When I met Hang in Australia for the first time, I was blown away by her energy and the passion she exudes. I could have sat for hours listening and learning. That said, sharing our conversation is difficult. It’s like I just ate a 7 course meal and I only have time talk about one bite. I can tell you one thing for sure, this will not be the first time you hear about Hang and All The Wild Roses, so for now, let me just introduce you.
Hang was born and raised in Australia, but native Vietnamese, so when she turned 19 she ventured to Vietnam to experience her roots and meet her extended family for the first time. What she didn’t realize at the time was that this trip would become more than a family reunion.
Beyond connecting with family and the beautiful sites, Hang was moved by their resilience and determination despite the lack of opportunities, and let’s be honest, the lack of pay. Her relatives worked as seamstresses in the local village, but resources were scarce, education was self taught, and their access to markets slim to none.
Over the years, Hang worked with her relatives, sending them vintage garments to repair, supplying them with new equipment, teaching them more skilled needlework, and eventually designing and commissioning them to make garments for All The Wild Roses.
It’s not uncommon for brands to employ people in countries that don’t have very many opportunities, but Hang doesn't employ them, she is empowering them. She is investing in their future and in effect their community.
I love this quote on their site,
“Our wild rose is a wandering soul; she leads with her heart in all she does and is a carefree mix of natural and effortless style full of love.
She is ‘wild’ because she has courage to go her own way in search of her dreams, unbound by tradition and dares to venture off the beaten track.”
It’s purpose is to define the style and elegance of her brand, but I think that it really defines Hang. She could have left Vietnam unfazed, or she could have left overwhelmed and helpless, but her determination to help has changed her family’s life.
Have you ever met someone so captivating and courageous that a mere descriptive sentence has the inability to do their life justice? Or they just leave you sort of speechless? I have met a few… but this one left me changed.
PS. Spring is upon us... if you live in Australia. So be sure the check out and pre-order their capsule spring collection (coming soon). Take a look at their site here.