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Mompreneur Part 3: Rachel Nilsson of Rags to Raches

Posted by Aly Saifoloi on


Name: Rachel Nilsson
Age: 33
Where do you live: Highland, UT 
How many children and ages: 3; 8,6 and 4
Name of your business: Rags To Raches
Which came first, your business or kids? Kids
What motivated you to start your company? Kids and Family.  We were really poor. 
Tell us what an average week day looks like for you?  Work and with any free time, I play with my kiddos. 
How do you strive for balance between family and work?  It is so hard.  I don't really balance things that well. What I am good it is priorities.  Making sure I always keep my priorities in check and if I can do that, balance will come. 
What do you do to relax? I don't really ever relax! ha.  I love to ride my bike, play soccer, but If I am feeling like I need to wind down... I love a good massage or pedicure. 
Current favorite song?  I think anything sung by Bon Iver.  My favorite musician.
You've accomplished so much, what are some of your 5 year goals (family and personal): Freeedom! Kidding.  Grow my company to becoming a known household name, start working out and getting in better shape, staff up RAGS so I can take some time with my family, build out some cool programs with RAGS (its super top secret;) 
My dream vacation with my kids would be to: I have always wanted to do a Disney Cruise with them.  I think they would be in Heaven.  When they are happy, I'm happy. 
My dream vacation without my kids would to: Some remote island with adventure, sun, good food, and all my pals. 
If you could describe yourself with one word what would it be?  Crazy. :) 

 

A few extra words o' wisdom: 

So I started my company almost three years ago.  I was raising my three boys and my husband was going to law school.  We were living in my parents basement and literally barely scraping by.  The origin of RAGS started from me selling my kids’ hand-me-down clothing on Instagram.  It was a good way to help make ends meet. As the company grew, I was starting to spread myself way too thin.  I would hang with the boys all day and then once I put them to bed I would cut, sew, email and ship.  It was literally a one man band.  I would be up all hours of the night and then I found myself too exhausted to enjoy my kids and honestly, they were what made me the happiest but they were being put on the back burner. So finally, after many sleepless nights and crazy long days, I decided I needed to hire a nanny to come help me with my boys.  I was still home with them, but I wasn’t giving them the attention they deserved.  That was a hard pill to swallow.  I started out only needing someone a couple days a week for a few hours.  Shortly after that, I was able to grow the business even more and ended up needing full time help.  I have been very fortunate with who we have had come in and be with my little ones, but to this day, it is probably my biggest struggle.  MOM GUILT IS REAL and oh-so hard!  For whatever reason, we as females, working moms, momprenuers feel the need to be home raising our families.  And maybe even feel like society is subliminal in pressuring us to do so.  Almost every time I am asked to be interviewed for a major publication or sit on a business panel, one of the main questions is, “How do you balance it all? being a Mom and a successful business owner?”.  I remember having a conversation with my husband about this question and I asked him if he has ever received the same thing? “How to you balance it all? Work, husband and father?”.  He looked at me stunned because he quickly realized that, no, he had never been asked that.  

I feel like it is a woman’s nature to want to be the caretaker of her children… well at least it is mine.  There are many days I lay in my bed in the morning and I crave just chilling in my PJ’s and cuddling with my dudes all day.  Sometimes I wish I could be there when my kids get home from school.  This was and has been very hard for me at times.  I have felt because I haven’t done those things I am falling as a mom.  And regardless of what anyone told me, it was almost pointless because those feelings seemed to never fade away. They would come and hit like a ton of bricks.  This was something that was really hard for me to adjust to.  I knew I needed to change my thought process and I was confident my kids could feel how much I loved them.  I remember really doing some soul searching and trying to figure out how I could make this work. Slowly but surely, I realized that I may not be the best at balancing things, but what I think I can be good at is, prioritizing things.  So, I made some goals.  I prioritized what made me the happiest in my life long term. Some of the obvious ones to me were relationships (Family and friends), God, and Business.  How could I stay grounded and maintain all three priorities?  How could I make sure that my kids and spouse remained at the top? My situation felt so unique. I realized I didn’t get to spend all day with my kids like most moms do, but what I could do is freely choose when I would spend time with them and treat it like an important business meeting. NOTHING WOULD TRUMP THAT.  I started off committing to driving them to school every morning.  Because I couldn’t be home when they got home, I wanted to be there when they took off.  It isn’t the most convenient thing because I am usually rolling into work a little later than I’d like, but it is SOOO WORTH it.  It’s my way of showing them that I love them and its the perfect start to our day.  Another thing that I realized was when that MOM GUILT comes on and hits like a ton of bricks… BAIL!  Leave work and go hang with my kids.  Nothing is stopping me but myself.  It sounds so simple, but for some reason that was hard to do.  Once I realized that I really can do that, it felt like the guilt totally subsided.

These two examples aren’t major ground breaking discoveries but they allowed me to feel good about working and helping to provide a great life for my kids.  I want to teach my kids that 1. THEY MATTER. 2. I LOVE THEM WITH ALL MY HEART and 3. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU SET YOUR MIND TO… look at what happened with me! 

Once I started putting my priorities at the top, balance came.  All of the sudden being a Mom and business owner started to flow.  I feel so lucky to have the life I do.  I feel so blessed to have three kids who are honestly my biggest cheerleaders.  I love the fact that I am able to be both and actually be (semi;) good at each thing. After talking to other working moms I have learned that the mom guilt just comes with the territory.  It is what you do to alleviate that.  It isn’t the end of the world if you bail on your current job and take a few extra hours to hang with your kids.  It isn’t the end of the world if you have to adjust a few things in your crazy schedule to spend a couple hours a week with your loved ones.  At the end of the day, the most important things for our children to know are,  mom loves you unconditionally.  Be present when you can be.  Treat the time you have with your kids like an important business meeting.  Don’t let things trump your priorities.  Being a mom is no joke. Being a working mom is next level. Hardest things I have ever done but I feel so lucky I get to be both!

Follow along at ragstoraches.com and on Instagram @rags_to_raches

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