We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Brasch and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I am naturally a pretty risk-averse person. It’s not that I don’t try new things, but whether it’s conscious or not, I’ve always calculated my chances of success prior to “going for it” and been pretty sure that I would not fail. That or I had a rock solid safety net. This decision was different. Starting my own interior design business has been one of the biggest risks of my life. I left my full-time job. I didn’t save up a year’s salary to cover the expenses or have a guaranteed pipeline of clients. I would need to be vulnerable and share myself with a world of people who may or may not love what I create. It was scary, but there was an undeniable calling on my life and I felt I had no choice but to take the risk. The scariest part is I don’t think I’m done having to step out like that; I think running my own business will require me to keep choosing risk. But so far it’s been a thrill and worth every “I’m so anxious I could puke” second.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Design has always played a role in my life, but I’ve taken the less traditional route to a career as an interior designer. It wasn’t a straight path, but I can see the value my experiences have brought to what I can now offer professionally. I spent over a decade in the non-profit world leading the set up, structure, and business practices of organizations to ultimately serve clients with excellence. This was invaluable in starting my business. I may have an eye for design, but clients must also trust that I can handle the finances, construction timelines, procurement, and every other organizational aspect of their project.
There is also a lot of technical knowledge involved in interior design; it’s more than just picking out pretty pillows and paint colors. Many learn those skills in a traditional 4 year degree program; I took the scenic route. It took a bit longer, but I taught myself CAD, spent my free time studying the history of architecture & design styles, read books on space planning, took online courses, sought mentors, and just dug into as many real life projects as I could. And then there was the education that came from getting my hands dirty and actually doing our own renovation work with my husband. He’s a true professional and actually deserves the credit, but I will say that you have a different understanding of the craftsmanship & materials involved in a project after you’ve attempted it yourself. Don’t worry- I’m not tiling any clients’ showers, but now I can appreciate the contractors I work with even more!
I know there is purpose in everything that brought me to where I am today. My hope is that I will build a business and brand that I can be proud of and that honors God. I do believe that making things beautiful matters. Not in a superficial way, but in a way that it reflects the One who created us. I’m grateful that it’s my job to do that. I love that I get to help people by designing beautiful, timeless spaces that make them love being home and provide the backdrop to a well lived life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We live in downtown McKinney so I may be biased, but I think it’s the most wonderful, charming place to visit. We’d jump on our scooter and tour the neighborhood or walk to the square while admiring all my favorite historic homes. We’d probably grab a coffee, lunch, maybe hit the farmer’s market and antique mall. If it’s Oktoberfest or another festival weekend then we’re definitely going and spending all our pennies on overpriced beer! Otherwise we’re heading back to The Celt at night for some good Irish food, music, and a game of darts.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I somehow hit the jackpot when it comes to having a creative community of friends. My close circle literally consists of artists, photographers, florists, and other entrepreneurs and creatives. Everyone is using their God-given gifts and it feels like magic when we bring them all together. My husband, Daniel, makes sacrifice after sacrifice for me to be able to figure this out and do what I love. These people have pushed me, supported me, celebrated me, and loved me endlessly and I wouldn’t have a shot at doing this without them.
Victoria Prahl Photography (@victoriaprahlphoto)