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Meet Sybile Kohn of RUM PUNCH

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sybile Kohn.

Sybile, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Styling & Designing has definitely found me rather than the other way around… It came to me, and I welcomed it with open arms and basically never looked back… I actually went to a film school, as I aspired to be a film director and right out of school I got gigs working as a producer, production coordinator, and assistant director. I took a break from that for a while, and when I came back, I decided I really needed to be in a more creative headspace.

I had an opportunity to work for a while as an assistant Wardrobe stylist as a way to make some quick, easy income never thinking for one second that I would do this as a career, but the universe had its plan…

During my “creative long break,” I took some acting classes, and our acting coach/teacher had assigned me the task of taking a few other girl students to go shopping and help them with their wardrobe, so I guess there were some signs to others that I had a knack for putting things together. I do have to admit that when I was assigned a scene of a play to showcase for my acting class, my favorite part was going out shopping and creating the look of the character and the set dressing…

On one of my very first styling gigs, my husband was the advertising photographer on the shoot. We hit it off right away and basically became a very strong creative team for many years. Through the years I have worked with him and many other creatives styling fashion, lifestyle & advertising campaigns, commercials & events.

In between that, I had also created a brand with my sister called “Female” for a few years which had some success, but we ended up putting it to rest because we just realized that it wasn’t as fun as we thought it would be… After going back to styling for a few more years, I got that designing itch again but decided this time I was going to do things a bit differently. I wanted to sell directly to customers.

There is something really wonderful when you create your own line & brand, you have the freedom to write your own script, you are in complete control of the story you want to tell, and that is something that you rarely get to do when you work for others, there is always someone else you need to please.

When I created Rum Punch, it came from a longing to create something that I felt we needed more of at the time… I needed as well myself more playfulness in the creative realm. I started the online retail site “Rum Punch” late 2014.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Whatever life brings that is meaningful and long lasting I think definitely has its share of struggle for it to really flourish.

As a designer, at least for me, I love creating and making new stuff because ideas are always flowing but behind each creation you bring forth and introduce there’s a lot of other stuff that needs to happen and put into play like marketing, content, sales, updating websites, posting social media, customer service, packing, shipping, sourcing, accounting, etc and so in reality that time you spend doing all the other stuff takes a huge chunk of your time and mental space… and most of the time all these departments are handled by yours truly or a very small handful of people.

So my biggest struggle I think is as a designer and business owner, I have to spend much more time in the “Getting it done” mindset and not enough in the Creative mindset.. of course you have to find the joy in all that you do and I do, but at the end of the day you are spending a lot of your time doing the “other stuff”.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I have an online lifestyle brand for kids & adults… I have the softest, coolest organic fabric that I sourced and developed. It’s 95% Hemp Jersey, and all of my goods are made from this very sexy fabric. I hand dye all of the apparel for now. The Jersey is like a second skin. Definitely the softest shirts your kiddo will ever wear. The kid’s line of shirts is called “Petit Punch…”

I was very inspired by my little boy (who is a bit older now) it was so hard to find clothes for him that we’re super soft, had more of a designer fit with meaningful messages on them.. most kids shirts said things like “I love dino’s” “I’m the boss”.. Also in terms of available colorways, it was always the same bold colors over and over again available in stores… and the same idea inspiration followed through for adults… I wanted better organic fabrics, colorful fun pieces that had a real uplifting vibe to them.

I also created these “Live in Love” Yoga mats which are pretty rad with the infamous radiant heart. I also sell home decor goods that I source that are very true to the Rum Punch Life brand. Colorful island spirit fun.

When you wear something that feels amazing and has a meaningful message behind it, there is something very powerful about that… it gives you strength. I didn’t really know how to hand dye at all when I started, but right away a heart came out over and over again that is like a big tattoo on your back, it’s like a force, the power of love. So many peoples now have tattoos that represent how they feel, what inspires them etc. why not wear more clothing that represents just that, with the same intention. Basically, it’s all geared to inspire us to live a happier, more uplifting, joyous life.

What I’m most proud of is having followed through with the birth of the company… Also, everything that was important to me when I created the brand seems to be the big fad now in terms of sustainability, organic, handmade… so it’s really nice to see that I was aligned with the movement of our time…

There is definitely something to be proud of when you have an idea, and you follow through with it. What sets this brand apart I believe for sure the quality of the goods, the fabric and also it’s unique hand-dye & the way it makes peoples feel when they are wearing & using our goods… that to me is always very heartwarming. I get a lot of positive feedback on the apparel and yoga mats. The next step, of course, is keeping it alive, and growing is the next big goal and challenge.

What were you like growing up?
I was always pretty outspoken and free… definitely more of an extrovert. I had a very unique upbringing. Most of my tween & teen years I grew up in the Carribean.

I lived in Tahiti, St. Barths & the Dominican Republic. I had a lot of freedom growing up… When you live on islands, there’s a lot of peoples coming and going, and so you make friends very quickly, and you have a great connection and fun with them for a short period of time, and then they disappear and most of whom you never see again. I didn’t really have a very specific interest growing up although I did always love to paint, make home movies and filming with my stepfather’s video cameras… we also loved taking pictures… It was all about just enjoying life, nature, friends, and family really just having fun whenever we could.

I grew up feeling comfortable in whatever place I was at the time. I think I still am really open and easy to connect with… I can go anywhere and feel like this whole world is my home… not just the house I live in L.A. But pretty much wherever I am hanging out at the time. I’ve always been up for a new adventure. I also feel very much at home when I’m in an exotic place with a turquoise ocean. That is still hands down my favorite place to be…

The Rum Punch brand is basically inspired by that way of life, the way that we grew up where everything slows down… more connection to people and nature, that feeling you get when you are on vacation relaxed, more present, just enjoying is what I’m inspiring with this brand. Bring the vacation home. “Live a Rum Punch Life”

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Robert Deutschman Photography

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