Lately we’ve been talking to lots of friends who are about ot embark on their “second acts”. One is leaving a long, successful career in banking. One left a career in HR to pursue her passion, photography. And our friend Rachel, shown here, recently launched her own Chocolate Works store on the Upper East Side. Rachel’s store is at 1410 Lexington Avenue, between 92nd and 93rd…in case you’re craving chocolate, like every other red-blooded human out there 🙂
We asked Rachel what the title track to her life is right now, and she said, “Firework, by Katy Perry.” We can see why! Rachel has two young kids, a husband and just embarked on a major entrepreneurial venture. Despite all of this on her shoulders, Rachel looked “red hawt” in the HEUCY #HighSchoolReunion at the Chocolate Works opening on Sunday. We asked her why she’s chosen this “second act”…and how she is staying sane and put together amidst the chaos of opening a business and raising a family.
(Side note: we were also very energized by last night’s episode of “The Profit” on CNBC…really good stuff and much lighter fare than “Homeland”. Watch it if you get a chance! Especially if you’re thinking of opening a small business and/or need to feel better about yourself.)
Now back to Rachel. Here is some awesome insight she gave to Team HEUCY — in addition to the hours of business advice she has already provided to us, for free. Thanks, Rachel!! You are a #HEUCYGal inspiration!
1. How did you come upon this “second act” in your career? Where were you before, and why did you choose to leave that path and do something different?
AFTER OVER 12 YEARS IN CORPORATE AMERICA (AND 5 YEARS IN GOVERNMENT BEFORE THAT), I DECIDED THAT MORE THAN ANYTHING I WANTED TO BE MY OWN BOSS AND WORK FOR MYSELF. I LOVED WHAT I DID BEFORE BUT I ALWAYS FELT THAT THERE WAS TOO MUCH OUT OF MY CONTROL AND I WANTED TO SET MY OWN DESTINY. MOST RECENTLY, I WAS SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AT GILT GROUPE AND BEFORE THAT I WAS AT BARNES & NOBLE.COM; TOYS R US, AND FAO SCHWARZ. I STARTED OUT IN GOVERNMENT WORK.
2. Why did you decide to open a Chocolate Works store? Do you love chocolate, or was it a desire to own something?
I REALLY WANTED TO OWN SOMETHING AND THE OPPORTUNITY CAME TO ME THROUGH A SMALL BUSINESS BROKER. IT IS A FRANCHISE, WHICH I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD BUY. BUT IT JUST FELT LIKE THE RIGHT FIT. I HAVE BEEN IN THE KIDS BUSINESS FOR YEARS AND I LOVED THE IDEA OF DOING A CHOCOLATE STORE. EVERYONE IS HAPPY AROUND CHOCOLATE.
3. You have two young kids and a busy life! What do you do to unwind?
MY HUSBAND AND I TRY TO GET A BABYSITTER AND GO OUT TO A MOVIE EVERY WEEKEND. IT’S AN EXPENSIVE MOVIE BUT IT IS WORTH IT.
4. And how do you manage the chaos? Do your wardrobe choices ever reflect what’s going on in your life?
I DON’T, REALLY. BUT I DO JUST TRY TO STAY AS ORGANIZED AS POSSIBLE. I KEEP A VERY DETAILED “TO DO” LIST AND WITHOUT THAT, I WOULD BE LOST. I MAKE MY BED EVERY MORNING BECAUSE I LIKE THE FEELING OF COMING HOME TO SOMETHING NEAT AND CLEAN AFTER A LONG DAY.
5. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? And what advice would you give to someone now, who is about to embark on an entrepreneurial venture?
THE BEST CAREER ADVICE I CAN GIVE IS THAT YOU SHOULD PAY YOUR DUES EARLY ON AND WORK YOUR WAY UP BY BUILDING CORE SKILLS AND NOT WORRYING ABOUT PAY AND TITLE. THAT ALL COMES LATER. JUST WORK HARD AND PROVE YOURSELF. THE REST WILL FALL IN LINE. AND TAKE THE TIME TO FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU REALLY WANT TO DO. SOMETIMES THE ONLY WAY TO DO THAT IS TO TRY DIFFERENT THINGS.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Thanks again, Rachel…and good luck! This makes me want to have some chocolate. Fortunately I’m wearing my comfy black #HighSchoolReunion dress today…with a forgiving waistband!
The HEUCY Team