It’s been a blast getting to know Rachel, lol, sorry it’s a little hard to give an introduction for her… I’m giving my own introduction. So, let me talk about myself in the 3rd person for a minute, and be cool about it, lol. Rachel is not only the designer for Golden Rippy, and the illustrator for our coloring books, she’s also the admin for the Sew Fab bundle. She’s the reason the Sew Fab Bundle is making a come back. Woot woot! You get the rare chance to learn more about her… but only because she made the other designers do this spotlight first. Hah.
Rachel Hunsaker is the designer for Golden Rippy and the admin for Sew Fab Patterns.
Rachel, how do you structure your days?
Okay, my days are really different during certain times of the year.
When I don’t have launches or firm deadlines, I work after the kids are off at school. I get a lot of work done during nap time. I make baked goods for their breakfast the next day, while I’m cooking dinner. I do a lot of food prep in the morning too. I basically bake all day.
During launches and deadlines, I spend a lot more time working after the kids go to school. I power through nap
I’m 100% present during dinner. We turn all cell phones face down and ignore them.
I’ve started a new routine… After the kids are all in bed, I take the rest of the night off and have fun. Binging a new show, making a new dessert, something that I think is fun. It’s really helped prevent burn-out.
Where and how do you work best?
At my desk. My window is surrounded by paper flowers and I can stare out the window and look at the mountains. I do a lot of thinking and I do my best thinking when I have a quiet space to do it.
When I’m drafting patterns or writing instructions, I usually have my headphones on and I’m listening to Pandora. When I’m sewing, I have a movie on. I have several favorite movies I watch when I’m doing a lot of hand sewing. When I’m blogging or answering emails, I’m at my desk with my feet up, snacking on something.
I love my desk. It’s a big solid piece of mahogany on several sawhorses. I broke my foot trying to get the supplies to make it. My hubby bought all the supplies for me after I had my walking boot on and I put it together with a broken foot. I also painted and added the pegboards while I still had the cast.
Before that, I did my blogging at the kitchen table, sofa, my bed, basically anywhere I wanted to lounge around. I still carry my laptop around and get my work done wherever I want, if I need a change of scenery.
What tools do you find indispensable when sewing?
A couple quilting pins, the pin cushion my Grandma made for me, and my scissors. I don’t use many things when I sew. I actually hate pinning things, so if I can get away with it I’ll finish a project using the same small handful of pins over and over. I rarely pin unless I absolutely have to. It used to drive my instructors crazy if I only used two pins for a project. Lol. Other than that, a nice sharp pair of scissors and I’m good to go.
What would you have done differently when you first started sewing if you knew then what you know now?
Buy fabric that makes you happy. Life is too short to sew with ugly fabric that you hate. There are so many projects that I gave away, that would have been perfect in a different fabric. Don’t buy things on clearance or buy remnants just because it’s on
And use patterns that make you happy, don’t worry about if it’s “too hard” “too easy” or anything else, you can always learn new skills to make it. And sometimes all you need is a simple pattern. Pick the right pattern for the project you want to make, whatever makes YOU happy.
What’s the best advice you ever received?
Lol, totally not appropriate to repeat, but it was what my midwife told me before I had my first baby, and it helped me pop out all my other babies. Best advice ever, and I’ve shared it with a few other women in my life. It’s helped them too.
But I think the second best advice I’ve received is “Just Start”. Whatever you’re trying to accomplish, just start it. Start it today, start where you are, just start making progress. Every little drop you make adds up and pretty soon that bucket will be full. You just need to start. Don’t let fear stop you before you even begin.
What designers inspire you most?
Eiko Ishioka and Kate Spade. I’ve always admired them. Eiko heavily influenced me in college, and Kate influenced me when I started designing again.
I love Eiko’s use of bold colors and unusual geometric shapes. You can tell she had fun designing. Fashion should be fun and able to push the boundaries. My wedding dress was a nod to one of her designs, so was my pre-wedding dinner dress. You can bet I’m going to draft that dress again.
Kate is amazing. I wanted to wear everything Kate designed. She was such a sweet soul. She always stayed true to herself and I’ve tried to do that too. She continues to inspire me. I do think when you reach a certain level that it can get to you and you feel overwhelmed by it all, and I’ve used that to help me remember to make time for friends and family and things that I love to do. To step back when it feels overwhelming and to reach out for help. She’s been one of my biggest influences, I’ll miss following her journey.
They’ll both be missed.
What is still your biggest challenge?
Self-promotion. I have zero problems promoting other people and helping market them, but I kinda hate promoting myself. I’m content not being in the spotlight, it’s not something I actively seek out. So when I have to self-promote, know that it’s a big jump out of my comfort zone. Throwing a
Infinite possibilities. Sometimes I see too many opportunities, too many things I want to accomplish or branch out in. Maintaining focus and not exploring all those possibilities at this very moment, is one of my biggest challenges. I don’t have trouble laser focusing in on the current task, but my head can swirl with possibilities I want to explore in the future. So I write them all down and sit on them, let them marinate a little bit and in a few months I see if I’m still that passionate about accomplishing the task. Chances are I still am, I just need to make time to do it.
What are your favorite books or magazines on sewing?
Mollie Makes. I had a subscription and it was fun getting the magazines every couple of months. I would give the little kits to my daughters and help them make the projects. It was a fun way to introduce them to different crafts.
It’s funny, I don’t have a lot of books on sewing, other than all my textbooks. I have tons of books for all my other crafts. But I try to stay up to date with the current Patternmaking books, ASTM standards
So yeah, I’m boring. I read Forbes and Entrepreneur daily. I also stay up to date on tech happenings. I’m a big ol’ tech nerd.
I wrote this question hoping the other designers could give me some ideas for new sewing books and magazines to read. 😉
What’s your best advice for handling criticism?
Take it with a grain of salt. There will always be people that have an opinion on anything you do, but it’s not your job to please everyone. I’ve learned this the hard way, but there are people that you just can’t please, and nothing you do will ever be good enough for them. So take criticism with a grain of salt. Don’t take it personal. If a lot of people are saying the same thing, maybe look at it as an area to improve. But if only a few people are grumbling, move on and focus on the positives. No one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes. Just do your best and don’t give up. As long as you’re moving in the right direction, a little criticism here and there doesn’t have to derail you.
Focus on the positives.
And develop a thick skin… it’s way easier to take criticism if you have a thick skin and don’t make it personal. I remember the first time I was flamed, it really hurt… but I spun it into a positive and all those trolls were sending more traffic my way, I actually made sales from it. So I wrote a post and thanked them for flaming me because I got more traffic and sales. Lol. And that’s when you know you’re starting to make an
How do you balance work and family demands?
It’s definitely a balancing act. I work from home, and I have a bunch of kids. I work while my kids are in school or taking naps. I drop everything to make them dinner, and we all turn off the electronics to sit at the table for meals together. I’m present
When I have tight deadlines, dad helps with dinner or takes them out to a park if I need some time to finish a project. He’s very good at helping take on more of the responsibility so I can focus. It’s hard for me to ignore my kids if they’re around. My “office” doesn’t have a door on it, so I’m always available. So he’ll take them on daddy dates to give me some time to meet a deadline.
The way my work goes, it only gets hectic during launches. The rest of the time I can pretty much take a break during the day whenever I need to.
When I’m not in the throes of a launch, I spend a lot of the day studying and cooking from scratch. Honestly, I would spend all day cooking from scratch if I could. I love baking and grilling… it’s so relaxing and fun.
What’s next for you?
Oooo, good question. Well, Golden Rippy is putting out a lot of patterns this year, we plan on having 50 in our library by the end of the year. I’m also releasing a Patternmaking course in the next few months. We’ll have more patterns and courses in the future, but that’s our current plan for this year.
Sew Fab is growing. It’s been fun to see this community come alive again after so many years. I can’t wait to see how Sew Fab grows and takes shape! We’re going to shake things up a little. It’s been a blast getting to know these designers, the Sew Fab sewing ambassadors, and all the testers. I’ve met so many lovely people because of this opportunity. I’m so grateful I get to be a part of this.
Thanks for taking the time to learn more about Rachel!
We’re excited to see all the courses and patterns that you release! Good luck! Thanks again
You can check out Rachel’s blog and patterns at Golden Rippy, and her courses at Creative Bootcamp. We know she’ll be a fun designer to follow and watch. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook, and join her sewing group. 🙂
Thanks for learning about all of our designers! Go back and read about the other ladies in this bundle too. 🙂
The Sew Fab Giveaway!
As always we have a great Sew Fab Giveaway for you to enter! One lucky winner is going to win a whole bunch of gift certificate goodness, plus an extra little gift from Rachel (the admin of the Sew Fab Sale)! Here’s what the winner will receive…
Three gift certificates totaling $100 from Girl Charlee, PeekabooFabricShop, and Fabric Worm!!! And the winner will also get a Strawberry measuring tape, strawberry buttons and two yards of twill tape for handmade fabric tags!
To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below, and be sure to leave the required information when asked. Facebook will not allow us to require you to “like” a page in exchange for an entry, but if you visit the page and feel led to “like” it I know the designers and sponsors would greatly appreciate it.
The giveaway is open to all!