RinconCult Mission



  1. Tell me about what you do and what is RinconCult specifically.

  • Rinconcult is a minimalist, eco-conscious shop. What that means (Basically) is that we offer timeless, minimalist fashions that essentially have proven to be “staple pieces”, in that they don’t ever seem to go out of style. With my experience working in the apparel industry and my knowledge of fabrics and garment construction I am able to identify perfectly re-suable garments and give them a 2-3rd chance by diverting them from landfills.

 

  1. How was RinconCult born, and how do you manage having a Fulltime job in addition to a running business?

  • I would say the RinconCult became RinconCult at the beginning of 2011… Although I have been thrifting & upcycling since I was 12-13yrs old (30yrs old now). It wasn’t until the beginning of 2011, when I was into my 2nd year of working in the apparel industry that I started moving into the “sourcing / production” side of it, that is when I immediately saw a need to really discuss the consequences of garment over production (known as Fast Fashion) and the negative effects it has on the economy, consumerism, human rights and especially the environment.

  • As far as managing a fulltime job, in addition to RinconCult, it’s definitely a challenge but not uncommon. I fall into the new wave of millennial entrepreneurs known as sidepreneurs. Which is essentially active entrepreneurs pursuing endeavors while working fulltime. I think when you are fully committed and have a clear vision of what you intend to achieve, the possibility of being able to do that; what you love, for the rest of your life is reason enough to work hard and not give up…

 

  1. In other occasions where we have had coffee together, you mentioned that your upbringing was challenging. In what ways has your upbringing and past have molded your career and what influence does it have over RinconCult?

  • From my personal upbringing, I would say the fact that I wasn’t raised in the conventional mother & father household, or even in a one-parent household. I was raised partially by grandparents and by my older sister. I moved around a lot during my early years (until about 9yrs old), I had a pretty unstable childhood up until 13-14yrs old. Not saying I had the craziest childhood, but similar to many out there it was very challenging at times. Personally, I think moving around a lot has made the most impact on my life. I remember when I was 6/7yrs old I was this very outgoing child and then I suddenly became this huge introvert and started “living in my head”… always have ideas, but no way of communicating verbally in order to execute them. I became a chameleon in the way that I learned really well to blend in, into the new situation presented to me and not stand out.   Until this day. That’s the beauty of the internet, it gives a voice so socially awkward spirits such as myself, I suppose(haha)   That is what motivated me in part to take RinconCult somewhere… was the idea that it would be an online shop / resource site that wouldn’t demand a “face” to the movement.

 

  1. What are other challenges you have encountered over the years in your professional life? Both emotionally and business related

  • Besides being an introvert, which I feel has in a sense held me back from really “going out there” I would say my personal standards… they have been a professional and emotional challenge. Working in the garment manufacturing industry I am presented with ethical challenges… for example, if I am looking for a new fulltime employment opportunity, even though I live in a city with an abundance of opportunities, being the 2nd largest city for fashion in the USA; I feel my options are limited because I am unable to ethically accept an offer for a company who manufactures in countries where there’s no regard for basic labor rights…essentially Modern day slavery. I have been fortunate enough to work for American made brands, with the exception of my first apparel job which led me on this path. Lastly, I would say another challenge is getting people to care. We have to remember the average consumer is so disconnected from the process that it’s hard for them to relate, see and feel exactly how that garment was made and just how it was possible for it to be offered a that “price”. This is by no means their fault. Garment manufacturing is a trade that requires education and a market that pumps so much money into selling the consumer a finish product …a vision and an illusion.

 

  1. With your current experience on having an independent career, what is your opinion on the current situation of women in the modern business industry?

  • I know enough to say that the “role” of women has changed drastically in the past decades. With that said, women have proven to be a resilient, tough and unstoppable. We have proven that in addition to managing a household with children, or a husband / partner in general, we have this ability reach out of that place; that bubble we were placed into and join a workforce dominated by males… and in most cases we do so, as an addition to still managing a household. I think that’s pretty amazing! It’s a standard future generations are held to, meaning in the positive sense just how unstoppable females are. Yeah we still trail in the sense where we do not have “equal pay for equal work” or still strongly adhere to a mostly male higher-up, but I do see that changing soon. 

 

  1. Why the Fashion industry? What did you find in fashion that made you select it as a career?

  • I knew if I pursued further education after high school it would be in some sort of “art” field. I’ve always loved drawing, painting, being creative and innovative. I started as an architectural design major and switched to fashion design because it just seemed easier and I was at a point where I was sort of over the college experience …I had this mentality that the educational system in America lacks proper training in the skills for real life employment. I still feel that way. Now I sound like a pessimist... But to be honest I do have a love for fashion design. Like I said, I had a pretty challenging upbringing and that involved in addition to so much else, not being able to buy the latest trends and name brands…so I thrifted and improvised. Being creative, I always looked for ways to upcycle what I could have and make it “cool”.

 

  1. I know that Rincon Cult is an Eco-Conscious shop. Tell me more about this. Why is this important to you personally, and why do you believe it is important for society to be aware of the clothing we buy and wear.

  • Not to sound all political, but as a millennial our generation overwhelmingly accepts science compared to previous generations; which is a great thing… its progress. We/I care about the environment and of course global warming which is one of, if not the most, dangerous threat to life as we know it (97% of scientist agree) …in order to address this issue we naturally have to look at the causes of these effects, for which we are already experiencing in our climate; top 3 being an Increase in co2 concentrations, Ozone Depletion and Deforestation…With the exception of the meat/dairy industry, the fashion industry contributes drastically and directly to these. It be deforestation in India & Brazil for rayon production (one of the top fabrics used in Fast Fashion) which is made from a high mix of chemicals and wood pulp, emitting high levels of gasses into our atmosphere, long after production Or as simple as the fabric dying processes which are a major cause of water contamination in 3rd world countries where take our manufacturing and where water is already a very limited.

  • Which brings me to my next point, we take our manufacturing to these countries (India, China, Vietnam…) because they don’t have in place “rules and regulations” to protect even the most basic of human labor rights, we witnessed it with the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, over 1100 dead because the owners had a deadline to keep with apparel companies here in the west. The workers and owners alike, all knew the building was unstable. After the collapse the investigation showed that the employees had been locked into the building after expressing their concerns over the stability of the facility, by instruction of the owners. This industry is bloody… We subject and in many ways endorse modern day slavery in order to be able to go out here and buy the latest trend, wear it 4 times and discard it. RinconCult is my need as a human being to react to a problem that affects all of our lives…it be morally or environmentally by threatening our basic survival as a species. It just so happens my education and experience have made me better suited to address the issue from the “point of view” of a fashion industry side and that is what RinconCult intends to do. You want to buy a new outfit weekly; because it’s the latest trend…then you should understand the true cost of that decision. Simply: RinconCult looks to increase consumer awareness. I’m sorry if I come off as overly passionate, but I am.

 

  1. You mentioned that you have an introvert personality. How does this affect (positively and negatively) the way you manage and run your business?

  • We can look at the way in which I answered the previous question. I have a lot to say and a very difficult time expressing and conveying that message. A positive is I tend to over analyze in my mind, excessively and sometimes obsessively educate myself, so I am more knowledgably on a topic by the time I have the guts verbally to state it…The negative is I hardly ever put myself in a physical scenario in which these topics come up and even less so in a position where I am ok to speak. Unless of course online…

 

  1. If you could go back to the younger version of you thinking about starting Rincon Cult, what would you say to yourself?

  • I would probably tell myself to have patience. I put a lot of pressure and deadlines on myself by comparing myself to others who are exploring their passions fulltime or are financially “set-up”. Being a sidepreneur can easily burn you out, because it’s a lot…Its ok to slow down and cut yourself some slack.

 

  1. What pieces of advice would you give to other women who had had a challenging upbringing who are also planning or dreaming of creating a career on something they love for themselves?

  • Be patient, but stay determined and hungry for what you want. Make is your mission to work towards what you want on a daily basis. Contribute to your goals no matter how small it may be: subscribe to a podcast for entrepreneurs, watch that instructional youtube video, read / teach yourself the “how to’s” of that industry, whichever it may be. Never stop learning and more importantly never stop wanting it. Theirs a Marilyn Monroe quote that means a lot to me, she said “I used to think as I looked out on the Hollywood night — there must be thousands of girls sitting alone like me, dreaming of becoming a movie star. But I'm not going to worry about them. I'm dreaming the hardest.”  I’m always reminded of that quote during difficult times. We all have challenges… some of us have to work full-time to pay bills, go to school in the evenings, some of us are mother or caretakers…If we have proven anything, is that women can be many things at once. It’s simple, just don’t give up.