How Designer Rachel Roy Finds Balance Under Life's Pressures
This A-list designer, mom, and philanthropist does it all with style.
As a fashion designer in high demand (her clients include Michelle Obama, Diane Sawyer, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Garner, Kim Kardashian West, Iman, Lucy Liu, and Sharon Stone), a philanthropist, and a single mother of two, Rachel Roy may define what it means to be a Mover & Shaper. True to form, she has developed healthy ways to handle everything on her plate. For starters, she acknowledges that while it is "impossible to do it all, you can do one thing at a time really well." (Related: Why Focusing On One Thing Will Make You a Better Athlete)
One of the things she dedicates much of her attention to is giving back. Through her "Kindness Is Always Fashionable" initiative, she has partnered with artisans around the world to produce pieces like tote bags and jewelry for organizations that support women and children, including OrphanAid Africa, FEED, UNICEF, and Heart of Haiti. Most recently, she teamed up with World of Children to create a fund to help the youngest citizens of Syria. When she's not focusing globally, the first-generation American (her father is Indian and her mother is Dutch) can be found living the dream in California, where she grows her own vegetables and always schedules "me" time into her calendar. And the other techniques she uses to stay centered? Here's a snapshot of her well-rounded life.
"Women and children are the group in this world that doesn't have a voice-in third-world countries, particularly. When you find your voice, you can escape things that are causing you pain. With Kindness Is Always Fashionable, I can develop products with artisans and sell it on our site and sometimes to some of our retail partners. It doesn't need to look like it's specifically from Africa or India. I either partner with a bigger organization like FEED (Lauren Bush) or we locate artisans and tweak what they do to make it sellable."
"It took a kind mom to point out that I was taking a lot of pills for exhaustion. Working out 20 minutes a day helps. I walk-run on a treadmill, sometimes on a steep grade. I appreciate all these classes and the social aspect of them, but I love a good old-fashioned weight. I love a leg press. I exercise four days a week for 20 to 40 minutes at a time. We can all get through 20 minutes-it takes longer to get dressed for it. And that thing about endorphins is really true." (Try this 20-minute HIIT tempo workout.)
"I show up for anything my friends are working on. My girlfriend introduced me to World of Children. They're fairly small, so we can make a big impact. With smaller charities, you can see where your money goes. I tell people or kids to work on things you like doing with your friends. We like designing, so none of that ever feels like work."
"Light is the source of creative inspiration I can't live without; I have to live in a space with natural light. I chose natural light over location. In part of California, it's part of the calling. The water also inspires me. I'm not in front of the ocean yet, but build as much ocean time into my schedule as I can. Dining at a beautiful restaurant by the water or even listening to the waves fills me up and energizes me." (Here's how taking your yoga flow outside can improve your practice.)