One on One With Rachel Zoe
November 27, 2016
By Guest Blogger Katelyn Cheek
Hi everyone and happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by the ones you love. My name is Katelyn Cheek and I’m so excited to be guest blogging today for The Light Of Style Blog here at K. Renee. A little about me before I share one of the coolest moments of my life in this post—that just so happened to be at K. Renee.
I’m a 25-year-old Midwest native, a newlywed, and the founder of the lifestyle blog, Katalina Girl. I founded my blog in 2012 as a creative outlet to share my love of fashion and adventures. As I’ve gotten older, my blog has evolved into a place to showcase all of my favorite things. Today, readers can expect to see topics ranging from fashion, beauty, home design, travel, married life, and much more. The Katalina Girl reader is the every girl: she loves fashion, loves home design, loves family but is frugal.
I’ve been blogging for almost 4 years now and during that time I’ve attended multiple seasons of NYFW, collaborated with some of the top brands in the business, and met some amazing people along the way—like the talented people at K. Renee. I currently live in Ankeny, IA with my husband Brandon and my pups—Dash and Meyer. By day I am the eCommerce Editor at Better Homes and Gardens and a freelance writer and stylist. Together Brandon and I design and build custom homes and renovations with our family business, Oakstone Homes.
Onto more about what I mentioned above. Exactly one month ago Rachel Zoe graced Des Moines with a special appearance at K. Renee. (Read more about that here.) I was honored when Kelli and Julie asked me to be apart of this experience. Somehow, I was lucky enough to snag the only sit-down interview with Rachel and boy was it a life-changing experience for me.
From the start, I’ve admired more than just Rachel’s style. To me she is a businesswoman, an entrepreneur, she has guts and drive, talent and creativity. Those were the things I noticed and respected the most. Now, Rachel is a mother of two, a wife, author, creator, designer; the list goes on and on. When I first learned of my interview opportunity I had no idea what I should ask her. I wanted it to be more than just fashion-related questions and I knew I wanted it to fit with the entrepreneurial spirit of the millennials in Des Moines. I would have never imagined that Rachel and I had so much in common. Here’s a little of what we chatted about…
K: What is your biggest piece of advice for millennials looking to break out on their own?
R: I’m a firm believer in doing things the old school way, which is working really, really hard. And when I say it, I feel like that sounds so expected, like of course everybody is going to work hard, but millennials, they’re so much smarter than we were at their age. It’s because they have so much more access to information. I would say hard work and having a goal—but a realistic goal—and don’t be afraid to work for yourself. But it is hard because you’re living very often like as hard as you work is as much as you make. That’s why a lot of people don’t do it; it’s unstable and very scary.
K: What was that point in your life when you knew you were better off working for yourself than working for someone else?
R: I was 25 and the fashion industry at that time literally paid you nothing, and you still don’t get paid a lot; even as a fashion editor at a magazine, but that’s because everyone wants those jobs. Fashion-related jobs are so desirable, so they’re not high paying but so gratifying and satisfying. People always say that you start for fashion. That’s because it’s like I’d rather do this job and make no money because it’s what I love. With that said, I was 25 and not making a lot of money, but I was working 24/7 and loved what I was doing. There wasn’t a job open at that time, that I could see myself in, because all of my peers were at the other magazines in the same position and they weren’t leaving. I was like, OK, where am I going to go? I started doing some freelance work and was making so much money doing it, and working for myself that I was like, this is where it’s at. I realized that, that was it forever and I couldn’t work for someone again. You know, once you do that—work for yourself—it’s really hard to go back. Working for yourself means that you get to govern your own life. The only risk is if you have a dry spell. Plus, you feel like you can never pass up work because you don’t want it to go to someone else and lose that steady income stream. I always remember being so scared of that.
K: Was they’re anything you would have done differently, knowing what you know today.
R: Probably tried to have more of a life because I kind of missed 15 years. I didn’t necessarily “miss it” because I did get to have some of the greatest experiences, but I did miss a lot of birthdays, baby showers, and weddings.
Then Rodger, Rachel’s husband chimed in and said, “She ignored me for those 15 years.” We all giggled and said poor Rodger.
K: What would you tell a woman who really wants it all? I know the motto at K. Renee is Living Life Beautifully, so what advice do you have for a woman who wants a beautiful life, prosperous career, and a big family?
R: The answer is, it’s a challenge every day. Honestly. You know, I do my best. Being a great mom is my number one biggest priority. But you know, because it is my business and it is my name and my brand, there is an attachment and an obligation to what I do and I love what I do. I don’t have a lot of personal time, if any! It’s either, I’m mom or I’m working. Those are my two lives.
K: As millennials, we love to do a million things at once. How do you know when you’re doing too much, that the work that you’re doing isn’t paying off, your heart just isn’t in it anymore and how do you step back from those situations without feeling like you’ve failed?
R: That’s a very good question. The answer to that is, it’s good for you to do a bunch of things to figure out the things you love the most. I think that by doing too many things, you actually can’t be great at one thing. Don’t do too many because you won’t succeed at any of them. You’ll be good at a lot of them, but not great at any of them. Pick a favorite but simultaneously do one or two other things and see what you fall in love with the most. And if you’re doing something that you don’t love, you probably shouldn’t do it. If you don’t love it now don’t waste your time, because you probably won’t love it later.
This blog post could go on and on, but I’m going to end it here. I’ll be sharing more of the interview and some big news of my own in about a week, so make sure to pop over to Katalina Girl to read more! A huge thank you to the amazing people at K. Renee for this opportunity and to Rachel and Rodger for taking the time to inspire me. Thank you to Kelli and Julie for letting me guest post and get a chance to say hello to all of your readers.
Have a wonderful Monday and cheers,