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Rebecca Ray

Mother’s Day Musings: Our Girls are Watching

From the desk of Rebecca......

I never really intended to become an entrepreneur.  When I was in school, it was before the tech boom and before a dot.com was in the twinkle of anyone’s eye. Few if any, really knew what an entrepreneur was.  I had a wonderful education and I hold a Master’s Degree in Education and thoroughly enjoyed a very successful career in the non-profit industry.  But what I forgot about during all of those very cerebral years was the lure of the entrepreneur - kind of like a mermaid’s siren song.  I just adore creating and I forgot about the crafts and businesses I was creating and selling as early as high school. So, though it seemed like quite a leap of faith to walk away from a perfectly stable, deeply rewarding job to start my own company, I knew it was the only option for me.  And to be clear - I’ll quash the glamor of entrepreneurship right here and now.  It’s risky, its scary and its downright hard work.  It’s sleepless nights and endless amounts of worry.  It’s being responsible for people on your payroll. But the upsides are gloriously satisfying.

 

Rebecca and Lizzie

Rebecca and Lizzie at the Land Rover 3 Day Event

The one upside I never anticipated is probably the most important: being a role model for my daughter and her friends, who have all helped with the business at one time or another.  I have always believed that as women, we hold a special obligation to other women to help them launch, support one another and “pay it forward.”  I’m proud of Rebecca Ray, that, as a business we are known for that.  But I never anticipated that our daughter would be watching me. Carefully.  She watched me early, in the days where I’d run back and forth between her and our sitter’s home, managing a local storefront, she’d watch carefully as she’d travel with us helping to merchandise endless displays; She still watches me drawing and gives me suggestions.  And she watches me work. Hard. Sometimes that Mother Guilt creeps in.  If you are a working Mom, you know it well.  The “division on time” guilt.  The “only so many hours in a day” guilt.  But here’s the most important thing I learned over the years: Our girls are watching us.  Closely. 

 

Lizzie

Lizzie and her beautiful horse

I have no empirical data (no time to do the research!).  But I can tell you, my observations about the daughters of entrepreneurs are this: they are five steps ahead of many of their peers by the time they get to college.  They know what it takes to run a business.  They understand how and why goods are priced.  They realize the hours that go into developing product.  They understand sourcing and how businesses work. And, most of all, they understand time, commitment, passion and personal fulfillment. They know the terrible disappointments and they know the wonderful highs.  And they know how to get back up, dust themselves off and try again.  And there is one thing that never enters their mind: any limitation of what women can and cannot do.  That’s a far cry from when my mother, a top tier student in her graduating high school class went off to a very famous University hoping to go to vet school only to be told by the Dean that women didn’t go to vet school.  Our girls are watching.  We dare not let them down.