An interview with #Impactmaker Carmen van der Vecht, founder of Rambler
By Nadine Maarhuis, 17-08-2015
During each and every one of her travels, Carmen van der Vecht has always tried to share the stories of the street teens she encountered by using art and photography as means of communication. During one of these journeys, Carmen came up with the idea for her social enterprise: ‘’Whilst I was photographing the street teens in London, I felt so inspired by their creative styles that I wanted to enable them to do something with the creativity they embodied. This is how the idea for Rambler was born.’’
Rambler is a social enterprise that enables street teens in main capital cities to design and create their own authentic street wear. In order to get in contact with the teenagers, Carmen and her team work together closely with local organisations who are already reaching out to these youngsters. ‘’When these organisations find out that one of the teens is interested in fashion, they introduce them to Rambler.’’, Carmen says.
I wanted to enable them to do something with the creativity they embodied
Over the past few years, Rambler has been able to make a positive impact on the lives of the street teens in Amsterdam by offering them several programs. First and foremost, Rambler engages the teenagers in a creative program that enables them to design and develop clothing items that are in line with their own personal style. In addition, Rambler offers the teens a social program in which they get assistance with whatever there is that needs to be taken care of. According to Carmen, this combination is what Rambler is all about: ‘’In addition to enabling the teens to design amazing clothes, we also want to be their safe haven: a place they feel like they can turn to wherever and whenever it’s needed.’’.
After five years of making a positive impact on the lives of the street teens in Amsterdam, Rambler currently finds itself ready to expand internationally. By the end of this year, the venture will open their second studio in Berlin. In addition, over the next few years Rambler seeks to expand their positive impact by opening several studios worldwide: ‘’Currently, we’re looking to expand to New York, London, Sao Paolo and Tokyo. All very different cities that have one thing in common: creative street teens who’s lives Rambler would like to touch upon.’’.
How Impact Hub Amsterdam enabled Rambler to:
- Launch Rambler: Carmen tells me how Impact Hub has influenced Rambler in all the different phases they went through, starting with enabling them to launch the venture by letting them do the workshops every Friday at the Impact Hub office in Amsterdam.
How Impact Hub Amsterdam connected Rambler with:
- People with a lot of expertise: Through Impact Hub , Carmen has met people who still coach Rambler
- fellow Impact Hub Members
How Impact Hub Amsterdam inspired Rambler to:
- Keep on going: Because the Hub enabled Rambler to start off their venture, Carmen says: ‘’Because the Hub enabled us to pilot our programs, it gave us so much inspiration and motivation to continue. Because of the support of Impact Hub, we never felt like we did it alone.’’