Where are you originally from?
Rachel Teyssier – Maplewood, NJ
Stacy Struminger – New Providence, NJ
Where’d you go to school & what’s your current profession?
Rachel Teyssier – University of Massachusetts, Amherst – Vice President/Co-Founder RAINRAPS
Stacy Struminger – Syracuse University – President/Co-Founder RAINRAPS
Where do you live today and how long have you lived in this area?
Rachel Teyssier – Richmond, VA (20 years)
Stacy Struminger – Richmond, VA (20 years)
How many children do you have & what are their ages?
Rachel Teyssier – a daughter who is 19 and a son who is 18
Stacy Struminger – a son who is 20 and a daughter who is 18
What are your favorite things about Richmond?
Rachel Teyssier – that there is no congestion and it still has a small town feel to it. You can still leave for the airport an hour before your flight, park your car and be at the gate all with ease.
Stacy Struminger – Favorite thing about Richmond – That it is centrally located, it’s an hour and half from the beach, an hour and a half from a major city and an hour to the mountains.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I think people would be surprised to know that we have been working together for over 10 years as best friends and business partners and we have never had an argument. Our husbands also work together and our kids are like siblings to each other. Our families are much intertwined!
Tell us about your career, where you started, where you are today…
Stacy spent 10 years as a buyer for Burlington Coat Factory while Rachel worked in journalism and corporate event planning. They both were transplanted to Richmond in support of their husband’s careers while they continued to commute to NYC and Chicago. Once their babies came along that had to stop. They were both itching to do something more once their youngest were in school, so when the idea of RAINRAPS was born they both took off running with it!
Tell us more about that – how did you get started with RAINRAPS and what are you doing now?
The RAINRAP was truly created based out of a need. Stacy was the type of woman who was always prepared. Prepared for the cold restaurant, the cold movie theater, but never prepared for the rain. She always had a pashmina with her for those chilly situations, but realized she needed a pashmina for the elements. She searched online and was shocked to see that the item she envisioned did not exist. From there the process began. Joining forces with Rachel, the fabric, template and manufacturer soon followed. 10 years later we are still at it, manufacturing and distributing RAINRAPS.
What’s the best thing about your job or business?
Rachel Teyssier – That I work with my best friend
Stacy Struminger – That I work with my best friend
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
Rachel Teyssier – aside from my children, my starting a business
Stacy Struminger – ditto
What was your biggest failure?
Rachel Teyssier – I don’t look at anything in my life as a failure.
Stacy Struminger – same, I think we all struggle at different times in life. Not everything always works out perfectly. Life has its ups and downs and you have to just keep on course with your goals and dreams.
What’s the one thing you’re most passionate about?
Rachel Teyssier – continuously trying to make myself a better person
How do you juggle work with mommy hood?
Rachel Teyssier and Stacy Struminger – Our kids are all older now and self – sufficient (for the most part). When they were younger, we were able to have flexibility when we needed to and we helped each other
Can you give us one pearl of wisdom, the one thing you wish more people knew?
To be kind to each other.
How do you rely on the women of Richmond?
We love supporting other Richmond woman owned business, and we in turn are grateful for the support we receive from them as well. We have always believed in the mantra of paying it forward.
What’s your advice to moms in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis?
“This too shall pass. Try to focus on the silver linings.”
How has your job changed during COVID-19?
Unfortunately many of the smaller boutiques that we sold to did not survive COVID. It has been a difficult year for retail. Connecting with other woman and/or small business owners and sharing advice, hearing where others have had success, has been very helpful.
Last question – is there anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
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