founder, Designing A Difference
you may not think fashion and community service go hand in hand...
...but then again you might not know Rebecca Cahua. the San Francisco native recently opened D.A.D. Sewing House in her hometown with a vision as big as (we suspect) her heart: to improve the community by creating local job opportunities, and to preserve the presence of domestic apparel manufacturing in San Francisco. it may come as little surprise, then, that D.A.D. stands for “Designing A Difference” — or that we partnered with Rebecca for the production of our new go-to collection. more on Rebecca, in her own words.
your favorite place in the world?
wherever my family is.
three random facts about you?
i’m one of six siblings. i’m the first to graduate with a degree in my entire family. i’m the first to own a business.
tell us more about that! how did you get to where you are today?
i grew up seeing the homeless as i walked downtown, and vowed to myself that one day i'd help them. on November 3rd, 2012, i was scrolling though Instagram when I came across a video of a group of friends preparing meals for the homeless in New York City. within an hour, i created a flyer, reserved a venue and posted an ask on my Instagram for volunteers to join me in feeding San Francisco's homeless community. to my surprise, people responded — i had dozens of volunteers show up to help on that first event, and then dozens and hundreds more in all the months and years to follow as i continued to host and fund these monthly events. although the response and support was empowering, i felt like these events weren't creating a long-term resolution, so i started to brainstorm and research ways to truly create an impact on peoples’ lives. then the idea of Designing A Difference came up.
love that: Designing A Difference.
it’s a nonprofit that trains and directly employs people with employment barriers, like homelessness, incarceration or mental health issues, in the fashion trade. a year ago, we expanded and opened D.A.D Sewing House to further that mission. we work hard to stay true to our roots, and continue to host community events such as homeless outreach events and creative industry nights.
what’s your day-to-day like?
every day is different and exciting. i work with small brands and big corporations. i get to play a role in supporting someone’s creative vision, to learn their stories and motivations, to provide them with a service they need. this could mean anything from having meetings with clients to packaging, labeling, accounting and cleaning. overall, i just make sure everything is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
ok: all-around life hack?
do what you "want" — what makes you feel happy — even if it means doing it alone. those who are meant to be in your life will catch up later.
THE random thing you do best?
i like to think i’m a master networker. i’m able to get myself through any door or person i aim to get to.
and, we can’t help but ask, what are your go-to époque évolution pieces?
i’m in love with the go-to mock neck tee and the minimalist trouser. as someone who helps produce products for époque évolution, i admire and appreciate the attention to detail and care that goes into the development of each and every époque évolution design. the passion and affection that the époque évolution team puts into all their designs and production is something i will take with me as i continue to grow as a business owner, and something i know customers will appreciate.