Monday, August 31, 2015

Moms on Mondays - Jessica from Rad + Rue

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This week I am so honored to feature a friend of ours, Jessica from Rad + Rue!  This mama is so awesome and works hard for her family.  I first met her when she chose Lemon to be a model in her brand shoot (Lemon's first brand shoot!) and when I met her I liked her, and loved her shop!  We see Jessica and her cutie son Harryson at model shoots every now and again, and I love that our paths have crossed so often.  Check out a photo from the Rad + Rue shoot, below and click here to see more!  Read her post below and then go shop!

What is the name of your shop and how can we find you? 

My shop's name is Rad + Rue! We are on Instagram and Facebook too. 

Tell us about what you make/sell in your shop.  

We create tee shirts and other original pieces, as well as carry unique wholesale items that are good quality and high fashion. Everything for your boho baby or your handsome hipster can be found in our shop! We also do accessories. :) 

How long have you been in business? 

Rad + Rue became a concept just over a year ago but I was really scared to pursue it! I started the shop and in 6 months we have gone from 300 followers to nearing 7k!! 

What is your background (college/career/etc.)?

I taught preschool for a long time and am nearing the end of my Early Childhood Education degree. I've also started courses in marketing and I did photography for 5 years before opening this little shop. It's been a dream of mine since I was in high school! 

Tell us a little bit about your family.  
How does this company help your family?  Or you? 

Truthfully I am the sole provider for our family. Between Rad + Rue and doing photography we rely on my income. The love of my life is currently a student, going back to school for his art degree. He's one of those people that can do everything, he even screen prints our tees! We have a 6-year-old little man who does some ️️brand reppin' and we just make it work. We live on love and I guess on Rad + Rue too!

Did you ever think you'd be doing this?  What did you think you'd be doing instead?

You know, I didn't think I would have the guts. It's been said that I'm totally one of those people who undersells themselves. So, I always thought I would stick to what I knew, education.  While I love it, I am so so so happy to be doing what I believe is my true passion. If I weren't running my little shop, I think I would live on a farm! I want to be a farmer so badly! 

Does anyone help you with your shop?

I am truly lucky that Jesse helps screen print our tees and helps me ship products. But, I am the one who does inventory, and packaging, and all marketing/giveaways.

How do you find time to run your shop and create products? 

You know, it's a balance. I think for all of us mamas it's about just finding time. I drink a lot of Chai tea, I stay up late and wake up early. Sometimes my little dude writes thank you notes and helps mama out! It's something I love so much, I love seeing my customers names after a time or two and knowing exactly who is receiving the package, and how happy it will make them. I think when you are doing what you have passion for, it doesn't seem optional. It's tough at times, but always rewarding! (Doesn't that sound like the motto of parenting?!)

What do you love about this businesses?

 I love my customers, I love my ️️brand reps and enthusiasts. I truly believe that I have met the most inspiring and kind-hearted women through my shop. Plus, you get photos of adorable babies wearing your items! No one could hate that! 

What is the most challenging part of this business?
Going from a shop with 300 followers to one with nearing 7000 is a huge leap, and with it comes a learning curve. I find that my personal challenge is that I want everyone to be happy all of the time, it matters so much to me. And sometimes, as a business owner, you kind of have these moments where you realize . . . "I cannot make every person happy." It's been my biggest learning curve. 

Where do you see your shop in the future?

It's so funny to think about that, you know? I look at amazing shops I love and I see their growth and all of them say that they never envisioned their growth being so astounding. I think I try to be humble. I tell myself that I want Rad + Rue to be as great as it can be, but I'm not sure what that means for us just yet! I will say though that since the beginning, hitting 10k has seemed like my ultimate goal, even though it sounds so silly.

Tell us your favorite product or your most favorite thing you've created?

Our Jug Life shirt is something I'm currently so proud of. It was one of my first designs, and is supporting breastfeeding. I think one of the great things about kind of finding success is that it gives you a platform to speak out for others, to give others a voice. Breastfeeding is such an admirable thing, and it makes me happy that mamas seem to find so much joy in the tees! Also, we have another design coming out, and it'll be probably my new favorite. I can't reveal much yet! Stay tuned! 

Do you have any advice for future mom-entrepreneurs?

Do not give up. Some days you will probably cry. It'll feel like having a newborn baby, except without the cute rolls to stare at, and with a lot of people depending on you to care for the baby. But, don't give up! You absolutely CAN achieve your dreams, just tell yourself you will, and you WILL. Someone gave me that advice once, and while it may seem cheesy, it is seriously something I live by.

What are some of YOUR favorite shops/products, besides your own?

I have so many! I really love so many shops, but for now I would like to name some that I think may not be as heard of, and might be more up and coming. Freckled + Co is run by a great friend of mine who is seriously so talented, I don't even know how to explain how awesome she is! Along with Siena London. Her items are for girls and her shop is boho heaven. Here to There Garments and Wee Rascals (also featured here on Moms on Mondays) I feel are super unique, and the shop owners are insanely down to earth (one has a super beach feel, the other has the best Abe Lincoln tee ever). Neon Eaters has the best socks ever, they're on my son's back to school list! Creative Cliches and NBT Threads are amazing and make items for kids and mamas! Plus, they are so down to earth and friendly. Let me just do two more, this is so hard I have a never ending list! Fin First and Pretzel Pretzel Shop are both dear friends of mine and have adorable stuff; my son owns several items from each shop. There is so much talent around me! Finding new shops is my favorite hobby!

Thanks so much, Jessica, for being a part of this series! 

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