Rita is the brains and beauty behind the fantastic site, The American Edit, the style-minded map to Made in America. The American Edit features the best of the best American made brands and makers in women’s apparel and home decor. We hope you'll take some time to read her articles about good design or reach out to her if you're looking to grow your business on home turf!
*all images provided by The American Edit
1. Hi Rita! We are very interested in how business owners balance work + family/friends. How do you manage time for all of the important things and people in your life?
I don’t! Balance is a tricky, subjective thing and I suspect I’ll never find it, but I’m working to find a place that works well enough to maintain. I’m making a conscious effort to never say that I’m busy anymore – it’s such a cop-out, everyone is busy and we all have the same amount of hours in the day – and just focusing on prioritizing. Sometimes work has to come first, sometimes friends and family. I’m also lucky to have a partner and friends that can remind me when I prioritize poorly and won’t let me cancel our plans!
2. You say that "shopping is your ultimate adventure", do you have a favorite memory of this as a kid?
I love this question and have never thought about it! So many… I’ve honestly always loved to shop. I learned about quality while shopping with my mom as a kid – she’d point out uneven hems and poor construction in whichever store we visited– and probably fell in love with beautiful objects and materials while shopping with my mom and my grandma in India – I’d just sit and watch in awe as they quickly narrowed their selection out of the insane amount of saris or jewelry and then negotiated a good price.
3. How does your work in the sourcing category effect the way you see the world?
Understanding sourcing helps you understand how small the world really is. When I was working in global sourcing, all of the major headlines impacted my job – an earthquake in a far away country could lead to raw material price increases and shortages, which could result in my product being out of stock in stores in the USA. It’s also given me a better understanding of the realities of manufacturing – it’s a really grey, messy topic – and helped me to realize that I should be a responsible, conscious consumer. Once you see something made from start to finish, it’s hard to treat it as a disposable.
4. Being your own boss can be a tricky thing. What is your favorite thing about owning you own business?
Being able to work from wherever I want… and being able to follow through on crazy ideas that would have never been approved in my past jobs.
5. What has been challenging and how are you overcoming those challenges?
Everything about owning your own business is challenging. I will never lie and say it’s easy, but it is fulfilling. Having friends and mentors that have owned or own a business is imperative – I’d have quit 100 times over without my network.
6. How do you friends/family encourage you?
Most people never look back and think of all they have accomplished thus far, they just think of all that is left to do – we’re insatiable. My family and friends remind of all of the wins and struggles when I’m feeling like I’ll never amount to anything.
7. How do you take your coffee/tea?
Green tea or an iced Americano, with cinnamon.
8. Most productive place to work?
My coworking space, The CoMN!
9. Favorite place to visit for rest?
LA. I try to get there at least quarterly.
10. How do you unwind from the busyness of daily life?
Turn off my phone and read a book. Go to barre class. Drink wine.
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