The first time I was acquainted with the products of xhundredfold, otherwise known as xHF, I was unaware of their story, passion and beginnings. I had received an iron-on patch as a gift, and thought the design was cute. Only after stumbling upon their site and Instagram separately later did l realise the significance and meaning behind the brand.
Underlying the name of xHF is the biblical imagery of hope – that if we are willing to sow the little that we have, we will be able to reap a hundredfold and move mountains, explain its founders.
“Essentially, we hope that our brand, at its core, will be able to pay-it-forward, and to inspire people to multiply their giving,” their founder Adele tells me over an email interview.
Founded by Jared and Adele, the story of xHF dates back to late 2014 when the xHF team went for a mission trip to the Philippines.
They participated in the weekly giving routine the local non-profit organisation, AFJC, abided by. In the midst of this, they witnessed the difficult and heart-wrenching conditions that the people, families and children were going through.
“Many families were struggling to make ends meet and could not afford to send their children to school,” Adele shares.
Nonetheless, through the efforts of AFJC, these children in slum areas were given the opportunity to receive free education, food – and most importantly – hope for a better future.
“Witnessing the passionate, unyielding, humble and generous spirit of the members of AFJC in giving the little that they had to others in greater need than themselves sparked a great deal of self-reflection, and re-thinking of personal priorities.”
The Birth Of A Brand
This trip later became the key catalyst for them to put their thoughts into action – the brand was officially launched in May 2016, with their first cause, #buildabag. This initiative intends to provide children and teens with basic supplies needed for school.
#buildabag encourages an equal giving concept – where the children or teenagers receive an equivalent of what consumers receive, in accordance to the founders’ beliefs that no child is less worthy than another.
The recipients of their stationery include both local and regional children and youth across a range of backgrounds.
Adele reveals that apart from less privileged children from Singapore, their recipients also include underprivileged children and youth from Quezon City, Philippines; orphan children and youths from Seoul, South Korea; and Hmong minority youths from Sapa, Vietnam.
Subsequently, the team also launched the #forgetyounot initiative – because both Adele and Jared have elderly family members who have in recent times been diagnosed with dementia.
As they did not initially fully understand the spectrum and implications of dementia, they researched and talked to professionals who had a better understanding of the condition – which allowed them to be enlightened on the condition as a whole.
Subsequently, Jared and Adele discovered that their close friends also had loved ones with dementia or similar conditions which caused neurological impairment.
This prompted them to start an initiative to shed light on persons with dementia and their caregivers. They had hoped that their initiative would enable people who were unaware of the condition before family members were diagnosed with it – like them – to be aware of many in our midst with dementia, and “hopefully, be inspired to want to understand the condition better.”
No Journey Is A Bed Of Roses
Adele counts the “giving trips” they make to be the highlight of their journey in xHF, and the driving force for them to keep doing what they do.
Nonetheless, she also shares that they are “learning to set realistic goals,” which is one of their greatest challenges – alongside dealing with personal expectations and the self-deprecation that creeps in, all while staying true to their core values.
“As with every growing business, no journey is a bed of roses. There is plenty of hard work and sacrifice involved behind the front of a brand.”
“(These range from) planning finances and coordinating logistics, to having to brain-storm for ideas and designs to push sales forward whilst balancing business-perspectives with our beliefs – we believe in fair trade, sustainable practices, and promoting positive messages.”
In response to the challenges they face, however, the team takes it in their stride to learn from their mistakes along the way – accepting their mistakes and moving forward, whilst always keeping in view the core reason behind what they’re doing – for them, this is their vision of hope and multiplied giving.
For the folks at xHF, the things which keep them going also include “learning to take time off work (and) to have personal time and space to do what makes (them) happy,” which “definitely helps with creative freedom!”
Moments That Make The Heart Swell
Of course, amidst challenges, the xHF team catches glimpses of joy from time to time.
“It’s been amazing to know that people appreciate our products, and what we do. Sometimes we get people who would drop us a message (or) tag us in a photograph of them using our products, (and) those moments are always heart-swelling,” shares Adele.
Nonetheless, it is the personal encounters they experience in each giving trip that keeps the team going.
“Seeing our tiny action of giving translate to brighten another person’s day really makes everything worth it!”
As for upcoming plans, xHF hopes to continue to carry out more creative collaborations. These include working with various other creatives to create beautiful and inspiring new things. They also aspire to plan bigger giving trips in future, which they hope to invite more people to join them in.
Although Adele doesn’t reveal much, she also shares that they are “also working something out with a few local organizations that intertwines creative arts with community.”
My eyes are peeled and meanwhile, you can keep updated here too!