S5 E18: Retaining your shoppers with fun shopping events and community building with RAGS Founder Rachel Nilsson


Mariah Parsons and Rachel Nilsson, Founder of RAGS, discussed Rachel’s experience in building her e-commerce business, emphasizing the importance of perseverance, creativity, and customer satisfaction.

Rachel shared her journey, including managing demand, partnering with large companies like Nordstrom and Disney, and navigating the unpredictable journey of entrepreneurship.

They also discussed the pros and cons of implementing limited edition models to increase FOMO marketing and getting creative with inventory sales.

After Rachel’s premiere on Shark Tank, she navigated through having to deal with copycats but ultimately refocusing on doing their own thing and doing it well.

Episode Timestamps:

  • 4:37 Starting a clothing line from scratch, growing through social media and Shark Tank appearance

  • 9:56 Limited edition drops, FOMO marketing, and serving customers

  • 17:32 Limited edition products, inventory management, and consumer behavior

  • 24:45 Challenges and successes of limited edition clothing model, with a focus on founder's personal experience and lessons learned

  • 29:38 Entrepreneurship, success, and surrounding oneself with a supportive community

  • 33:04 Entrepreneurship, innovation, and dealing with copycats

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This transcript was completed by an automated system, please forgive any grammatical errors.


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Mariah Parsons, Rachel Nilsson

Mariah Parsons 00:05

Greetings and welcome to retention Chronicles, the podcast with learnings from expert e commerce brands and partners. I'm your host, Ryan Parsons. If you're here, you're either on a quest for ecommerce enlightenment, or you accidentally clicked the wrong link. Either way, I am thrilled you stumbled into our corner of the internet. And I hope you'll stick around. We've got pearls of wisdom for everyone, whether you're running a multimillion dollar business, or simply just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey. Before we unleash the brilliance of today's guest, let's give a shout out to our podcast sponsor Malomo. Malomo is so much more than just another Shopify app, their post purchase wizards making beautiful and branded order tracking smoother than a jazz solo. So our amazing founders, like our guests can keep their customers happy and up to date while they track their orders. So hit that subscribe button, like it'll increase your LTV overnight, and go listen to her other episodes. Echo malomo.com That's gomalomo.com Get ready for insights chuckles and perhaps a profound realization or two with this newest episode of retention. Hello, everyone, and welcome back to retention Chronicles. I'm super excited for our guests here today. Rachel, thank you so much for joining us. It's gonna be a blast. I already know. I'm gonna have you say hi to our listeners and kick it off with an introduce introduction of yourself.

Rachel Nilsson 01:36

What up having me. I love doing podcast. So I'm stoked. I'm always flattered. And I love talking about all things bears and rags and life. So yeah, I'm excited.

Mariah Parsons 01:49

Okay, perfect. I know, we've already been connected, obviously. So cannot wait to dive further and learn more about the business side of things. But let's kick it off. With just a brief overview of your background. You can go into as many details or as not, as you would like. But I always find it's great for our listeners who might not be familiar with yourself or rags to kind of give a little bit of a lead up into where we are currently sitting. Yeah,

Rachel Nilsson 02:14

so it's actually been 10 years this month, which is crazy. Love it. Early.

Mariah Parsons 02:20

10 year anniversary. Oh, really? Yeah.

Rachel Nilsson 02:23

Yeah. Full on decade, which is insane. So I started rags. My youngest at the time was almost one. And I have always been kind of into fashion. Always was like making stuff for myself making stuff for my older two boys. I have three boys. And

Mariah Parsons 02:45

that must be a fun time. Must be a fun time with three boys. That are you're never sitting.

Rachel Nilsson 02:51

Yeah, just permanent MMA referee. Yeah, there you go. But it's actually really fun too, though the best so my youngest. At the time I wanted some clothing for him. That was like not cheesy. That was easy for on and off. And he was so Wrigley like anytime I change a diaper. I love the idea of a one piece outfit because it's easy. But I hated how cheesy they were. And I hated the snaps. You know, along the inside, it was like, you end up changing their diaper and then just not snapping that thing back up. Especially if your kids like rolling around or whatever.

Mariah Parsons 03:29

Yeah, I'm sure they unsnap to you while they're just like why did I even put in the effort? Yeah, so

Rachel Nilsson 03:34

that was kind of what spun my idea. I guess I should even back up further. I was my husband at the time was in law school and I we literally had no money like we were on food stamps, Medicaid, like, zero money for real it was for some poor. So he was getting done with school. And we had that summer and he was gonna be studying for the bar. And I was like, how am i How are we going to make ends meet? You know? So I actually started an Instagram rags to riches and it's actually still that

Mariah Parsons 04:15

I actually saw that and I love it.

Rachel Nilsson 04:19

And it was mainly just to sell my kids Hamadan clothes on Instagram. It was kind of a new platform back then. And I, you know, wanted to see if I could make some extra money. So it ended up going pretty good.

Mariah Parsons 04:33

I'd say yeah, 10 years later. Yeah, totally.

Rachel Nilsson 04:36

And and I had had experience selling clothing like making them selling clothing for adults. Prior to that, like I would sell my stuff and skate shops and whatever and I ended up burning out and so this whole this whole idea of like, half of the half of the burnout was because I wanted didn't want to be sewing forever. And two I hated the retailers took Half of my money, my products. So the whole idea of like Instagram and reaching people through social media and being able to sell on that platform was like so freakin cool because it was direct to consumer, you know? Yeah. So I was selling Hami downs. And then And then, you know, in conjunction with my Wrigley toddler at the time, I wanted to create something for him. And I made I went in and grabbed a t shirt out of the closet and cut into it. What we now call is a rag. But it's a one piece romper, and you slide it on and off to the neck, and I put it on him and it was so cool. I was like, Dude, that looks so rad. It has like, it's like not cheesy, but it has the functionality, just what I wanted. So I posted it on my Instagram. And immediately I was like, people are into this, you know. So I couldn't sleep that night, I was laying in bed thinking holy crap, I actually could totally do this. And I had some experience prior. And I remember when I got burned out, I was like do the next go around. Like you will know exactly what to do. Because to avoid burnout, you know. And so I woke up that morning super early and came up with like an I like a plan and went to Home Depot bought like this big whiteboard that I could photograph stuff on with my phone and went and got like a bunch of wholesale T shirts cut into them created patterns myself, like, I literally started completely from scratch. And the first the first like time I launched, we sold out in like minutes. Where was I was actually saying like, this is how many I have in this size. And I would post and people would be putting in their PayPal emails. And I would go in I didn't even have a website, I would have it invoice them. And then it would spit off keeping label. That's how I started. So I didn't know

Mariah Parsons 07:03

what the not to interrupt. You know what the size of your following was at that point? Because I'm so curious if he drops,

Rachel Nilsson 07:09

it was not big. I think it was like 3000 people. Wow. Like, and I just grew that through the hammer down stuff. So it was not big. And then, you know, slowly, I started recognizing like, I really want to get my products in people's hands that are people that I would want to be wearing rags. Yeah, they would post and then we would snowball, you know, and it started like snowballing pretty fast. In fact, we were highlighted in Huffington Post after like, eight months of doing this, and I actually built a website after that first go having the invoice. Everybody is soft,

Mariah Parsons 07:53

I'm sure Yeah, you were real tired of that real? Yeah. So

Rachel Nilsson 07:57

I started a website and then about eight months in I ended up my nanny at the time was like dude, Shark tanks here. She's in Salt Lake like their insulin. And she was like, all come early. So you can go up there, you should do it. And I was like, No way. So I totally did on a whim. And I being the last person to get in. Like, the producer ran out grabbed me there. He was like they're packing up, but you can go ahead if you want and I had no idea what I was getting into. I had a cool story. And I knew that I had great numbers. And I walked in and pitched my story to these producers. And they it usually was supposed to be like one on one. But they they ended up like loving it. And they were like we're all eating lunch. Can you just pitch in in front of all of us? So like Sure. So I actually ended up hanging out with the producers of Shark Tank for you know, a good 10 minutes instead of like three? Yeah, they gave me a call back. I went on Shark Tank after that. It's totally snowballed. And we had Disney reaching out Norstrom reaching out. Star Wars, like all those people. So I actually said no to everybody right out the gate because we were so small and we were trying to keep up with our own current demand. But eventually we started selling and Nordstrom had partnerships with Disney and Warner Brothers and Star Wars. We just recently launched Mattel, so we just recently ly saw that. And yeah, like 10 years later, a lot has happened. You learn a lot you you know there's mega growing pains and we're still there. Yeah. Part of being an entrepreneur is every day you're like dude, am I gonna last? This is insane and later it's pretty

Mariah Parsons 09:55

crazy. Yeah, congrats. That's huge. I feel like every single guests we have on here is the common thread with everyone is the disbelief of still being here. And still wanting to make it work, which is always, I think a great reminder for everyone who's our audience is mostly founders who are starting out like smaller. And so I think it's a great reminder to hear 1010 years later, you know, growing pains and all that aside, you're still still kicking, and able to partner with huge, huge names in the space. Do you remember what size or like? How did you kind of know that? Okay, now is the right time to open the floodgates of these other you know, the Nordstrom Disney partnership Mattel, how did you, I guess, how did you decide when the timing was right?

Rachel Nilsson 10:43

I mean, it was so early on that I didn't really have, I didn't really understand who my consumer was. And I knew that if I go into something like that those types of bigger businesses or bigger deals can end up like really owning you and your brand, you can either be a licensed product, and that's it. Or you can be a Nordstrom brand. And that's it, you know, and they really can dictate how you do things in the future. And I didn't want that, you know, you're on business to avoid that. Right. So I mainly that was, and I knew that if I was gonna do it, I wanted to do it the right way. Like to make sure that when it was done, it would be done very much in a rags branded way. And we would be built, we would have a foundation of our own like, solid consumer before we go and do something that big.

Mariah Parsons 11:40

Yeah, I feel like as you were saying that the metaphor of like having rags and then like a Disney lens, or something over it, versus going through a strainer of like a Disney first and then customizing rags to be or like tweaking or tailoring rags to the what they are expecting. Yeah. I also wanted to ask because you started out with the, like, limited edition drops. What was that? Like? Because I see like, I have a couple of brands that are that have drops, and I'm like, Oh my God, I need to the consumer side, I'm like, it works so, so much that FOMO marketing, or just like they sell out of stock really, really quickly. I don't know if you're familiar with passion footwear, I feel like they're on the up and up right now. I I'm like shouting her out, left and right. Because I'm like, I just want I'm a big fan. I'm cool. But they're convertible heels. So you can take off the heel, and then they'll turn into flats. And they're so cute. I'm like, I need this in my life. But every single time I check the website, it's sold out in my size. And so they and she right her all of her social media, she's like, I know we're working hard. It's just that that's how life is. Life is as a founder, and I get it because I see it firsthand. Right? It doesn't stop me from wanting it. The consumer, it feels

Rachel Nilsson 13:07

it's so funny, you're saying that because it really is so counterintuitive, because I think like if you don't understand what you're just explaining, as like an operator that because so many times people would be like you're leaving so much revenue on the table. And, and that is the case, you know, and there's probably there's really, there's good moments and chunks of time with rags, especially where I felt like we were totally under serving our customer. And it was frustrating, you know, I think my my theory is always like serve as 90% of 100%, you know, to all people wanting to come back. And what I mean, there's two parts to that, like I started doing that 10 years ago, really out of necessity, it was like, I couldn't afford to go into manufacturing and do 2000 pieces per print, right out the gate that will kill you. And I think a lot of people that are starting a business, make that make that mistake, and then they're just drowning in inventory. And eventually they have to just buy or sell it. And for me, it was like, I'm gonna go to the Fashion District and buy remnant fabric from all these great brands that just are selling rolls of fabric for pennies on the dollar. So I went and did that. And then I would ship it to my factory and they would cut so and so fulfilled like I was only allotted a certain amount and certain prints and I genuinely couldn't make more because I didn't even know where that stuff came from. Yeah. And then eventually, you know, you kind of have to grow up because you work with people like a Disney or Nordstrom or whatever, and they'll make sure you do all the testing and it needs to be very legit, you know, and he still had it legit, but I was very scrappy. And you know, I was starting out of T shirts so that it kind of came from a necessity. And then you know, the other part of that was I was thinking how am I going to get people back to me my website, I have only I have no budget, I have photos from my iPhone, I'm using literally only UGC, which is, you know, content that I'm sending product out and getting those photos and posting, like, I'm setting up timers on my phone and like in front of it, like, you know, how am I going to get people back to the website, I can't just keep pushing this black T shirt, or this black dot rag, I need to get like more interesting things and have them coming and going. And so it was it was really beneficial because it constantly kept things fresh, and talking. And it was like, exciting. And I realized, like when people were hopping on and buying, there was so many secondary benefits to that one, there was like this resale market that actually was really good for the brand. And people have a hard time understanding that to where they're like, Well, you can make all that money. It's like, No, I think that's such a good pulse of any brand. If they're able, if people are able to come in and buy products and then go resell them. I've seen them resell for like 800 bucks USD.

Mariah Parsons 16:06

Oh my gosh, it's It's

Rachel Nilsson 16:09

wild. And it built this like subgroup of people that became like, Uber fans. And then that just snowballs and they're, you know, it's like gasoline on a fire. And it's like, people see this, and then they're like, wait, what's so cool about that? I need to like, jump on that bandwagon. I'm not. And, and so that was like a very unexpected, but really cool secondary part of this limited edition model. There's, there's things about it that are really, really difficult, because you don't always under like, not everything's gonna be a slam dunk. Right? You don't know how to plan properly. And as you grow and scale, it's really tricky. And so we've had to like adjust and pivot, and we've made mistakes, you know, but I think at the end of the day, there really is some magic with having some with having that like limited edition, you know, something special and unique about creating, like an experience, you know, people talk about the motion. And if you can tap into an emotion as to why people should buy it from an emotion standpoint, you know, then I think you win. But yeah, for us, it's FOMO. You know, for other people, it's, it's health or for other people, I don't know. But for us, it's like, it's definitely FOMO. Yeah,

Mariah Parsons 17:32

I love that we're talking about this because I think it is an easy, or maybe not even easy, but a first assumption to make of a limited edition model where, like you said, you're losing out on potential revenue, because you're not able to service all of the customers. But I also think, like we're discussing, there's a lot of caveats that once you start to think through it, it might be a great approach to have, depending on your size. And that if you can't service 100% of the people that are interested in your product, you don't want to service them poorly, and then lose them as a forever customer, you'd rather serve a portion of them well. And this is what I think of as well of when I am shopping as a consumer with a brand that has a limited edition model. The buyer's remorse of once I finally get that thing is so much smaller, because I've thought about this so much. I'm waiting. Yeah, to get it. So I think there's like a lot of and this is similar to life and just ecommerce as well. of just, there are ways to reframe something and being able to tell if something is working for you versus if it's not is probably a bigger concern, rather than choosing to focus on the revenue or lost revenue, because it probably realistically it probably evens out in the end, right? If you're generating all this excitement, and versus being able to make the sale up front, there's always going to be a challenge with whatever business model you have somewhere along the line, whether or not you're honorably quantifying that as a challenge.

Rachel Nilsson 19:16

It's actually interesting because there was a couple of years where I kind of had to step away just for personal reasons and I had somebody come in that was very qualified came from like a really had had an amazing background and didn't quite grasp the magic of limited edition and only saw that as like your underserving your your demand and you grow, grow, grow, grow, grow, and started buying deeper in two products and into and we saw sales actually drop off because people could get it and it was like they think about it and they like You know, even even when we would do in person warehouse sales, I'd give him seven minutes to shop. And like we both flying in from all over, and we give him seven minutes to shop. And guess what you would see these people wind up all day going back in line back in line, because there is this, like, they're standing at it. And our biggest thing was like, don't let them stand in line too long. Because then they start to think about they read, they start to think about their purchase, and they're starting to like, you know, talk themselves out of certain things where we want to catch them, right, when they're like, I don't care, I just have to have it. And so it really is, like, again, it's very counterintuitive, but you would rather sell 100% of your inventory at 100% margin, then have to liquidate, you know, 50% of it, because you bought way too much. And maybe you could have made more money, you're losing money at that point, you know, like, you're not a discount, you're not you're not having to go on sale all the time, you know, so that was a huge, huge, and I remember it being some a real point of conflict with with operators that wanted to come in and do this. For me, it was like, I was always trying to stop them from ordering too much. You know, because it doesn't it to some people it doesn't, it just doesn't make sense. And they want to service your demand. So there's ways to do that. I think supreme did a really good job, you know, come up with a line that really is accessible, because there are parents and moms that do not give a crap about waiting until 10am on a Tuesday to buy stuff, they just want to get on website and buy. They just want to jump in on time for that. And so understanding that too, and making sure you're kind of catering to both types of it's a different consumer. Yeah,

Mariah Parsons 21:50

yeah. Well, I'm a fan of both for my consumer as much as it annoys me to have it the limited edition, it totally works. And then also being an E commerce space, as well as a marketer of just seeing the benefits that if it works for your brand, right, there's some that it wouldn't work for. Yeah, it makes sense. Do you see a lot of the what did you call it like the inventory sales, like people coming to your warehouse to shop? Because I haven't, I haven't had a founder mentioned that kind of approached me before. And I find it very interesting that like people would fly in to shop. Yeah,

Rachel Nilsson 22:27

we did a I will never forget this. We did. So we do warehouse sells maybe once or twice a year. And he started taking them on the road. And we did one in Texas, I remember we were selling tickets to people to come and pre shop the night before for I want to say it was like 100 bucks. And we sold 200 tickets in like 10 minutes. Oh my god. So that night, you know, we let everybody pre shop and, and they were spending money so that they would have an opportunity to come and reshot and money. And they would get I think it was like 15 minutes instead of seven. To shop. And, and then you know, we showed them some cool new designs and stuff that was coming. And it was really cool, like community building. But I remember asking, like, who all here who is all from Texas, and probably three of the 200 were from Texas. Oh my gosh, like we had people that had flown in from all over even outside of the country that will take a moment that I was like, Whoa, this is bonkers, you know, and, and we ended up having to like we got there and there's already people lining up and it was outside around the building camping. So we had to like find some local guide, you know, from the landlord of the space and be like, can you come in and just be security to make sure all these women are safe? Because yeah, we've had some funny stories like in Utah, we have KSL and it's like a marketplace where you can go on there and sell or whatever. It's kind of like a Craigslist, honestly. And we've had people that are at a state that can't come to a warehouse sell in Utah, hire people on KSL to go and shop for them.

Mariah Parsons 24:11


Rachel Nilsson 24:12

Which is so funny. It's I remember seeing people like on their phones FaceTiming these ladies asking them like what they wanted, it turns out it's like guys for hire to go shop these. So, but yeah, we would still time them. And I think that the biggest thing was like, get people in and out so that there is that emotion, right? It's like and then we would see we'd gamify that even we would see it in limited edition stuff or seed in new products or seed in samples or whatever that made it just fun for it.

Mariah Parsons 24:45

Yeah, yeah, I love it. So are you because I know you said in the earlier days you're going to pick out the fabrics themselves and then ship them off. Are you still doing that or how are you choosing kind of where, like your limited edition and patterns are coming from it or is it more of a strategic like, okay, look at trends in the fashion industry of like what? Like obviously Mattel, right? We're living in a time where biggest movie of the year. So it makes a ton of sense to have a partnership there. But in terms of are you trying to be more selective or I guess, are more intentional around the patterns that you are rolling out? Or is that so looking at both, you know what you can get for go, we

Rachel Nilsson 25:26

actually now have transitioned into a space where we can design our own, we have a good, we have a really good job with our factory. And they're, they understand the business, you know, so it's a unique model where you're not buying into each of these and deep things, but overall, you know, finding a partner that understood the overall vision where it's like, we may not be buying 2000 units per but overall, we'll do 200,000 units over this span of time, you know, but three different prints and whatever. So we have somebody that works well with us, and then we are designing those in house. And you know, some of it, I think for me, there's like, an element of me and all of them, you know, but I know random. Some of it's very on trends. Some of it's just random and rags and very much Rachel leske. Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Mariah Parsons 26:19

Okay, wonderful. I love it. Um, I also love to ask founders in terms of, I think we've walked through, like the challenges and the successes of a limited edition model, which is great, because I think we don't get a ton of exposure to a lot of brands on this podcast who are doing that. So I also want to ask, just generally, what other challenges did you have in the earlier days of starting out? And it could be anywhere from operations, to, you know, marketing to sales, whatever we want to tackle, because I think it's interesting to hear about, I think a lot of people can can anticipate you'll find certain challenges, right? It's, you're going to some, at some point bump up against something with, you know, margins, you need to make sure that your numbers are are, where they're at. So that you can be you can be a sustainable is sustainable business, or marketing, rollouts, whatever it is, what's one thing that you kind of didn't anticipate being a challenge? That is either still a challenge, or was in the past?

Rachel Nilsson 27:20

I mean, this is hopefully going to answer your question, but I think it's important. When I first started early on, I remember listening to a talk about I was at an event and and the keynote speaker was so awesome. And he was talking about how there are no rules. And I think it's an early on, founder, you you really you do too much comparing, and looking and there's real value and watching people and learning from their mistakes and seeing what they did well and, and iterating along the way, but I think a lot of people because when I started this, it was not a thing, it was not a common thing. A lot of people would have been like, Dude, you're not getting great margins, because your MO your your units that you're ordering are way too low. You I don't know I just and and like you're only doing things through social media, you probably need to start getting into retail, and do wholesale, then that was like big time, you know, it wasn't as popular to have just a directing super deal. And I heard him and I think I constantly was like, well, that doesn't like resonate with me. But maybe I'm a fraud. Maybe I'm like, I don't really know what I'm doing. But like this is working. And it's really counterintuitive. And it's not like what everybody else is doing, you know, and yeah, and hearing somebody just say that it was like, Oh, that feels so good to hear. Because at the end of the day, you're gonna grow and scale. If it works for you, and you're passionate about it, and you're gonna figure out the row as you're gonna figure out, you're gonna figure out when it's right to do retail, you're gonna figure out margin and peace, you're gonna figure it out. It's like that all is inevitable. It's not something to fall on stress in the very beginning. Just do what do what feels right to you what resonates with you and your brand, and what you're working on. And if it's working, don't fix it. Like don't think as not everybody else is doing that, that you're broken. Because there are rules. There's, there's so many ways that people are growing and building that are so different than what I did. But it worked for them, you know? Yeah.

Mariah Parsons 29:38

And it works for we don't even sometimes you don't even know why it works, right? It's just and

Rachel Nilsson 29:43

you're going it's like inevitable when you get into this life when you get into this world. You joked about it earlier and so did I you it is such an insane roller coaster of Holy shit. What did I just do? And next day literally could be like I am the

Mariah Parsons 30:02


Rachel Nilsson 30:06

It is the craziest highest highs and lows. But that is like why entrepreneurs or founders or anybody that's starting to venture down that path or a titch crazy because that is what like drives them. It's beyond. It's beyond the money. Honestly, money is so cool. But it's it's beyond that those that are really successful.

Mariah Parsons 30:27

The rush Yep, totally. Yeah. Yeah. I love it. Yeah, I think that is, like, as much as I think in E commerce especially, or someone or a brand that has an E commerce brand, because it seems so it's like almost goofy, but it's just like, so such a crazy fast industry, and very light hearted because I think that's what customers love to see, right? A brand with actually good branding. There's a lot of room to play in terms of what that means for your brand and your tone, you know, all that stuff. And so I think it's a good reminder, because the industry is so open in terms of like, these are our numbers. These are our successes, these are our challenges. It's easy to look at someone who is further along the entrepreneurial journey than you are and be like, Yeah, but they didn't face XYZ that I'm currently facing, right? And just make that assumption, because it's so easy to just turn insular and think, you know, this is a problem that I'm only fixed or facing because something about me or my business is wrong. So I love the extra reminder of nobody, nobody's out here the rulebook saying you have to do XYZ, if you have an idea, follow it. And if the if it's working, it'll work. Right. And having that I think like, it's almost not blind optimism. But that's something in that realm. Right?

Rachel Nilsson 31:50

I like say that to my employees, because when when I went on Shark Tank, it was like, Well, yeah, of course, I'm gonna frickin get on that thing. Like, even attorneys, they're like, maybe you should think twice about that, excuse my copy, blah, blah. It's like, no, like, and then Nordstrom was like, Well, yeah, I know, I'm gonna be in there someday. Or there's like Disney. Like, yeah, of course, why not? Why wouldn't we get that? Like, it's like ignorant optimism, for sure. It's like, I will you just do, though you figure it out? And it's like, Why? Why couldn't you do that? Like, if you you know, I'm not an expert in any of that stuff. But like, as you go, I think, making sure you surround yourself with a really awesome community. And one thing that I've learned is like, people want to help people. Like, if you don't ask that is like, shame on you should absolutely just put yourself out there and ask for help. And people will deliver, you know, and, and then eventually, you know, that that becomes, like something really valuable as you get into these bigger topics, these bigger things of how to scale and how to how to manage margin and how to negotiate with the factory. And but in the beginning, it's like doo doo doo, what's working? And then you're gonna make little pivots along the way and iterate, you can't, nobody would start a damn thing. If they thought they had all that nailed. In the beginning, you would be parallel. Trust me, we still don't have it now. It's 10 years. Yeah.

Mariah Parsons 33:19

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And to if you know, if you find the one person or the few people that will say no, when you ask for help, then odds are much greater for the next person will actually help you. So I want to double tap Actually, I wanted to ask you about because the elastic neckline is patent pending. And you had just mentioned, you know, there there were maybe some naysayers around going around Shark Tank, and maybe that opening the door for people copying you. So can we talk about that a little bit before we wrap up? Because I think it's interesting just seeing the world in which when you have something like a innovative product in the space, it's an easier I think, easier thought to have of like, someone's gonna copy me oh my god, what do I do? versus just being like, Nope, I'm putting it out into the world and we're gonna do it. Yeah. So what was your kind of what was your thought process around it?

Rachel Nilsson 34:13

That happened all the time? You know, once you start doing it and you gain traction, and you get more and more eyeballs, people are gonna pop up. I don't know where you know, you're gonna get you're gonna have and my it doesn't bother me. I don't think I've lost so healthy and mature.

Mariah Parsons 34:29

Because it's enough to last a wait real quick. Have you watched Ted lasso? Oh, yes. I

Rachel Nilsson 34:34

freaking love Ted Lesko.

Mariah Parsons 34:36

I love it so much. It's like the one scene where he's like, yeah, he's like, Do you know how healthy that is? Right? It's like something about what animal would you be right? I love that's exactly what just that reminded me of.

Rachel Nilsson 34:48

It's kind of like this is a free country and people can do whatever they want, and there's room for a lot of people. So and then also just being really competent in my product. It's like well, you can do that will Just do it better. And we're always going to be one step ahead of you're copying somebody. They are doing what you had released two months ago, you should always be kind of re reevaluate reinventing and, and I think it's a shame when people get so wrapped up in that because that's so much energy and time putting him towards something that's not going to help you personally, and grow your business. It's like take that time and energy and refocus and go and give it to the baby that you're trying to build or, or create. I just think it's, it's like they win. If you are, if you are obsessed with it with the copycat and take it as flattery, like,

Mariah Parsons 35:43

who cares? Yeah, you're making it somewhere, you're making a big enough wave that people are noticing. I've I subscribed to Chris Mead, the founder of cross nets newsletter and he had one that sticks out in my mind about copycatting because he was like, they like a game of backyard game, especially, because, like, I get so many notifications of people, you know, copycatting what we're doing and putting it out for less than they can just make it cheaper and all this stuff. And he was like, at some point, I had to tell myself to stop because it can become all consuming and he's like, I've so I've so much to do. This cannot be one of the things that I prioritize, even though as you know, humans, I think it's like, no, this is we, we have the inclination to be like, No, this is my my thing. Like, this is what makes me unique or my, my brand unique.

Rachel Nilsson 36:38

I think if you can shift that energy, of being angry, and instead being like, Alright, I'm just gonna kick ass more. Like, I like good luck keeping up, I'm going to be better this is going to be it's definitely nothing's ever going to be like rags. Do you know and having that confidence and really, like, just blocking out the noise is going to benefit you long term times? 10. Yeah.

Mariah Parsons 37:03

Is that blind optimism that entrepreneurs tend to have to have to make it?

Rachel Nilsson 37:12

It can get intense, and it can be scary. And it can, you know, but just making sure I like if I wouldn't have been the first on Shark Tank that probably been infuriating, because somebody would have, you know, so it's like, but if I would have paid attention and focus on all the copycats I may not have been in the right place at the right time to be in a space where I could go and do all these partnerships, you know. So I think it's a huge thing is just where you want to spend your time and energy and it's don't give them that that's they've already taken something don't give them more. Yeah, yeah.

Mariah Parsons 37:44

Yeah. Protect your time. Big big proponent of that. Well, Rachel, this has been great. I will wrap us up because I know we're approaching top of the hour, but I know our listeners there. They are awesome. I truly love doing this podcast because I get to talk with amazing people like you and just pick your brain about everything you've learned throughout your career the past 10 years of rags so thank you for making the time. Shout out to Liz for connecting us Liz at Nomad marketing prep does she is amazing. We had her on the podcast as well. So I'm thrilled to be you know, having this conversation here with you today and be an avid follower and cheerleader of rags. Bowl. Thank

Rachel Nilsson 38:21

you and likewise so fun. Good, good. I'm

Mariah Parsons 38:24

glad to hear it makes my day