a picture and send it to all my friends and family. We do so many pop-ups all around Hong Kong because there is nothing better than meeting getting to meet our customers in person and getting to know them. Our customers’ feedback is so important to us, we really listen to what they want and need when we design ☺ We hope to build a strong community of RL girls as see them grow with Rising Lotus!
3 years from now, I hope to take RL into other markets like Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, etc. I hope that we will have a strong RL community by then, I wish to host RL classes and workshops for all RL girls ☺ P.S. Hopefully in 3 years, we will have something for the guys too!
Amazing - wishing you all the best, Viv!