When Rachelle Enns and Justin Wick’s niece Madi was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, they wanted to find a way to help. The pair was determined to raise awareness about this fairly unknown and rare neurological disorder that mostly affects young girls. This is how Rachelle and Justin decided to start the company Rare Birdy, an online site with a unique catalogue of jewelry and accessories. With each sale, a generous portion of the proceeds goes towards helping find a cure for Rett Syndrome.
Describe your business in a nutshell:
Rare Birdy is an online jewelry and accessories store. We utilize our business to support a cause close to our hearts.
Why did you start your business? What was the inspiration?
The essence of the phrase “Rare Bird” means “an exceptional person or thing.” The inspiration behind Rare Birdy was our four-year-old niece, Madi. After she was diagnosed with a rare disorder, Rett Syndrome, my husband Justin and I began brainstorming ideas on how to help raise funds and awareness. We started our business with the goal to donate a good portion of every sale to help these beautiful girls who are affected by the disorder.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of our day is sending off charming pieces of jewelry to perfect strangers!
Every online order we receive makes us smile because we know that it is helping a cause we care about greatly. Our customers are adding some glam to their wardrobes and, whether they realize it or not, they are also helping to contribute.
We just launched our site this year and the most challenging part so far has been getting our name out there and maintaining the initial momentum. We’ve hosted some very successful private home shopping events.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
Can I be so bold to say that, as a business owner, if your work/life balance is not somewhat off you are not doing it right? I have become accustomed to running on overdrive most days but that is how I enjoy living my life.
Where do you see your business going in five years?
We hope to be shipping our product worldwide and raising a huge amount of funds for Rett research.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you over come it?
Finding time to do everything I needed to do was the biggest hurdle. Between juggling family, friends, and work I needed to learn to say no sometimes. Once I realized that it was okay to say no, I was able to take better advantage of my somewhat limited time.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Money certainly does not equal happiness. Money can invoke feelings of happiness but, to me, true success means reaching my personal goals without compromising what I initially set out to do.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
It is incredibly rewarding when we receive fabulous shoutouts in publications like Notable! In October we received a small feature in a well-known US online magazine and now this. It is all very exciting.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Your drive must always come from an internal source. Do not wait for anyone else to motivate you.
Where is your favorite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
While forming the business plan for Rare Birdy, we spent a lot of time at The Pig & Duke so it holds fond memories for us. Check it out – the fish tacos are amazing!
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
Between being an entrepreneur, working full-time, and being a mom to an active seven-year-old boy, I do not find a lot of “me” time. If I do, it is very early in the morning with a kettle bell in my hands and an energetic Songza playlist blasting in my ear buds.
Where is your favorite place to travel? Why?
San Francisco stole my heart this year! Justin and I eloped there in September. I would like to say that we chose San Francisco because of the city’s ambiance, but we both know it was because Justin needed an excuse to see the 49ers play.
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
Beastie Boys – Sure Shot.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
I couldn’t imagine not doing what I am doing! If I had to choose an alternate life I would be a wealthy philanthropist travelling the world and making a difference.
Do you support any Charities? If so, which one and why is that important to you?
Rare Birdy began as an initiative to raise funds and awareness for Rett Syndrome. This is a fairly unknown and rare neurological disorder, which affects mainly girls, including our niece.
What is Notable to you?
Giving back and showing love to others.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android or Other?
I am 100% iPhone. Android seems so highly technical – it scares me!