Rachel Sheila Kan, founder of Circular Earth and The Ecosystem Incubator a busy working single mother with heart, empathy, who listens to your needs as a business and gets the job done. A day in the life of working in the consultancy and building with new systems.
The day for me starts usually with Yoga, meditation (if I can fit it in) and a hearty Vegan breakfast. I have been Vegan for 5 years and it’s one thing that started me on the journey. It may sound weird but the discipline of doing that really helped with many of the aspects of building with sustainability.
Today, I am dropping my children off to school, it is important to me that they are a part of my world, and since moving into consultancy and sustainable entrepreneurship I have realised the beautiful value of my nearest and dearest. I always walk with them, and I love to hear the way that they play and create make believe games as we walk. I feel happy that I made the switch to my own business so that I am not rushing them to breakfast club and getting on the train if it chooses to appear. I can choose when I get down to business and it doesn’t ever and shouldn’t ever stop me from producing results.
Before I used to resent my children for ‘being in the way’, now I see them as beautiful inspirations – they are the reason I sat down and started my journey. I said to myself, we can do better here. They need for many more of us to stand for a future that’s regenerative in all aspects, it is not for them to do it all – it is for us to lay the foundations for them to continue building. I very much think in a cathedral thinking aspect, where I may not ever see the future of the ripples that we are creating here. Just as Antonio Gaudi never saw his Cathedral come into fruition. I am inspired by the Bhagavad Gita about not doing things just for the fruits of the work.
“You have the right to work, but for the work's sake only. You have no right to the fruits of work. Desire for the fruits of work must never be your motive in working’’.
The day starts with a call to my business partner, who has been a great inspiration and help to me in the background of my business as I am in the background of his. We discuss the mechanics of how we are creating The Ecosystem Incubator, finance wasn’t my forte – with his help I have been able to create a financial plan for 3 years and have it ready. He has helped me in so many ways that I cannot mention them all here, with marketing, positioning, building business and aiding my regenerative thought processes to be actualised. They always used to say behind every great man is a great woman. I show you a great woman with a great man behind her, he’s got my back, I’ve got his back. There are also many other collaborator’s in the background, from the amazing Bel Jacobs helping me with my press release to the members inviting others to come and check it out. I am grateful for the support and abundance that is all around us.
I then get onto building for my clients who are creating a parallel brand, successful in their business already, they don’t have time to create the fashion range that they want to and I am project managing their whole thing. Talking to our Ecosystem network we are able to look at the logistics of building agile mini production hives. I have been in industry long enough to know that you need to commit to some things as you go, like fabrications, components, think about labelling, but these days we can be more agile with the CMT and with our trusted partners this is possible. I love how the two businesses can fuel each other this way and our partners really understand sustainable development. I am getting the tech packs ready and working with my garment tech to get the sizing working and ready to rumble in the next few weeks. Discussing fabrications and shape design, designing fashion isn’t just about drawing a pretty picture you have to know how to build it in 3D, many technical aspects, as well as legislations and regulation. So my design and development experience really helps clients who might not be used to garment design.
And to lunch at my beloved local dog café, with my best friend, listening to him and taking my brain out from the stuff I need to do or be for a time, I love to focus on people and be in the moment. After a short walk and a coffee, I head home to the next meetings. Being in nature is really important to me and I make sure I spend a little while in nature connection each day.
Building The Ecosystem Incubator has been a wonderful passion for me for over a year, I studied regenerative business structures and leadership with the amazing Laura Storm and Jenny Anderson while we had the mad lockdown. It inspired me to build the collaborative and invite fashion businesses to try on building in a collaborative space, where we as one can build into booking MOQs as a collective, co-market, co-distribute, co-wholesale and finance projects amongst so much more. Sharing the ecosystem with people has become a wonderful interactive experience where we co-create more benefits as we find more and more people to join us. I love building with no hierarchy and knowing that it will have all in the system thrive over time after building those connections and trust.
I am speaking tonight at a local event, great people who would like to hear me speak about what I do and how I create, for a community high street project. Really great people and some good friends show up. I love speaking about what I am doing and being in the regenerative and sustainable future that we all have a hand in be it industry, community, school, university, government or on a personal level.
So there you have it a day in the life of me, and that isn’t the half of it. I love life, what it throws at you and I remember the George Bernard Shaw quote that so resonates with me every time I read it. With that I bid you goodnight, good day and good week.
‘’ This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being a force of nature, instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch, which I've got held up for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.’’