We all know the saying, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
Rachel Kelly has done just that.
Her aptly named company Make Lemonade is a workspace for women in Toronto’s downtown core. Their environment preaches critical values of inclusivity, support, and productivity for women who dream big and make shi*t happen. When life gave Rachel a lemon, she took it as an opportunity to start an entire business.
We caught up with Rachel to find out more about her exciting company, what inspired her to start it, and where she plans to go from here.
How did you get started with Make Lemonade? Where did the idea come from and how did you put it into action?
The idea for Make Lemonade came from my own frustrations. I was working from home, working from coffee shops, and it was very lonely. I was tired of looking for wifi. The idea sparked when life handed me a lemon.
Describe a moment that you knew Make Lemonade had made it.
The moment I knew that Make Lemonade was doing good things was when I showed up mid-afternoon and there were people hustling and bustling and no one knew who I was.
Why do you love your job? What sort of cool things do you get to do?
I love my job because every single day is different. I can confidently say that, when I walk into the office, I’m going to meet someone who inspires me, someone, I admire, and I get to work on fun projects all the time.
The best piece of advice that I have received is…
Sleep on it. The next day, I always have a clear answer.
What type of Notable are you? Are you a creator, an entrepreneur, or a professional?
I think I am a blend of notables. I am definitely an entrepreneur, I’m very creative, and I try to be only a little bit professional (laughs).
What does ambition mean to you?
Trying to do something differently, even if you know that you’re going to risk everything.
What is the worst mistake you ever made?
Not leaving that guy when I should have.
Is there a business decision now that you look back on and wish you made differently?
Every decision I made in business, even if it made me think second about now, I know I did it for a reason. It has helped me with where I am now. So, no, I wouldn’t change any business decision.
What are some pivotal mentorship moments for you?
One of the best mentorship moments was in December of 2017. I was at quite a low point. Make Lemonade had only been running for a couple of months. I had a one-on-one coaching session with Katrina McKay. She helped me look at my business from a different perspective, and, at the end of the day, I had a little ‘prescription’ that helped me figure out how to move forward with my business.
What parts of your personality, skills, or approach have helped your career?
I think I am a little bit quirky. I have just the right amount of professionalism and comfortability. I think I am fun and I always realize that people are just human beings. As scary as it can be to be in a room with big business people.
What is one piece of advice that changed everything for you?
It doesn’t have to be so hard.
What’s the next challenge or project you’re tackling?
The next challenge that I am working on with Make Lemonade is our Be Nice Campaign. We want to make sure that people everywhere feel included.