Once he had designed a new, more appealing website, people started paying attention.
Eleven years after graduating from Pacific Union college, Rayme Inae, ’01, returned to his alma mater to share his story of life after college and offer advice to budding artists and entrepreneurs. In a lively and frank presentation to visual arts students, Inae, creative director and co-founder of GoJane.com, encouraged students to "Grab the steering wheel of your own life!"
Living in Southern California, Inae ran into two friends who were trying to get a small company called GoJane.com—an online retailer of fashion forward apparel for young women—off the ground. Taking stock of their situation, Inae realized that he could help them build up their operation, but under one condition. “I told them, ‘I want to see growth,’” he said.
Inae ended up being an integral part of that growth. Once he had designed a new, more appealing website, people started paying attention. After a slew of orders came through in one day, Inae and his partners discovered that their customers had heard of them through YM, a popular teen magazine. That first appearance started a snowball effect: GoJane.com began showing up in editorials in every young women’s publication in the country, and their business took off.
He admits that in the wake of the company’s financial success, he became too focused on purely material goals—the big house, the expensive car. But once the thrill of those achievements wore off, he realized that those things weren’t satisfying. “It was just a matter of maturing and realizing there are things out there that are bigger than you,” he says. “Right now I take pride in investing in people.”
That includes investing in his employees. It also includes supporting students, by assisting them with tuition and sponsoring student mission trips. “I think a year abroad—you grow up a lot and find out who you are,” he says. He himself spent a year as a missionary in Japan during his time at PUC. “It’s a great growing experience, and I think it’s really cool.”
What keeps Inae excited about his work—as well as his more philanthropic investments—he says, is not a passion for selling women’s clothing. It’s not even the financial rewards of being part of a successful company. “It’s about identifying opportunity. If you’re so focused on one thing, you might miss other opportunities that are opening for you,” he said. “I just have a passion for growth.”