Never take advantage of the “little guy” to benefit yourself, and always treat people with kindness and respect and it will come back to you, times ten.
Well, thank you! It has been a crazy ride. I never went to a “fashion” school or had any proper training, but I have always had an interest in fashion and made my own clothes from the moment I learned how to sew. When I was in college I realized that I could make some money doing this! I designed a shirt line and sold them in a local boutique chain which was rad. They were the only high-end store around and I was stoked to have my clothing there. Much to my surprise, they ended up selling out every single week. Keeping up with the demand became too much and I wasn’t having fun anymore, so I stopped making them. I learned a lot through that process, one being I shouldn’t be caught behind a sewing machine and the other that I should get to manufacturing sooner rather than later. So, fast forwarding to now…I started RAGS on Instagram. My husband and I were broke, as he was going through an intense grad school program, and I was home raising our three boys. We literally had no income and our student loans were running out – I had to do something to make an extra buck. I started selling my kids’ hand-me-down clothing and soon realized that the things that were selling for the most money in the shortest amount of time were the things that I had made for them! It dawned on me early one morning that I should start making clothing again and sell them through this amazing channel. It was free and I had no overhead. I got out my laptop at 4am (I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited), drafted up a plan, and here were are today. It is crazy to think that all this began only three years ago!
I realized fast that my demand was higher than I had expected, and I knew that I needed to first get a manufacturer because of my past experience. I didn’t want to sew them all and I couldn’t keep up. The next thing I needed to do was hire a customer service/shipping person. I hired Becca, my sister, who still works here today. I remember being so scared to hire someone! Not just because of the overhead, but because I was now responsible for someone else’s livelihood. Scary. Sales tripled the following month which I think was due to the extra help, but also because of how I changed my mindset – I knew I could handle more business and I was hungry for it.
I neglected Facebook for a long time as I just wasn’t very familiar with it. We just started delving into it and the growth has been insane. It is a great platform for more conversation and ad type material — it’s been working great for us.
My dad told me, “Don’t step on soft heads to get to the top.” And he’s so right. Never take advantage of the “little guy” to benefit yourself, and always treat people with kindness and respect and it will come back to you, times ten. This has been a great reminder throughout.
I believe in quality over quantity and staying consistent. It is a hustle but we keep at it.
We do make things in the USA. I love that we get to do that and support other Americans in what they love to do. It has been really cool to see the effects our small business has made on so many vendors that we work with. Being able to support hundreds of other families has been really rewarding.
It was insane! I think it was one of the craziest, scariest, most stressful things I have ever done. It was a great experience for our company for multiple reasons, but it was also really great for me personally. I literally feel like I can do anything now. I have been baptized by fire!
Staying authentic. We have never bought followers, likes, comments, etc. I believe in quality over quantity and staying consistent. It is a hustle but we keep at it. I always try and make sure content that we post is on brand and relevant as well.
Umm…I don’t know if I have hidden talents! I was a college soccer player. I love being outdoors. I love to ride mountain bikes and I am an adrenaline freak — I think all entrepreneurs are to an extent. Running a business is a constant adrenaline rush!
Community is everything. I started my business through my Instagram and that is a massive community. Since then, I have met so many other business owners who have inspired and supported me along the way. I could have never done what I did without the community I’ve built. Relationships are key and are a huge driver of success. Always, always treat people the way you want to be treated. Such a great lesson.
All the admin work. HA! I love creating and designing. The other least favorite is being away from my kids. I genuinely hate that as I love them and I love being with them. I am working on a way to spend more time with them because they are little and I don’t want to miss those precious moments.
I don’t know if they are time savers, but maybe “throw in the towel-ers”? I just have to let go of certain things I used to really care about — like organizing their toys, for example. I know I don’t get to be with them all day, so when I am with them, every minute counts. I don’t want to waste those precious moments cleaning. So instead of a time hack, I learned to let go of some things so that I can spend good quality time. This was harder than it sounds but I know I won’t regret it.
Yes! My kids are getting older, and as they grow I realize there is such a hole in that market as well. I am so excited to start expanding. We are going to start with accent pieces and go from there. Fall is going to be a goodie. Can’t wait to show you all what’s in store!
Make sure your kids know they come first before anything else.
Have fun. Life is no good if it isn't fun.