How to create a brand (Not just a product)

It used to be really hard to create a brand. But I’m seeing now with Instagram and other social media platforms businesses are able to do it.

That’s what today’s guest has done. Rachael McCrary is the founder of Jewel Toned, a lingerie and shapewear company.

I want to know how she created a brand and how she is getting people to think about her products.

Rachael McCrary

Rachael McCrary

Jewel Toned

Rachael McCrary is the founder of Jewel Toned, a lingerie and shapewear company.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey everyone. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses, and you’ve heard me say that more and more, I’m seeing there are a lot of online businesses being built in the physical product space, actually creating products and sending it out to customers. And one big section of that is brands. It used to be really hard to create a brand. You’d have to buy television ads, you’d have to get a lot of endorsements, you’d have to do a lot of things to actually create a brand and not just a product. But man, I’m seeing that some entrepreneurs are jumping in. It’s not easy, but they’re able to do it because of things like Instagram and other social networking platforms.

Well, that’s what today’s guest is doing. Her name is Rachael McCrary. She is the founder of JewelToned. They are a lingerie and shapewear company. I was going to describe what that means, but she told me before the interview started that it’s better having her describe it, and I think that’s right. What I will say is that I want to discover in this interview how she’s creating her brand, how she’s picking up the designs, how she’s getting people to think about her products, well, in the way that I think most of us would want people to think about our products, with the right feel, with the right associations. I’m going to let her talk about it in this interview, but I will say this. She now has a Drew Barrymore line, which I want to find out about. It’s called Dear Drew.

This interview is sponsored by two fantastic companies. The first, if you’re watching the video —and most people are not, I accept it — but if you are, you’re going to see me drink Athletic Greens. It’s been making me feel like I’m shot out of a cannon. I’ll tell you about that. And the second sponsor is called Toptal, where I’ve hired a developer, a designer, and now a CFO, which I’ll tell you more about later. But first, Rachael. It’s so good to have you here.

Rachael: Hi. How are you? Thanks for having me.

Andrew: You bet. I’m glad to have you on here. Okay, I looked up what shapewear was. I saw the Wikipedia entry. I understand it. But can you tell me in your own words, what is it that you’re creating here and what makes you different from what existed before?

Rachael: Shapewear is a category of fashion for women that enhances or shapes your appearance, and it’s simply considered intimate apparel or lingerie. The most popular company is known as Spanx. They did about $1 billion last year I hear, so it’s a pretty big category. I think the whole market is about $12 billion, and yeah, women love to wear it. It’s everything from a wear-your-own-bra waist cincher to a cami with a shelf bra and a tank that, you know, tucks your tummy in to support hosiery, like control-top tights.

Andrew: So I would wear a top that would tuck my tummy in and so it would make my shirt look better.

Rachael: Correct. Yes, that’s what traditional shapewear is. So JewelToned products are a little different. We don’t really believe in wearing products that you have to hide because they’re unsightly, so we hide them in plain sight by making them look like mini dresses or you know, things like, okay, if you see it, like something that you would just wear out or on date night.

Andrew: I saw you on your site explain that, and I watched the video where you or someone on the site said, “We hide it in plain sight.” I’m watching and I go, what exactly am I looking at that is like the undergarment? I guess maybe I didn’t recognize it. What is the undergarment?

Rachael: Troy, could you grab me the poster?

Andrew: I’m now on shopjeweltoned.com, the about pages. There are women who look like they’re wearing dresses. Is it that they’re not actually wearing dresses? That’s an undergarment that actually looks like a tight dress?

Rachael: Correct. Exactly.

Andrew: Ah, got it.

Rachael: So I know those of you that are listening can’t see, but just for your reference, this is the number one selling shapewear item. This is our product. It does the same thing. It achieves your same goal.

Andrew: Oh, wait and the number one item actually looks like something you’d get in the hospital or if you were sick and they put gauze around you. You’re saying yours just looks much better. It looks like a dress.

Rachael: That’s correct.

Andrew: That’s the difference. Got it. Okay. Hey, is that number one . . . Is that like Spanx puts out?

Rachael: Mm-hmm.

Andrew: It is. Okay. I get it. All right. Now I see. You know what? So this thing was in plain sight and I didn’t even recognize it. I was looking at it on your website.

Rachael: As you can see, this is much cuter.

Andrew: Yeah. That looks like a woman wearing a dress that she’s ready to go out in, but you’re saying that’s not a dress. That’s an undergarment, and so if anyone sees it, they wouldn’t be embarrassed that it was visible.

Okay. I’ve got to be honest with you. Some entrepreneurs scare me a little bit. You are the boss. Man, you scare me. Here’s one place. I see your eyes widening. I asked you before we started. “Will you talk about your revenues?” You said no. I said, “This is an interview show about that.” You said no. I go, “Usually I can hold firm, but this woman is scaring me.”

So I’m going to be open about my feelings. I want the audience to understand like the size of the business, but I’m also afraid that if I push too far here, I’m going to close you off and this interview is going to be very, very awkward for the next 50 minutes. So tell me what you feel comfortable with, but give the audience a sense of size. How big is this company?

Rachael: Yeah, sure. Well, for the audience’s reference, when you do have a privately-held company that trades stock, you know, these things would need to be signed off on by our board and shareholders before I would release it to the public. We’re not hiding it for any other reason than that. Our revenue just in Q4 of this year is about 10X all of last year, so I can say that.

Andrew: That’s the most, but you’re not going to be able to say, “More than a million, less than a million, more than 10, less than 10? None of that.”

Rachael: More than a million, less than 10.

Andrew: More than a million, less than 10. That’s annual, right?

Rachael: All time.

Andrew: All-time, okay. And you’ve been around since 2014?

Rachael: 2015.

Andrew: 2015.

Rachael: Yeah. [inaudible 00:05:54] dresses and put them on Instagram out of my apartment, you know, just to try to see if I could get proof of concept before I structured the company and, you know, got investors and capitalized the company.

Andrew: You like were sewing it in your home, creating mini dresses, wearing them on Instagram and saying, “Hey, if you want to buy it, go click here?”

Rachael: Essentially. I was doing the product development of the product. I wasn’t actually sewing it because they’re not sewn. Our products are made on a machine like a 3-D printer, where I put yarn in and it spits out a finished garment. So that’s actually done in Asia, but I live there, developing the products myself, and then I shot the product on my friends and put it on Instagram to gain what’s called proof of concept in business steps.

Andrew: I got it. Okay. So the original things you were testing by just saying, “This is what I want to create.” How did you know if anyone was interested enough for you to have a process made for it?

Rachael: Well, I would put a site up on Instagram or one of my good friends would. This is before there was something called influencer marketing. That term didn’t even exist at the time, which has quickly taken over the world. But we would just put up a photo and sell maybe 20 units in an hour and for not spending any advertising dollars, that’s actually pretty hard to do on the internet in the fashion category and even more specifically in a category of products where you need to educate someone about it. Like no one’s looking for a body shaper that looks like a mini dress because they didn’t know it existed, right? So you can’t google something you don’t know exists. So you have to find a way for them to stumble upon you. So we would just use hashtags that were similar, like “little black dress” and “mini dress” and “cute style” and “layers” and things like that.

American Apparel was making similar products at the time that younger women were using as shapewear, but probably would never use the word “shapewear.” Like they were wearing a bodysuit or a high-waist legging, and we knew that American Apparel was not going to exist much longer, so it was a good opportunity to make things for those customers that were made a little nicer and had a little more functionality.

Andrew: Okay. Let’s go back a little bit. Before you did this, you had a different company. Was it a lingerie company that you had with your business partner?

Rachael: I did. Yes, I had a lingerie consulting company, where I designed, manufactured, and sold lingerie for larger companies. I built a pretty large brand for a company called Maidenform from the ground to $20 million in revenue with just mostly she and I working on it. And through that process of really learning about the junior market and doing focus groups and just really kind of diving deep into the brain of a woman that’s 18 to 24, I just . . . sorry.

Andrew: Yeah, I see you’re in an office and people are trying to get your attention as we’re talking. Okay, so you had this company. You are learning about the space through that company. You are talking to potential customers. You are researching. You’re doing work. What’s one thing that you learned at the time that brought us to JewelToned?

Rachael: I had done similar research about a decade before, and in that time the 18-year-old women had gone from wearing bras and panties and underwear and pajamas that was all cotton with screen prints to she wanted to just wear what maybe her big sister was wearing or her mom was wearing, but something where the styling was a little bit more appropriate for her body. So that would mean like synthetic fabrics, lace fabrics, and mesh fabric, things that typically weren’t seen in junior fashion was what she would gravitate toward.

Andrew: What’s junior fashion?

Rachael: The whole market really is like 15 to 32.

Andrew: Oh, 15 to 32. Oh, junior fashion meaning women who are 15-years-old to 32-years-old and you were starting to notice a change in the fabrics that they were interested in and the way that they were . . . Got it. I see.

Rachael: They wanted missy fabrics in junior styling.

Andrew: I see.

Rachael: Whereas before junior styling was just cotton-based products with screen-print.

Andrew: Okay. All right. And this is kind of a personal question, but I think it helps us understand the change in your life. The partner that you had in that business got sick. You say whatever you feel comfortable with.

Rachael: Actually, I am comfortable talking about it. So our business was really flourishing and it was great. It was one of the funnest times of my whole life. We were having the best time, and she was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer that had metastasized to her bones. And if you know anything about that, with breast cancer these days, they can do a lot with that, but when it goes to your bones, oftentimes there’s not much they can do. So she passed away about six months later. During that time, I had developed some junior shapewear because of our research that led me to believe that this was really a void in the market and this was really a white space and I did some sketches and like some [trend boards 00:11:23] and she was just like, “Hey, you know what? That’s really great, but I really think you should run with it, but just don’t do within one of our companies. Just do it for yourself.”

Andrew: I see. Because she knew that she couldn’t continue with it, so she said, “You go on your own then.”

Rachael: And I think it was more so from the perspective of, “I’m not going to be here anymore.” So I’ve gotten a pretty quick crash course in really understanding that life is pretty short and that you’re going to get more benefit out of this both monetarily and emotionally if you start your own business and aren’t just a consultant for other people, because you don’t reap as many fruits of the labor. It’s easier to do it that way, but you also don’t get as much reward, so I just think she was saying “F-it. Go all in. That’s what I would do with you if I was still here and I’m not. So since I can’t, you have to. No pressure.” So that’s kind of where it’s at.

Andrew: And that’s where you then put it on Instagram. Here’s what I’m not understanding. You put it on Instagram. Did you say, “It’s not made, but if you want it, let me know and I’ll make it?” Or was there something else?

Rachael: No, I made some. I made a little bit. Like I made some units.

Andrew: You made some. I see. So you made some, you went to Asia, you had a few made using this 3-D printer?

Rachael: Yeah.

Andrew: You did? And then you wore it on Instagram and got it, and people actually started buying it. Did they buy it from your website, or were they buying it some other way?

Rachael: They bought it from my website.

Andrew: So you did have a website up at the time. So one of the first things . . .

Rachael: It was the only retail channel that I had.

Andrew: So you had your website, and then you went to Instagram, and then you got customers that way. That is a really good indication that you’re on the right track.

Rachael: Thanks.

Andrew: Before you made that first version, did you like get feedback from women? Did you create other . . . I remember my dad was in the clothing business. He would constantly bring clothes home for my mom and friends. “Try this on. Does this actually make sense? Does this fit?” Did you do that before you went to manufacture the first pieces?

Rachael: I did some surveys. I spread some surveys around just to anyone that I could find through social media or just anyone that I would meet and I would collect data of what do you like about your shapewear? What do you not like about it? What would you do differently? Yeah, I did gather some data, and then a lot of it I had been in probably 1,000 fit sessions at that point, so I kind of just knew. A lot of it’s the same like what women like and don’t like.

Andrew: I see. If you were doing focus groups before then, you had already gotten a lot of the data. How did you know where to find the 3-D printer person who could take your . . . you said yarn?

Rachael: Yes.

Andrew: They make it from yarn. Okay. Who would take your yarn and actually spin it and turn it into the first product? How did you know where to go get that?

Rachael: I had a pretty big Rolodex of contacts from being in the fashion industry for 24 years.

Andrew: I see. So just from that you knew who was the right person to work with and who wasn’t. Okay.

Rachael: Sourcing is the easiest part of my job because I’ve been doing it since I was a kid.

Andrew: What do you mean, since you were a kid? Because that’s a really tough job for most people who I’ve interviewed here. What did you do as a kid?

Rachael: In high school, I had my own fashion business. I had a couple of different businesses. I made mini dresses actually. I had a mini-dress business, so I cut and I sewed them at times. I would cut and sew on mini dresses and sell them to other people. People would say, “Where did you get that?” So I would say, “Oh, I made it,” and they’d say, “Well, could you make me one?” So I made a price list and a little line, and I also sold them in some stores. I also had a hand screen-printing business for a band. I did like some band t-shirts from some popular . . . I’m from Wilmington, North Carolina, and they actually have a pretty big music scene there or at least they did in the ’90s. S, I did like some of the shirts and I was like, “You know, you’d sell a lot more of those if it looked nicer and then that’s free advertising for you. I’m just going to do it.” So I would make shirts and then I’d go to the venue and sell them.

Andrew: Would you give a cut to the band?

Rachael: Yeah.

Andrew: I see. So without having any partnership deal with them, you’d say, “I believe you need better shirts. I’m going to sell them and I’ll give you a piece?”

Rachael: I was like 16. I don’t think they were asking me for contracts. They were probably like, “Oh my god. That’s so cute.”

Andrew: You know what though? The truth is that at 16 we feel so insecure. I wanted to meet Motley Crew in the worst way, and you know what else is a little embarrassing, Rush Limbaugh, too. I’m not in politics anymore, but I went to see Rush Limbaugh. I was so in awe of him, I couldn’t even go shake his hand and say hello. I was just kind of standing 12 feet away. You’re laughing at me and you should, which brings me to you going to a band that you like and having the gall, the guts, the nerve to do what I couldn’t do and say, “Hey, I have this t-shirt for you. Can I sell it?” Where did that come from? Tell me a little bit about your personality and how that comes through in those early sales of dresses to stores and shirts for bands.

Rachael: To me, I don’t think that I ever [second guessed 00:16:32] that. I was like, “Oh, this should be done, so I’m just going to go and do that.” You know? I think I had more confidence then than I do now. I pretty much did whatever I wanted as a teenager. You can ask most people in North Carolina and they’ll tell you the same. But I think it’s still sort of like that. I don’t really see anyone as unattainable. I’m sure maybe I’ll think of someone, but overall I think if there’s something out there that I’m aligned with, then that means they are too so that we can find a way for the stars to align to come together. And if there’s a lot of resistance and it’s really hard to make that connection, then maybe I’m going in the wrong direction. But I usually kind of think, “Oh, if I think of them, then they might feel like there’s some kindred energy around here too.” So, yeah.

Andrew: Okay. All right. So I get then with that experience, going on Instagram and saying, “Hey guys, I made this. Do you want it?” would not be such a big deal. I get how you would be able to manufacture. Any tip for someone who doesn’t have your experience on how to get the right manufacturer, how they could do sourcing?

Rachael: Don’t [inaudible 00:17:45] unless you have a lot of time and a lot of money because it takes both of those things if you know what you’re doing. So if you don’t know what you’re doing, double it. Hire an expert that does. You can’t work with overseas large-scale manufacturers unless you have experience doing so. I’ve heard that . . .

Andrew: Where would I find an expert to partner up with if I decided I have this new top idea for men?

Rachael: I think if you can’t figure that out, you’re probably not a great entrepreneur.

Andrew: Oh no. One of the things that I would do is I would talk to someone like you. Do you have any resources? Do you have any places where you would turn someone?

Rachael: Yeah. A lot of people ask me, you know if I would make their intimate apparel products and if they have other [inaudible 00:18:30] products, they ask me if I know someone that can help them with their respective product. I have to say I sometimes then say no. I ask them a couple more questions to see like if they really know what that entails and really have, like I said, the time and money to put into it. It’s not a quick thing. It’s not what people think. You can’t just see a void in the market, you get a product and telling the world it exists is very expensive and time-consuming and takes a lot of marketing knowledge and energy. If you put up a website, nobody goes there unless you tell them about it.

Andrew: Marketing I’d get to in a moment, but the manufacturing I’m curious about. Here’s the one tip that I got that’s the best tip from all the interviews. It’s find someone who’s making something similar to what you like, find that person, that entrepreneur and go help them or convince them to help you by making introductions to the people they work with. And I’ve had that with my past interviewees where another entrepreneur who’s in a similar space will say, “Can you introduce me to this person? Because I like the manufacturing of that product, I want to get to know how they do it.” But that’s not your answer. I’m looking at your eyes as I’m saying it. You’re shaking your head no. What is the right answer? If I had this idea . . .

Rachael: I get five of those a week. So do you think I’m going to send all those people to my factory? My factory is going to stop working with me because they’re going to be annoyed.

Andrew: Okay, so what is a good answer?

Rachael: I mean, I can’t speak to other people’s industries. Maybe they have a different type of manufacturing chain. My factories are not hungry for business, and they’re compliant and they’re busy, so they don’t want to make your prototypes, they don’t want to make your samples, they have no interest in it. As a matter of fact, it’s a pain. So unless you’re going to give them a real order with a retailer that they want to work with, they don’t really have time. I mean, they’re slammed. So it would mean me doing them a disservice and the other person if I was wasting people’s time. If I found someone that really checked all those boxes, then sure I would, but . . .

Andrew: Okay, so that’s not the answer. So let me ask you this. If someone’s listening to us, they want to manufacture something, they’re here to learn from you, what do we tell them? Is it, “Hey, go figure it out?” Or is there something that we could leave them with?

Rachael: Yeah, if they really feel like that’s their dream for their life, then, yeah, they should figure it out. I would find a way to make a prototype on your own somehow, or if it’s an apparel product, try to find a freelance pattern maker and a freelance sewer first to make your samples and your prototype to kind of get something that people can visualize and see. And then through that process, see if you’re frustrated and it kind of dies off or if you love it more. If you love it more, then it would be time to go to the next step of making multiples of them, but I would still find a way to do that on a smaller scale before I would go to a large-scale manufacturer that [inaudible 00:21:15] 100,000 units minimum.

Andrew: Okay. All right. That makes sense. Let me take a moment here. I was hoping you would say, “And Andrew, there’s this secret location where we can . . .” or not a secret. “Andrew, here’s the way where you can find somebody to hire to help you get it done.” But you’re saying, “No, I don’t have that.” All right. But you know what I did take? Even though you said “No, don’t contact me. Do you think I want to send you over to my factory? They’re not hurting for business.” I did see an opening where you said, “If it really is a good fit, then I would do it,” which tells me that most people should not be contacting you, but if someone out there could find a good fit for them, someone who does something very similar, it’s worth trying to persuade that person to open up. But I have noticed in my interviews that no one wants to talk about their factories. No one wants to talk about the connection that they made to the person who is actually manufacturing a product. It does take a little bit of work, right?

Rachael: Mm-hmm.

Andrew: All right. Let me take a moment here to talk about my sponsor. Have you ever heard of these guys? It’s called Athletic Greens.

Rachael: No, but it sounds great.

Andrew: Good. I’m glad that you’re into it. It would be kind of awkward if I was about to talk about a sponsor and you hated them. Here’s the thing. I have to be honest with you. Ever since I guess about a year ago I started eating and have been drinking very poorly. People saw in my interviews as they were watching the interviews that I was drinking Diet Coke. Diet Vanilla Coke was my thing.

Rachael: [inaudible 00:22:32]

Andrew: And once you do diet Vanilla Coke, you know what? Let’s just get some potato chips. I’m kind of hungry. I don’t have time for that. I don’t have time to sit and have a salad. How about if I just go and order a pizza from the store down the street? For $4.95 I get my big slice of pizza, put some hot sauce on it and I’m good. And at that point, you start to really become a little out of shape. I got sluggish. I was just not going in the right direction.

So the idea behind Athletic Greens and what turned me on was they said, “If you drink it, you start feeling energized.” In fact, I called up Customer Service.” I said, “Really? I’m going to drink it and I’m going to feel energized? Tell me why.” I don’t feel like I got a great answer from them, but then I experienced it and I have a good answer for myself.

Here’s what happened. This became like what do they call it, a cornerstone habit? The kind of thing that when you do this, then you can build on it and build on it. Instead of drinking Diet Coke, instead of drinking other junk, I just drink Athletic Greens. I sort of feel a little bit better about myself. I’m no longer polluting my body and they tell me all the ingredients on the back but anybody can read it.

I start to feel a little bit better and “Now since I’m doing a good job in the morning with it, do I really want to go and crap all over with potato chips? Nah, why don’t I just wait a little bit? And if I’m going to go out and get pizza, really, from the store right next to it I could get a quinoa bowl. Instead of pizza, I’ll get a quinoa bowl. And I start building and building on it. It starts with me with an Athletic Green drink in the morning, feeling a little bit good, feeling energized and then what it pushes me to do is keep my health and nutrition up.

So if you’re out there and you’re looking for a shake that has a lot of good stuff in it that will actually make you feel good, I can tell you this is it, but I can’t tell you why. I’ll turn you to a site called athleticgreens.com/mixergy. If you’re looking to build better healthy habits, what I have found in my life is this a nice first start and it allows you very easily to get some greens, some healthy food in you, and then you can build and build on it throughout the day. They make this green powder. There is a package and I’ve been drinking it in these interviews. They also have a protein shake. I’m a vegetarian. It’s hard for me to get protein in my body, but I’ve discovered that it’s hard for everyone to hit their daily goals of protein. They do it with Athletic Greens protein that taste good and is actually also vegetarian. And they have other products too. They have lots of other stuff.

Here’s what I urge you guys to do. If you’re listening to me, go look at it. Go look at athleticgreens.com/mixergy. You’re going to feel, I believe, shot out of the canon like I a. I’ve got such hyper energy now that people think I’m doing excess. Arie on our team said, “Andrew, how much caffeine are you taking these days?” I said, “No more caffeine. After 11:00, I’m done with caffeine.” That’s why the greens. I’m feeling a little energized. Go check them out at athleticgreens.com/mixergy. When you do, they’re going to give you . . . Where is that offer? They’re giving us a big discount and you know what? There it is at the very top of the screen. Go to athleticgreens.com/mixergy. You’ll get 30% off your first order. You’re going to see what I think about it, but also Tim Ferriss, who I respect a lot and one of the reasons why I tried this. You’ll see what he thinks about Athletic Greens. I’ve heard him talk about it for a while. I urge you to check them out at athleticgreens.com/mixergy.

All right, Rachael. Thanks for sticking with me on that. I went a little bit over, a little longer than I would have wanted, but I feel good about that product.

Your friends were recruited to talk about your product once you got it. You asked them, am I right, to post photos online? Am I right, or am I missing that?

Rachael: Yeah. I wouldn’t say recruited, but I just said, “Hey, bro’, would you post these?”

Andrew: I don’t mean like in a cult, but I get it. Is it hard to say to someone, “This is shapewear? This is the stuff you’re supposed to wear under clothes. Would you mind going on Instagram and wearing it and showing it off?”

Rachael: I mean, it just looks like a little black dress, so I don’t think it was hard to get them to wear it. My friends are all hot so they have no problem with it.

Andrew: Who does your Instagram? Because I feel like your design sensibility, your sense of style is really good.

Rachael: Thanks. I do it.

Andrew: The /NYCBella . . .That’s you?

Rachael: Oh, that’s me. Yeah, of course I do that. But the JewelToned line is /JewelToned.

Andrew: /JewelToned. Let me see that. Okay.

Rachael: That’s probably more interesting. When people are like really bored and want to see what I do on the weekend, they can go to the other one, but the JewelToned is probably like for . . .

Andrew: Oh, I see. Yeah, this is more like fashion model. Are these regular women or models?

Rachael: They’re models.

Andrew: They’re models.

Rachael: Well, it’s both. If it looks like it’s a fresh, clean shot, then it’s a model. If it’s an influencer photo, then it’s you know.

Andrew: I see. So you’ll take an influencer photo and like re-Instagram it, repost it.

Rachael: Mm-hmm.

Andrew: Okay, so that was the next big thing as I understand it, your friends helping out by promoting on their account. Did that help sell? I imagine sometimes Instagram is the mother lode when it comes to sales for stuff like this, but did it help?

Rachael: It helped a lot, yeah. It helped enough to get proof of concept to Ray’s Venture Capital, so yeah, it definitely helped. That’s just like one piece of our social media marketing. We have social media on pretty much every relevant platform and speak to people in a different [voice 00:27:43] there. And then we also talk to people in person. We have in-print ads. We’re in magazines and things like that as well, so we’re kind this all together and they kind of find about you through different places. It’s usually the third time someone hears about you that they might go to your website, so it’s good that maybe they see you on Instagram, maybe they see you in a magazine at the dentist’s office, and then maybe like somebody saw somebody like retweet something or saw it on Facebook.

Andrew: All right, Rachael. Let me break down what you said. One of the first things that you said, and I want to spend a lot of time on each of the things that you talked about, you talked about raising money. I’ve heard from women here in San Francisco that when they go to raise money, a lot of times the investors . . . What they do is they say, “I’m going to go ask my wife,” as if like asking the wife is like real research. Or, “I’m going to check in with my kids.” It seems like that happened to you. Talk about the experience as a woman talking about undergarments with venture capitalists and other investors. What happened?

Rachael: Yeah. First of all, nothing against them for saying that. Like, I see why they’re saying it. They’re not a user of the product, so they want to ask someone else. It makes sense.

Andrew: You know what? I’m going to pause you. But here’s my problem with that. Yeah, I get it. Go talk to your wife about it, but your wife is not the research market. If you’re going to go do research, do research like a human being, like an investor. Don’t go check with your wife, the way you would if you were going to decide whether to buy broccoli or spinach for lunch.

Rachael: That’s not [inaudible 00:29:14]. Most venture capitalists are between 40 and 55, so their wife is maybe 35 to 48 or something, and she wasn’t my client. That’s not my core demographic. And then their daughter is 12, so they would ask their daughter and they would ask their wife. It’s like neither of these people are 25, which is my main customer. And then also, it made me think about it. Like if I was a dude with a camera that goes under your snowboard . . . if it was the summer, would you say, “I’m not going to talk to you further until I take the snowboard to Tahoe this winter and use it?” No. It doesn’t really matter so much what one person thinks.

Of course, investors want to be aligned and enjoy and get excited about their product. I totally understand that, but, at the end of the day, we had really good margins and a really good foundation for a business with a team expertise that was about 100 years of experience in the fashion industry and all the core competency in the key item. And then already had proof of concept, already had sales and that’s more than a lot of people have when they go to pitch an idea. So I was like, “Well, forget the product. Just look at the spreadsheets, just look at our scalability, our customer base, the fact that we’re seasonless, and it’s not like fashion that’s going to die in two months, right? It’s like it can wear all year round and the colors are also seasonless. So just look at it as any other business that you would look at with this P&L. Pretend it’s men’s underwear or something.” You know what I’m saying? So that was my frustration.

Andrew: And were they willing to do that, to look at your numbers?

Rachael: People were or I wouldn’t be here.

Andrew: I’m trying to see who you raised money from. I see that according at least to Crunchbase you raised $1.285 million. Is that right?

Rachael: It’s about $1.5 now.

Andrew: It’s $1.5 million. Who did you raise it from?

Rachael: Singularity Investments, which is a private equity funds that invest mostly in tech. E-commerce is considered tech as is our product, which has more technology. And then angel investors. A lot of angel investors are larger investors that invest in fashion or consumer products and then some that just do tech and do smaller investments because they were willing to do what I just said and look beyond being a user of the products. At the end of the day, most people said that they’d bet on our team.

Andrew: You were mentioning earlier . . .

Rachael: So my [relentless 00:32:02] pursuits tend to pay off after a while.

Andrew: When I asked you earlier about revenue, you said, “We’re a private company and something about shares. How did you structure your company that you have these shares that are different from other companies?

Rachael: We are a Delaware corporation with privately sold stock, so yes, we have shareholders.

Andrew: Okay, so that’s pretty typical. I thought maybe there was a different kind of structure going on with that. There isn’t.

Rachael: No. I mean, a lot of people that start at-home businesses, it’s usually an LLC.

Andrew: Mm-hmm. Got it. Okay. All right. So now you’ve got a little bit of funding. What do you do with the money or the first round?

Rachael: So we just expanded our product line into a few more shapewear pieces and some lace undies, and then about two weeks ago, JewelToned launched the Dear Drew by Drew Barrymore collection, which is silk and cashmere. And everything from our standpoint for our entire company, no matter what brand it’s under is to feel comfortable and pretty. A lot of times, women have to choose between the two, so we really got more on board with that because that’s what our customers were really responding to and Drew is also aligned with . . . you know, she doesn’t want women walking around feeling uncomfortable. So yeah, we launched that a couple weeks ago, and you’ll see it out and about in the press and with a pretty large Amazon initiative in the coming weeks.

Andrew: How did you get Drew Barrymore to do a line with you?

Rachael: I have experience with celebrity licensing in the fashion industry for quite some time, so yeah, I just approached and partnered with CAA

Andrew: I see. So you went to CAA and said, “Look, I’ve got this fashion brand. I think it would be a good fit for Drew Barrymore.” You’re going to create a whole separate business for her. Is that how it works? Or is it just a product line?

Rachael: What’s the difference?

Andrew: I guess I’m wondering, does she have shares in this new business, or is it just that you pay her per item or pay for her [inaudible 00:34:16].

Rachael: Oh that, I’m sorry, I can’t talk about any of that.

Andrew: You can’t talk about any of it?

Rachael: Yeah.

Andrew: But does she own a piece of your business?

Rachael: I can’t discuss that. That’s confidential. Sorry.

Andrew: Really? Even that’s confidential?

Rachael: Yeah.

Andrew: All right, so basically, what you’re saying is go to CAA. That’s who represents her. That’s the people who want deals from her. Just go and work out a deal with them. That’s what you did.

Rachael: Essentially.

Andrew: What am I missing?

Rachael: There’s a licensing company involved, and it’s a lot of . . .

Andrew: Who worked out the deal? Was that you?

Rachael: Me, yeah.

Andrew: That was you personally. I’m looking at the site. I see her name on the top, but I don’t think I see her on there yet.

Rachael: Right. We should have those next week.

Andrew: So by the time this is published. So she’s going to be wearing the clothes and representing them?

Rachael: Some of them, yes.

Andrew: Like yeah, I guess once she’s wearing it, she’s representing it. Is she going to be out speaking about it too?

Rachael: Yes, of course. It’s a whole lifestyle brand. So there’s apparel, accessories, handbags, luggage. You know, it’s a whole lifestyle brand, and we are responsible for the intimate apparel, loungewear, and sleepwear because that’s our expertise. So yes, of course, she’s very much involved with all of it, is completely passionate about it and is excited and yes, of course, talking about it.

Andrew: You know, that’s a really interesting thing that you did. It really adds a lot of credibility when I see Drew Barrymore on your site. It really elevates the brand and also it fits within your brand to have her connected with it.

I’m thinking about a founder of a company called Y Athletics that I interviewed a few months ago. He’s not doing something like that. If he wanted to, do you think he could just go to CAA and start working out a deal and if he did, what should he keep in mind? If someone’s listening to us and says, “I’ve got an established brand, a little bit online. I want to go beyond just the small internet corner that I’m on, and I want to learn from Rachael. What’s one or two pieces of advice you could give them about how to partner with a celebrity to co-create a line?

Rachael: No, I don’t think that anyone can just call and do that. Like I said, I had a lot of experience in licensing and brands and working with celebrities for quite a long time. I’m not saying that, I mean, listen. We weren’t looking for some thing to like “Oh it might make our business look better.” We didn’t have a problem with how our brand looked. I just felt really passionate that she personally would maybe feel aligned with our crusade to make products that were both comfortable and beautiful, which empowering women is also really important to her, so that felt like a synergistic thing for my life. It wasn’t so transactional. But I think if someone’s just looking for that, that would be an influencer, not like a collaboration where your business partner is . . . You know, I would say that that’s more of . . .

Andrew: I see. This is more collaborative. You guys are creating products together.

Rachael: Yes and it’s a brand. It’s not a marketing thing. Do you know what I mean? She’s not wearing the JewelToned products for marketing. She’s designing and very hands-on with . . . you know, it’s her brand, so it’s a collaboration. It’s not the same thing as her wearing our other products. Do you know what I mean?

Andrew: Yeah, I do know what you mean.

Rachael: What you said sounds a little more transactional, like influencer marketing which we’ve also done, and that’s where you should approach someone who’s influential and you exchange time for money, which is a different thing.

Andrew: Okay. So you created this line. Do you have any advice for someone who wants to do something like that, who wants to follow in your footsteps?

Rachael: The influencer marketing?

Andrew: No. Yeah, let’s look at influencer marketing since I’m seeing a lot of enthusiasm on your part for it. That’s worked for you. Yeah, give me some advice. If someone wants to do influencer marketing the way that you did, what would you recommend?

Rachael: Yeah, so there are three different tiers of influencers. There’s micro, new influencers, you know, that have 5,000 to 10,000 followers. Then there’s like kind of mid-sized ones where they’re definitely a career influencer, meaning they have like a blog that they keep up themselves and this is like their main job. And then there’s sort of your top tier, where they’re getting millions of hits a month, and they turn into a celebrity in their own right because they were an influencer and so this was the other way around.

So you have to know that those are in like three different price points and probably in all cases, they have to also be aligned with your brand a little bit. We have thousands of them, and I’ve never seen one that doesn’t ask questions or get involved with the brand, which is what we want because if they don’t feel aligned with it, they probably won’t want to do it and you want to work with people that are aligned with your vision and genuinely like your product. And I think at this point they’re all getting bombarded so much they can be picky.

Andrew: So what’s your process? Once we identify the different tiers and we pick a tier to start with, what’s your process for getting in touch with them and for working out a deal and getting a positive experience all around?

Rachael: If they’re a known influencer, you could email them through their website or either go to their agent or go straight to them. They almost always respond. If they’re in the top tier, you know, you can find out who their agents are online. A lot of them work with some of the same agencies, or you can just call the agencies and say, “Send me a list of the influencers that you’re working with right now that want to work with this type of product.”

Andrew: I see.

Rachael: And then, if it’s a [inaudible 00:39:56] transaction, then you’ll know. You’ll have like a call with them, and then if they’re local, you can even meet with them and talk about what kind of products would be good for them and maybe even like do a fitting if it’s a pretty big initiative. If it’s smaller, then you let them just style it how they want.

Andrew: Got it. Are you able to tie sales back to an individual influencer’s post? Is it that kind of experience? It is.

Rachael: Mm-hmm.

Andrew: How do you do it?

Rachael: You can create a link just for them so that you can tell where all the transactions come from. You can also do that with affiliate marketing. We try to have everyone post on a different day and then people tend to have influence following in a certain geographical area, so if we get a ton of traffic from Wisconsin and we had an influencer in that area then we know it’s obvious that it’s from her but most of the time, like, we’ll give them a specific link.

Andrew: And they put it in their bio section, right?

Rachael: If it’s from social media, from Instagram, usually the sales from that have been within 48 hours, usually the same day. And if it’s in a blog, then that can happen over time, but that always has a link that’s there forever that’s specific to the influencer.

Andrew: Okay. Let me talk about my second sponsor and then I’m going to come back in and ask you about this TV show that you are part of and the terrible thing that happened.

The sponsor is a company called Toptal. Why are you smiling like that? That’s a good tease for what’s coming up, don’t you think?

Rachael: Okay. Because it’s just sort of fun but . . .

Andrew: It’s what?

Rachael: Nothing. No problem.

Andrew: All right. You can be open with me. All right. Here’s the sponsor. It’s a company called Toptal. You know Toptal. Have you worked with Toptal, or am I about to blow your mind with them?

Rachael: Blow it. I can’t wait.

Andrew: Good. All right, here’s the deal with them. They decided they were going to have a network of the top developers on the planet. Anytime a business needed to hire a developer they could come to them and Toptal would personally go through their network, find the right developer and make an introduction. I’ve talked about them for over two years, I think and how good they are and had tons of positive feedback from the audience.

Here’s what I don’t talk enough about. They also have a business department, a department that’s called Toptal Finance. I never talked about them in past interviews because I wasn’t sure, how do you bring this up? What’s a use case that actually makes sense to talk about a finance expert? And then I had one and maybe you, Rachael, can identify with this. I had been looking at my own finances, my own business structure, my own business model on my own, occasionally with friends who helped me from outside but on my own, trying to figure out, “Am I spending the right amount on these contractors or not? Is the way that I’m spending on advertising reasonable considering the results or is there something else? What am I missing that I don’t even think to ask a question about?”

And so, one time when Toptal’s rep came to town, I took him out for drinks and dinner and we talked about how well the ads are doing and how people are signing up for developers because we have a real audience of entrepreneurs. And I said, “Hey, do you think you guys could help with this? Like, somebody could go through my financials and talk to me on a regular basis and help me understand how I could improve the business?” He said, “I’m not sure.”

He went back to his office, he introduced me to the guy who’s running the finance department at Toptal. That guy got on a call with me, he understood everything that I was looking to do. You can tell I’m kind of intense, Rachael, maybe a little bit anal about certain things. He understood my whole approach. He understood what I was looking for. He introduced me to three great people. I picked the right one. We’re starting on Monday and what I love about him is he’s a former McKinsey guy. Those are the guys who ordinarily work with Fortune 500 companies. He headed a Carlisle Group company, which means he has entrepreneurial experience. He’s later in life and he wants to work with entrepreneurs with me, so he will. He’s already looked at my finances, already given me some great feedback, a direction for how we can grow our profits. I love it.

If you’re out there and you need help like that or maybe you need someone to help you think about how you should be pricing or think about how you should be running your business in any way or maybe put together spreadsheets for investors, I want you to go check out Toptal but not just their standard URL, which any old person can go to. Go check out the special URL they created for us, where you’re going to get more hours whenever you sign up for free and you’re also going to get a no-risk trial period of up to two weeks. That special URL is toptal.com/mixergy. And I’m grateful to them for working with me.

Rachael, the TV show . . . What happened?

Rachael: Yeah, so if you know anything about television, it takes much longer than people think to film and like work on it. So we worked on a television show for quite a while. It took about seven months of work. It was all completely buttoned up and all of that. An interesting long story short . . . At the end of taping it, it just seemed like there wasn’t enough drama there because smart women running an excellent business who are crushing it is apparently boring. So they’d rather see people catfight and be nasty. So that was not something that we were interested in and we wish that would have been explained earlier on to spare us so much time and energy, because when you have an early-stage startup, time is [inaudible 00:45:39] founder’s most important asset. So wasting time is not something that makes me excited, because I am not much of a [inaudible 00:45:50].

So that was kind of a drag, and whenever I do something, I put like my whole heart into it. And it wasn’t that we weren’t on TV. That’s never really been my thing, but it was more so that I don’t think I had put that much energy into something in my whole life that hadn’t been extremely successful, because I always like to be in the flow and feel the vibes and feel like if something feels like I’m in the right place. So on the extreme rare occasion that it doesn’t, it makes me explore, like why didn’t I know that sooner, or did I know that and ignore it because I felt too invested? What was really going on there of how I can learn from that experience instead of like just being pissed. Yeah, I was pretty upset. I was upset because of the time. I was also upset that I felt like truly that if I would have like fought with other people or been nasty or let people call me bad names or called other people bad names, that it would have been more successful and that’s just not . . . I wish that people . . . Maybe they do. It’s nothing against Americans, but I want America to want to see strong women, not that.

Andrew: So you’re actually finding that with women they were looking for you to catfight. It wasn’t that they were looking for drama, for you to be open and say, “Look, I have the world on my shoulders and I don’t know if I’m going to do it and I think I’m going to fail.” They weren’t looking for drama. They were?

Rachael: Yeah. No, we did that. We put our heart out there on the sleeve and all of that.

Andrew: And even that wasn’t enough.

Rachael: Right. And I do think that they did want generally good businesses and smart women. That was obvious with the amount of vetting that went through with all that, but I think they also need the side of like “The Bachelorette” on the island or whatever that is that they do.

Andrew: I see.

Rachael: I don’t know. Hopefully, they can . . .

Andrew: How did you take it when it didn’t work out?

Rachael: It was devastating. Like I said, I felt really crushed that something I had worked on and put my heart into wasn’t going to happen, because that wasn’t something I’m used to dealing with. And then I felt upset for women and for our country and like why do people want to watch this garbage? So I felt kind of depressed and like the problem was like too insurmountable for me to take on. Like, I had agreed to take on empowering women through their underwear, which is already challenging and I’m often told like too big of a feat for me or for one person, but just trying to change the culture and like getting us on board to want to watch more productive television about business and women who crush it. I don’t work in entertainment. I can’t do anything about that, so I just felt a little bit like there was a problem that I wanted to fix that was too big for me to fix and that made me sad. It made me sad for humanity and for the other women who have had similar experiences.

But when I was dealing with that, my dad was diagnosed with cancer, so it made me not care about a stupid TV show because I needed to deal with something real and something familial and something that takes up a much bigger place in my heart than a TV show ever could. So a lot of perspective came quickly, and then I moved on from it eventually.

Andrew: I can imagine.

Rachael: And then our office flooded and we had to move and it was basically like, you know . . . If you’ve ever seen the show “Silicon Valley,” it’s basically like that but with girls around here. So it was like the same day that Oprah calls, like the house catches on fire, so just day in and day out, like it never ends. Like, just relentless. You know the worm?

Andrew: Yeah.

Rachael: It’s like a wave. You never have one day where it’s all positive or negative.

Andrew: I asked an entrepreneur recently who was a Thiel fellow. He gets money from Peter Thiel, loses all the money that he was given the first year and basically is a failure. I asked him, “How did you get through it?” And he said, “You know, there was a period where I couldn’t relate to people and I wanted to commit suicide.” I’m kind of paraphrasing, but the story’s there. It’s Ben from Sprayable if anyone wants to go listen. But he said, “I got through it by learning how to relate to people, by learning how to date, by learning how to connect,” and then he said, “If I could do that, then I could do anything and if I could do that, get through my darkest period, my potential suicide . . . If I could get through that then yeah, losing all this money is tough, but I can get through losing all this money.” What’s your version of that? The reason, the purpose, the energy that you tap into when you get a flooding, when you lose your father, when this TV show says, “Hey, you’re not fighting enough?” What’s the thing? Where does it come from for you? Do you know?

Rachael: Yeah. I mean I feel like that happens once a week. So, yeah, we’ve had a lot of challenges that I think a lot of people would find insurmountable and that seemed insurmountable at the time. I know it sounds kind of stupid, but like one day at a time you really just have to wake up the next day and put your feet on the ground and just say, “I’m either going to keep doing this, or I’m not going to do it,” and not doing it is not an option because I made a commitment to myself, which is the most important kind. And yes, I made a commitment to a lot of shareholders and investors, and I take that very seriously, but I also sacrificed a lot and gave up a lot of things in my life to get this far and it’s not over until it’s over.

So many entrepreneurs have the story of how it was in the darkest hour. It was at 11:59 and what you said about your friend . . . When you said failure, I don’t see that as a failure. I see that as a learning experience, right? Like I’m sure that he could reflect back and see things that he could have done differently. I think that all the time in my business. Like if I could go backward — and I really just have to resist that — and just learn and move forward and they always say for some major entrepreneurs, it’s their second, third, fourth, or 10th company because you learn so much every time. You get a Ph.D. in business so much more that I advise people that have higher degrees than I have, you know? Because you learn so much more from actually having to do it yourself and then scrape it all together to get to the next place and then, something amazing happens. Then you’re like, “Oh my gosh. It’s 10 time better than I imagined.”

I’m sure you can tell I’m really kind of aligned with the stars in like energy and I’m into Voodoo and I’m curious as to what kind of meditation you do based on your [beads 00:53:18].

Andrew: On my neck. Yeah.

Rachael: I spent a lot of time in [tara brach 00:53:21] meditation, and then I spent a decade in like Hindu mantra meditation. I lived in an ashram for [inaudible 00:53:28]. It’s something that I’ve spent a lot of time . . .

Andrew: What did you bring back from that experience, from the meditation that’s helping you stay focused or helping you do well in tough times?

Rachael: Really becoming aligned with what’s the right path for me and other people. I can hear things. I don’t mean that I literally hear words, but like when people are talking, I can hear something else than what they’re . . . They’re saying words, but I’m hearing the undercurrent of all of it. It’s either I want this, or I don’t want this, like no matter what it is and yes, no, maybe, I can always tell if I’m pulled toward something, whether it’s into a situation or out of a situation. And I think that when you’re so quiet for so long that you really become kind of like . . . I say your antennae grow. You get more antennae and they grow.

So if you ever want to know what to do, just shut the fuck up for like a week and sit down and stop thinking and listen, because when you’re thinking, you’re trying to put things out into the universe. You’re just trying to put it and reach. “I need answers. Give it to me. I’m reaching.” It’s just very like clingy and like this, but what we really need is this where your hands are open. So listen because the universe can’t tell you the next thing if you don’t shut up. So it taught me that . . . that in the darkest moments, my instinct is to . . . “I need to get on the phone. I need to call all my girlfriends.” I’m like [inaudible 00:54:56] going on, and that never works. What works is to sit down and listen to the universe and feel what feels like is in the flow, right? And whenever I have to get bogged down with . . .

You know, I am right and left-brained as I think most entrepreneurs are, and I do like doing both of the things. I don’t just want to draw all day, but I definitely don’t want to do spreadsheets all day, so I like that part of being a CEO that is both. But if I spend too much time in the creative, we’re good. If I have to spend too much time with the lawyers and the spreadsheets, it’s like the opposite of the energy that I love. Everything has to be so concrete. Creating [greatness 00:55:43] in the world doesn’t come from that, so you have to convince these people that don’t know what the hell you’re talking about with all that Voodoo stuff that some of it is magic, dude and I don’t know. And I’m going to get there, and if you keep saying, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” I’m going to smack you, because we’re not, but we’re going to get there because I know where I’m going.

I had to spend too much time with the lawyers and the spreadsheets this summer, so I just wasn’t the best version of me. So I went into this experience called The Black Box, which is an accelerator for startup founders, where they focus on the founder and the entrepreneur.

Andrew: They’re here in Palo Alto, right?

Rachael: Yes. And I lived there in August and I was one of 16 founders. And that thing that you’re talking about happened to me. I felt connected with these people more so than I had connected to a group of people since I lived on the ashram actually, which was a decade ago. And to find that within the startup community with a bunch of other people that are crazy like me and sacrificed everything they had and all of their money and amazing jobs that would change most people’s lives and to give all that up and to probably give up like tons of . . . I’ve missed so many weddings and my own birthday and time working out and so many events and so many life events and so much crap because I believed in empowering women. And I know that’s why I’m here. And so I lived with 15 other people who believed the exact same thing about whatever it is that they’re doing, so much that they know what it’s like to risk everything. In fact, everyone in your life goes, “What are you doing? You’re crazy. You need to relax and sit down.”

Well, do you know what? Balance didn’t create greatness. Like going all in and giving it everything you’ve got does. And they all get that, and I felt aligned and understood and just had this mushy gushy, like we’re all just like platonically in love, and that made me remember like why I started doing that in the first place, why I started doing this in the first place, why I love startups, why I love game changers and rule breakers and people that don’t give a fuck about rules and what other people say. And the people that are not going to listen to anything that I said on this and be like, “I’m going to do it my way. I can contact whoever.” Great. Knock yourself out. That tells me that you’ve got what it takes, you know? And to be with those people, like the little seed jobs and all of that, like the new ones of those, like that lights me up and these people are dying to change the planet and make it better.

After being in spreadsheet [inaudible 00:58:21], it made me feel like, “Oh yeah. It’s not about returns and Page 97, Paragraph 4 that everyone’s having 17 conference calls about.” I’m here to empower women. I’m here to make women feel better. I feel like that’s my job on the planet, you know? And I want to create an office culture full of women that support each other and don’t have catfights. We might disagree on certain days but at the end of the day I’ve got your back and you’ve got mine and we’re supporting each other. I want to believe that exists. I want to believe that women can look in the mirror in their underwear and feel good and feel like, “You know what? I’m not going to beat my body up today because I’m going to love the way that I look today because 20 years from now, I’m going to pine for the body that I have today.” That’s what I want to teach women. And I got that from connecting with other startup founders who don’t make underwear but have a similar amount of passion for what it is that they do.

Andrew: I wouldn’t have believed her. I think I’m a little bit of a cynic. I wouldn’t have believed the whole empowering women through underwear thing except that I spent so much time on your site with your brand and I can see how it comes across. Even in the videos where you talk about women holding fruit, showing the shape that they’re supposed to be, like, “I’m an apple, I’m a pear, etc.” you’re saying, “This is not who we are.” And I can see the sense of empowering.

I really admire entrepreneurs who have that kind of bigger vision. It comes through in the product. It comes through in the mission. It comes through in the ability to tough it out in tough times. I was a little worried about this interview. I’m going to be honest with you. Partially because I was scared of asking you tough questions in the beginning. I don’t know why but I got a little bit scared and partially because I felt like we weren’t getting to the heart and then that last thing that you said at the end tore right into me and I love that you said that and I’m glad that I had you on here to do this interview. I see the possibility here in your business. I’m glad to see how far you’ve come, but I know how big the other business has gotten. It created the world’s first self-made female billionaire. Do I have that right?

Rachael: She’s amazing, yeah.

Andrew: And then when you showed that one photo of your product compared to what exists in the market, I don’t think audio is going to do it justice, and I don’t think that you’re going to want to post it everywhere online, but anyone who’s watched the video should go and rewind it. I see it. I see your vision. I see the heart. I see the product. I’m excited to have you on here. Thanks so much for being on here. And for anyone who wants to go check it out, the website is . . .

Rachael: shopjeweltoned.com or you can just type “jeweltoned” into Google and then all of our social media says jeweltoned.

Andrew: Yeah, and you do social media really, really well. There’s a lot that we can all learn from you. All right. I’m grateful to you for coming on here. I’m grateful to the two sponsors. The first is a company that’s going to help me get the right business people in to help run the company and help guide me. It’s called toptal.com/mixergy. And the second, if I sound like I’m shot out of a canon, it’s because I’m drinking Athletic Greens. I don’t think it’s what’s in here that’s making me actually feel so energized. I think it’s that this is setting habits that are then giving me the energy and I’m proud to have them on as a sponsor. Check them out at athleticgreens.com/mixergy. And a final thing, well, I see you’re so emotional I feel bad actually doing sponsorship spots, Rachael, when you’ve opened up like this. What’s that?

Rachael: I don’t feel left or broken open in a bad way.

Andrew: No, I like . . .

Rachael: So our major mini dress comes in a floral box and each one has a hair tie on the inside, so it’s like a present that she has for herself.

Andrew: I saw that. You said hair elastic in one of the videos or something I saw online. Why is that something worth pointing out?

Rachael: Oh, because . . . you don’t get it. All girls need another hair tie . . . always.

Andrew: I see. So it’s a nice thing. That’s why I’m asking. I came into this interview saying, “I’m going to be open about what I don’t know and I’m going to be open about the fact that I had to go to Wikipedia to understand this. But if that’s who I am, that’s who I am and I’m going to lay it out and I did.

Rachael: And now you love body shapers.

Andrew: Yeah, I know. I had no idea. I had no idea I was staring at your product the whole time. I just thought, “Is it under what they’re wearing here? Is it under this dress? What am I supposed to look at?” Now I get it. I’m glad we talked.

Finally guys, we are Mixergy are trying to adjust the audio. If you’re noticing anything good or bad or different or whatever, let us know. Just email us at Contact@Mixergy.com. The team is trying to improve the audio and I can use your feedback everyone. Rachael, thanks so much for being on here. Bye, everyone.


  • Royals77

    Really wanted to like this episode….but Rachael gave me every reason to dislike it. The “figure it out on your own” mindset doesn’t belong on this Podcast.

  • alugha

    Well honestly I think there is no “whitepaper” to achieve that. In the end there are to many options. Of course you can listen to advices but don’t you think they are said a million times from so many people. It is a simple truth, you have to figure it out on your own as no one can fill the gaps in your personal formula. This is my personal opinion

  • Sidne Spencer

    stumbled across this podcast, and i’m glad i did. was very insightful and im glad i listened to it because i am in the fashion industry and plan to do what Rachael did one day. Loved listening

  • Guille

    Great interview, awesome entrepreneur !!! … Stories like this one should be replicated across the globe, the way she started and fought all the way to were she is now, the accomplishments, everything… Hats off !!!
    Being an entrepreneur is not easy, stories of success make it sound sexy but to get there is a rough path. On the other side, I love the excitement of being an entrepreneur and wouldn’t change it for the world!!!

  • Vishal Khialani

    Firstly I would like to thank you for the time and effort.

    As a long term and x premium member I don’t get much value anymore in these interviews. Below is my perspective hope it helps mixergy .

    1) We got very shallow tips on how to create a brand using instagram and networking. The tile is misleading to me as a result.
    2) The interview was mostly about her story which someone might find value in but for long term listeners its not so. We have heard similiar stories . That does not mean she should not share but the percentage should be much less.
    3) I would have loved to hear how much needs to be paid for influencers what is the conversion rate and thing like that.
    4) How about sharing campaigns which failed so we dont’ make the same mistakes in our brands .

    I highly appreciate the work,
    Vishal

  • Ken Buchanan

    Here’s what I noticed:

    1. Andrew… you seemed VERY VERY tired so you weren’t as focused and hyper. Looks like Sandman had you on the ropes the whole interview. :)

    2. The Real Soulful Rachel didn’t seem to show up until the last 10 minutes.
    It was like an argument FOR Creativity…. and against Analytical / Logic…. which explains her evasive how-did-you-do-it answers.
    Rachel didn’t know or understand the main goal of your interviews is to uncover and replicate the secret sauce of business success. Rachel gave you short, evasive and generic answers until we met Souldful Rachel at the end… Actually felt like a different interview. (You go Rachel!)

    3. Kinda reminded me of the same mis-match vibes with Adam Robinson (Princeton Review).

    Takeaway… All non-tech startup folks should know in advance that you get VERY up close and personal – with an entrepreneurial focus. This focus translates to probing and detailed questions to get to the real causes and feelings. You normally get visibly irritated when people become vague.

    The Princeton guy didn’t have entrepreneurial aspirations, which I don’t think was known ahead of time.

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