Rachael McCrary is the CEO and Founder of Jewel Toned, the first body positive shapewear company. Rachael is a Lingerie Expert, Fashion Designer, Business Advisor and life-long entrepreneur. Throughout her career, she has worked overseeing product development for major brands. Jewel Toned, Rachael’s most recent endeavor, is dedicated to changing the psychology around shapewear. She’s also heavily involved in the startup community, having won 7 pitch competitions, and was the first single female founder to raise $1M in 2015.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I created Jewel Toned because I noticed women feeling bad about their bodies in traditional shapewear. It wasn’t flattering and they felt the messaging was that something was wrong with them. I wanted to create a body-positive product that was cute and comfortable that could become part of their wardrobe.
Tell us about your business.
We make body shapers and lingerie made by a lingerie expert – built by women and marketed to women. We want women to relate to our styling, messaging and photos. Our undies are body positive, come in size 2-16 and are a rare combo of both sexy and comfy.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
LadyBossBlogger readers can use the code: EMPOWER for 25% off anything at shopjeweltoned.com.
- I was one of LA’s 100 #WorthyWomen in 2016.
- We received a Stevie Award for best consumer product startup.
- Jewel Toned was one of the first female-founded companies to raise venture capital in 2015.
Where is your business based?
We are based in Venice, California.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I designed The Major Mini Dress® and started selling it on Instagram. We had an overwhelming organic response. Our fun products resonated with both younger and more fashionable consumers and women wrote me telling me they wanted The Major Mini Dress® in more colors.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Nothing beats the power of human connection. When we do events and conferences and hear women’s stories about taking their shapewear off on a date and we provide them with a better option, we all bond and grow together. We were also featured in Oprah’s must-haves and that helped expand brand awareness.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Raising venture capital as a single female founder has been incredibly challenging. There are so few female VC’s that we mostly pitched to men. Some of the female VC’s had already invested in the other undies startups, which was a conflict. So I made diagrams explaining the space to male investors so they could fully understand the market void and potential.
How did you overcome these challenges?
Like overcoming any challenge, it’s important to stay positive and focused. Being relentless with your goals is a key component in being a successful entrepreneur. Leave no rock unturned, so at least if you don’t succeed, you’ll truly know you tried everything.
Networking like crazy always helps. You’ll need to know a zillion people to get a consumer business going, so always maintain relationships.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I try to stay focused on the goal. I ask myself, why did I want to start this in the first place? What is the upper level mission? In this case, it was empowering women, so I made that my macro goal instead of just focusing on the micro goal. Always believe in yourself and others will follow suit.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Currently, there is no other company focused on meant-to-be-seen body shapers.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
We get out of things what we put into them.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Be serious. Stay focused. It’s a marathon, not a sprint so getting used to the idea of delayed gratification is vital.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
I’m obsessed with Slack because it cut down on the various group emails and texts.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil deGrasse Tyson.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
We are always tackling the vast ocean of e-commerce marketing, which is forever growing and always changing. We like to come up with unique ways to truly connect with our consumers so they understand we are a group of women with the same concerns. Creating a heart connection online can be challenging.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
We are launching a celebrity collaboration brand to be announced later this summer.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.