We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachael Hedgcoth and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rachael, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I have known all my life that I am NOT good with numbers. AT ALL. My brain doesn’t seem to have that analytical part to it. Ha! But I DO love words. I have ALWAYS loved words … reading, writing, all of it. From a very young age, I was interested in writing. So much so that when I was in 4th grade, I glued a bunch of packing paper (we moved a lot) together to make a little “book” of my own. I carried that little book with me every day to school and wrote in it whenever I could. I ultimately created a little 36-chapter horse story! It’s still in my office drawer today. The pencil writing and drawings are very faded, but I still have it. It’s like a little creative treasure from my childhood.

I went on to Kansas State University and earned degrees in English and Spanish. I wasn’t sure WHAT I would do, I just knew I wanted and needed to write in some capacity. I have now been a freelance writer for 20+ years and prior to that, I was on staff at three Kansas City-based magazines.

I am a deep feeler, perpetually curious, and I love creating things — whether through words or crafting.

Over the years, I have written for a wide variety of clients, I have self-published 4 children’s books and 1 self-help book on Amazon with my talented graphic designer brother, and I have an Etsy side business full of furry pens and pencils. I think creating must be in my DNA. But numbers definitely are not. 🙂

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Wow this is a tough question to answer! My professional and creative road has been long and winding. But isn’t that how most things in life are?

After college, I struggled to find any employer who would give me a chance to write. It took a little bit, but I finally connected with one and I started building from there.

Over the years, I had the opportunity to travel domestically and overseas for my articles. I am genuinely interested in people, places, and things … so the experiences were always insightful and fun.

When I became a mommy, I couldn’t stand to be away from my little guy. As it turned out, I ended up getting laid off from my job (which I loved) in the year after he was born and that opened the door to starting my freelance career. Working from home while writing gave me the opportunity to be home with my sons as they were growing up, and I could hold down the fort as my husband traveled for work.

I tried to be the best mama I could while also feeding my creative soul. I take my writing very seriously and work very hard for any client I have. I have an old-school work ethic, believe in building great relationships, and I am truly grateful for every single client and customer I’ve ever had.

I am proud of all my business writing over the past three decades and I am especially proud of the 4 children’s books and 1 self-help book on Amazon that my very talented graphic designer brother and I self-published.

While my passion is writing, I am also proud of my little Etsy shop (RetroWriters) that I have created to spread writing joy.

It brings me great happiness to bring a little cheer to others when I can — whether through my freelance work, children’s books, Etsy pens and pencils, and many other things. Above all, I strive to be authentic in everything I do.

I love my husband, kids, and all my family near and far (I have a LOT!), and I feel blessed that my freelance work life has afforded me flexibility in my personal life.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am a Texas transplant as we moved here (for work) from my beloved Kansas City 11 years ago.

That said, I have a lot of family in Texas so my husband and I have been travelling to Texas for most of our marriage of 28 years. Hands down, our favorite place in Texas is Mustang Island … on the Texas coast. The Gulf of Mexico’s shores offer scenic views of the sea framed in stunning sunsets and rugged sand dunes. I absolutely adore the untamed nature and serenity of Mustang Island’s quiet beaches. It’s where I can truly recharge. I would be happy to take anyone there and go into Port Aransas to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Cancun’s!

Here in DFW, my favorite Mexican places are Campo Verde in Dalworthington Gardens and Mercado Juarez on I-20!! If you love SPICY, you need to try Mercado’s habanero queso! (Can you tell I ADORE Mexican food??????)

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am eternally grateful for the love and enduring support of my husband, two sons, parents, siblings, and close friends.

I am especially grateful to my brother, Tony, with whom I have created 4 children’s books and 1 self-help book. And while they are no longer with us, I enjoyed tremendous support from my in-laws on any magazine story I ever wrote years ago when my writing career was just getting going.

These days, I am also grateful to my college son, Austin, who is following in my writing footsteps and is always willing to give my work a thoughtful read when I want another set of eyes.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also give a shoutout to my favorite former boss, Bill K., for his enthusiastic, intelligent, and insightful writing guidance when I worked for him way back when. He has continued to be a friend, mentor, and inspiration to me for the past 20 years.

Closer to home, my mom and younger sister are definitely a couple of my biggest cheerleaders when it comes to all my pursuits and endeavors.

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachael-hedgcoth-979b578/

Other: I would love to share my Etsy shop! Thank you! https://www.etsy.com/shop/RetroWriters Also, my children’s books are available on Amazon. amzn.to/3iTNlNS

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.