Rascal Creating Big Waves Online
Digital Media Student and Social Media reporter Brooke White interviews Queensland College of Art student Aidan Ryan about design, photography and his recent start-up business, Rascal Ltd. Pack Co for #unigoals Gold Coast.
Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well I’m 21 years old, currently living on the Gold Cast, finishing off my studies at QCA.
What was it that attracted you to QCA to study a Bachelor of Digital Media?
I think back then when I was choosing what I wanted to study, this course definitely stood out the most because of the variety of majors, and also the GC has some of the best skate parks haha.
Tell us about your passion for design and photography. Have you always been interested in both of these creative fields?
I remember hating Graphic Design in high school because it was mainly industrial design. We had to draw up a heap of boring stuff like pens and what not. I was mainly doing it do avoid doing Science or something haha. I would say skateboarding was definitely the bridge that led to my creative ways. I use to get skate magazines from the library and just froth over all the images. I wouldn’t even read them most of the time. From there I got my first camera and I’ve been hooked since! Then after school I studied a Cert IV in Photoimaging at TAFE for a year and then moved to the coast. First year was a bit messy. I was still shooting, but I felt like I had learnt all I needed. So I swapped majors to Graphic Design and I’ve been loving it ever since.
What inspired you to start Rascal Ltd. Pack Co and how did you go about getting it off the ground?
Well initially it was a class where we had to create a product, brand it, market it and sell it. I befriended a heap of the 3rd years who had done the class and they all told me to start working on something during the holidays before going back to Uni. A heap of my mates had made some really awesome stuff and I was keen to create something equally excellent. So on the holidays, my main lady taught me the ways of sewing and from there I just kept making pack after pack, refining each design until it was all schmick. Basically from there I designed up an online store, started an Instagram and just kept them both active. I feel like that’s how you get something off the ground, passion and determination is key.
Rascal upcycles their materials and all of the products are handmade. What made you go for this process instead of going through a supplier?
Well most days I can be found rummaging around all the Op shops, so it just made sense to utilise up-cycled materials. Also, op shops have some of the most unique materials out there, and that’s what makes it so special. Each design is different. Also it’s incredibly affordable. With supplies you normally need to meet a minimum requirement. Maybe somewhere down the track I might give that a go.
What’s the most challenging and rewarding parts of running your own business whilst studying?
I think sometimes I really just don’t feel like sewing haha. It can be a little tedious from time to time, but when I start creating a pack, I just get really into it and smash out a heap. This was for a class too, so I had to make time for it. It’s incredibly rewarding because you get complete creative control and you can call it your own, which I think is pretty amazing. I don’t know many other 21 year olds doing this.
If you could give one piece of advice to any students wanting to start their own business, what would it be?
Just do it! Give it a go, jump in the deep end. We’re still such babies in the world so we essentially have nothing to lose. If it does crash and burn, at least you can look back, reflect and say “Yeah! I totally had a cool little project for a while!”
You can check out Rascals backpacks here: http://rascalltdpackco.com.au/
Check out Rascals Instagram at @rascalpacks
The Griffith Collective is all about sharing student work and discovering what is happening on your campus. Be sure to let us know if you or anyone you know is working on some cool projects!