Rachel Hill YOU INSPIRE ME! Rachel lives out loud and doesn’t apologize for it. She has always marched to the beat of her own drum, and does it with confidence and pride. When I met Rachel in 2003, she was a young teenager whose strength and maturity exceeded her years. Her strong sense identity is captivating, making her a natural leader and genuine role model for her friends and peers. Her drive and passion for life continue to inspire me and those who are fortunate to know her, today is your chance to be inspired.
Ready for adventure, Rachel left her home in Victoria, British Columbia in 2007 to travel from Mexico City to Panama City. On the way, she fell in love with the island of Utila (a small Caribbean island with 6,000 habitants) in Honduras where she made a permanent move and lived for almost 4 years. Today, Rachel lives in San Jose, Costa Rica, “reveling in the amenities and big-city multiculturalism that I craved in Utila” she says.
Rachel is the owner of Origami Customs, a line of women’s clothing and swimwear, inspired by independent women who are engaged and active in their life. She designs clothing that is “stable enough to endure the strenuous lifestyle of scuba diving and traveling, but also makes women feel confident and sexy.” As a custom line, Rachel most loves designing swimsuits and lingerie which reflect a client’s individual personality.
Sewing since high school, Rachel was taught and inspired by her mother, grandmother and aunts who were professional seamstresses, tailors or quilt makers. Origami Customs grew out of a small beachwear store she opened in Utila that originally imported name-brand beachwear. Utila is a scuba diver´s paradise, and Rachel’s customers couldn’t find bathing suits that fit them or were durable enough to stand up to the life of a scuba diver. Recognizing the need in the market, Rachel started to design and make custom made bikinis. As her popularity grew, she expanded her designs to include clothing, lingerie, and jewelry.
Rachel and Origami Customs are being well received; she was recently invited to show her 2013 Collection at a fashion show in Jaco, Costa Rica, and has been contacted by a sustainable clothing store in Ithaca, New York, who wants to carry the 2013 swimwear line. Rewards do not come without challenges, and Rachel has recognized her challenges are opportunities. As a young entrepreneur Rachel is blazing a trail for herself and other young designers.
Watching Rachel’s creativity flourish, her business grow, and her spirit shine inspires me to continue to work hard and live my passion. She is unapologetically herself and embraces and empowers other women to do the same. Rachel has been an outstanding example of living life on your own terms, chasing your dreams, and surrounding yourself with people who are going to support and encourage you.
When I asked Rachel if she had any insight or advice for her generation, she said:
To push yourself to be the best version of you. In your heart you know what you are able to be when you don´t let things in your society block you. It´s not that hard to find a new way of doing things, or a new place to do them. I am no longer afraid of changing or moving, because every time I do, I get better at being who I want to be.
Always trust yourself enough to keep growing and changing. You know what you should be doing, so every time you make a decision, think to yourself ¨is this better than the last decision I made?¨ and you will grow into the person you want to be.
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