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January 05, 2020
If my kids aren’t wearing Worthy Threads, there is a very good chance they are in Rockets of Awesome (ROA). I love them for their affordable basics, their rainbow touches and my personal favorite, their bomber jackets! ROA was founded by, quite possibly, one of my most favorite people on Instagram, Rachel Blumenthal. This wasn’t Rachel’s first or even second successful business endeavor, but rather this is the third time she identified a white space in the market and created an amazing solution. I’m super honored that Rachel took time out of her jammed packed schedule to answer some questions about why she’s so Worthy.
You and your husband (Neil Blumenthal- can you say power couple???) met in college - I love that! You guys went to Tufts University, what did you study?Neil and I met the first week of pre-term Freshman year (but we didn’t date in college). Neil was this slick NYC guy and I was from a small town on Cape Cod. I studied Political Science (I worked for Senator Edward M Kennedy in DC my junior year in high school) and Economics (the closest I could get to a business degree at a liberal arts school). Neil studied Political Science and International Relations. I know you were a competitive figure skater growing up, but what did you think your career would eventually be?I grew up in a rink - I figure skated until I was 16 and then played hockey for a year or two. My brother (Jason Bravman, Co-Founder and CEO of Billie) also played ice hockey. If you had told me back then that I would go on to build several businesses, I never would have believed you. I would have described myself as rather risk adverse. I planned to climb the ladder at an organization, get my MBA and then run someone else’s company someday. I would now describe myself as having a rather high propensity for calculated risk.What some people may not know is that this is your third successful business. From Rachel Leigh Jewelry, Crickets Circle and now Rockets of Awesome, did you always have the entrepreneurial bug? I didn’t really. I was working in a dream job in the PR department at Yves Saint Laurent. Tom Ford was designing and it was a period of excess and utter glamour. I was in this incredibly creative environment but my role wasn’t particularly creative. I went to the bead stores on 6th Avenue in Manhattan and handmade myself a ring. I was wearing it at work one day and my editor friends at Lucky saw it. They decided to feature me as an up-and-coming designer. Daily Candy featured me shortly thereafter, I was invited to do trunk shows at Henri Bendel and Shopbop picked me up as one of their first jewelry designers. From there, a business opportunity was in front of me to decide how I wanted to seize. I quit my job at YSL and set up shop in my living room, I figured I’d go back in 6 months when it didn’t work out. Instead I built a jewelry brand that was sold in over 500 doors worldwide.I personally loved Cricket's Circle to help me navigate the craziness of baby registries and often would go there before asking friends. How did you decide to take the leap from the baby registry/shopping site to awesome kids clothes?We were building Cricket’s Circle and testing various monetization strategies. We had the most loyal and engaged customers who were pivotal in leading us to the Rockets of Awesome opportunity. As we tested ideas, there was consistent feedback that finding stylish kids clothes that weren’t expensive was an ongoing pain point. While I still believe in the need for Cricket’s Circle, there was an opportunity to serve our customers for a much longer lifetime with their children. You are very active on social media, both personally and professional, what do you think is the most important thing you do to grow on the platform?It’s essential to be true to who you are - be yourself and share unfiltered. Nobody’s life is perfect - show the aspirational and the messy!How do you and Neil decompress on weeknights and weekends as super successful and crazy busy entrepreneurs? We leave the city on the weekends and spend completely unscheduled, dedicated family time. Getting to sit around coloring with Gemma, riding bikes with Griffin or skiing as a family are the moments we value the most. What are your tips for juggling motherhood and your career?People always say you can’t have it all. I never understood that nor was I interested in subscribing to giving up my life. What I’ve realized is that you can’t have it all but you can have most. And the things you give up are up to you - it doesn’t have to be working out or seeing friends, it could be other things less important to you. As examples, I’ve acknowledged that I don’t have time to cook dinner (though never a favorite anyway!), I give myself a break if I’m late to school drop off or I screw up pickup, and I’m probably never going to be class mom. I’m ok with those concessions if it means I get everything else. Currently my favorite pieces from Rocket is the ROA bomber (both kids have them monogrammed - we are all obsessed), your zip up hoodies for my son and the Rainbow Comfy Crew for my daughter. What's your favorite piece?
That’s like picking a favorite child! What I love most about our assortment is that every season it evolves but it stays true to what we’re famous for - magically soft and stretchy fabrics, the unexpected thoughtful details, impeccable fit and several pieces I wish came in my size! ROA just came out with a collaboration with DVF, congratulations! Do you have any more upcoming collabs that you can talk about?We do! But they’re too secret for now 🤫 You are so real on your IG and I couldn't love that more! But you also come off as the type of mom that is incredibly organized, what time do you wake up? What’s your morning routine?I try! I live by my Google calendar, Neil and I share one which makes staying on the same page easier. I wake up at 6am, take a 6:30am SLT class 3-4 days a week, I’m home by 7:30am, showered and out the door by 8am. From 7:30-8am, Neil and I are tag-teaming on getting both kids dressed and fed. We switch off on school drop off. I usually do a breakfast meeting or call on the way to the office and am there by 9:30am. By then it feels like 3pm too! Is there anything that you can’t live without to keep you organized?Google calendar! I would be lost without it. If it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t happen. And Evernote - I take notes during every single call and meeting so I can reference what was discussed and next steps. Most of my day is 30-60min meetings back to back without time to digest in between so the ability to look back on my notes later is super helpful. I absolutely love your roundup of your favorite things you find on the internet, what is your current favorite thing?I’m endlessly inspired by home decor and interiors. I tend to screenshot a lot of details I want to remember for the future. I’m currently obsessed with this retro cloud print rug I saw on the @koibird Instagram from the Standard London.
What are your favorite new brands that you’ve recently discovered?
16Arlington for amazing feather pieces, Madewell and Ayr are still my favorites for jeans and I’m newly hooked on The Real Real for vintage platforms. Favorite candy?Anything gummy! I especially love Sockerbit (it's a Swedish candy store in the West Village). Best gift you've ever received, besides the kids (who are obviously #1)?When Neil and I were dating he gave me a delicate bow ring from Vera Wang. I’ve misplaced it and I’m desperate to find it. It was such a sweet and meaningful gesture. What’s your go to baby gift?I always buy friends a 3 bag set of army green LL Bean tote bags monogrammed with the baby’s initials in the collegiate font and cool, unexpected colors (no pastel pink to blue!) It’s fairly cost effective, looks meaningful and they are my most favorite bags I actually use for schlepping. What are your favorite places in NY for dinner?Sushi always! Sushi Zo Hanare is my favorite
What are your favorite things to do in the city with the kids?
Shop at Rockets of Awesome (duh!) and play in the marshmallow pool, test-drive toys at Camp, ride the Seaglass carousel, scoot along the Highline and get sundaes at Black Tap.
What would your last meal be?
Sushi from Sushi Zo Hanare , a frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity and movie theater popcorn !
Favorite Worthy Threads piece?
This puff sleeve dress for girls is perfection – uber feminine silo contrasts with the perfect blue. Griffin lives in this hoodie - the fabric is incredibly soft and the tie-dye is spot on.
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