We had the good fortune of connecting with Raquel Rose and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Raquel, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my own business almost unintentionally at first. I was a young single mom, living at home because I needed the support and trying to finish college. Needless to say, it was a busy time in my life. I worked, I went to school, and I was in the thick of being not only a new mom, but a young, single, mom. Because of my new responsibilities as a young mother, I was no longer able to be a “typical” 21 year old. I had to mature at a quicker pace and make different choices that would help me and my future for the sake of my beautiful daughter. I had my daughter a month and half before I graduated college, I then immediately began graduate school. My plate was full, not to mention my daughter was not a great sleeper. During this time I turned to creativity. Creativity has always been something I enjoyed ever since I was young, and during this very chaotic season of my life, I used creativity as a form of self-care. Having a new baby inspired me to pick up sewing, a skill I had learned as an elementary kid from my mom during 4-h. Making little blankets, or stuffed animals brought me so much joy. It started for her, and for me to have some down time to pursue something fun. Becoming pregnant at 21 was obviously a shock, and I was extremely lost at the time. I had a literal come to Jesus moment that saved me and my daughter as I made the decision to continue my pregnancy and parent her. This was the best decision I have ever made. My daughter brought tremendous healing to my life and sparked new faith in me. With this newfound spiritual fire in me, I wanted to support my daughters faith journey so I began incorporating faith into my crafts for her. Soon, others noticed the unique items I was making and began asking if they could pay me to make them similar items. After I said yes a few times, more requests came in and that’s when I thought “hey, this could be a fun side gig…” This “side gig” has been ongoing for about 6 years, and my daughter (and now 2 other children) have only brought more and more inspiration. In fact, I have now made this creative business my full-time job and it has been providing abundantly. I specialize in fabric dolls of faith and recreate Catholic Saints into fun plush toys. My vision is to bring faith into every day life. I want my kids growing up having tea parties with the “Saints and Angels” and dragging little toy Jesus along to the park. I want faith to be a normal every day occurrence, not just a Sunday event. I do this with my creations-specifically my children’s toys. Now I’ve expanded to faith filled decor, apparel, and mugs-I pretty much follow any creative inkling I get. The end goal is always bringing faith into the ordinary-and I love it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art is very niche to the Catholic faith tradition. Most of my work is in reference to Catholic Saints or Catholic prayers and symbolism. What sets me apart is that I am not formally trained in any of my crafts beyond 4-h as a youngster and AP Art in high school. I create all my own patterns and am self-taught in most of my creations. I’m most proud of getting to a point where this creative business is a sustainable form of income for my family and that my ideas are “likable” enough for people to keep coming back! It’s a very vulnerable experience to put your creations out there, so the fact that they have been received so well is always exciting. Building up my business has not been easy, it’s taken years to get the customer base I needed to make it full-time. And if you know anything about sewing, you know that a seam ripper is your best friend-I’ve had to undo, redo, completely re-start too many projects to count. However, one beautiful thing that can come from social media is community with other Catholic creatives who have supported me, given me tips, and helped me grow. I’ve learned that creativity is a process and cannot be forced. I’ve learned that it’s ok to try new things and not be good at them right away. I’ve learned that sometimes the most shocking and unexpected events (like becoming pregnant at 21) can lead you down a beautiful, more fulfilling path then you would have ever planned for yourself.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Because I am a “small business” I LOVE supporting other small businesses and local spots. I drink a lot of coffee, so we would definitely hit the local coffee shops. Some favorites that are near my small town are B’s Coffee and Black Sheep Eatery, both in Johnstown. I spend a lot of time at parks with my kids, so we would definitely explore different parks. Some favorites are the Silos park in Ft. Collins and Eastman Park in Windsor. If there were any outdoor craft shows, we would absolutely be there, eating from food trucks and checking out the arts.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my daughter. Without her, I would have never started this business or had the specific inspiration that she brought me. Her existence is such a gift to this world!
Other: Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheLittleRoseShop Spoonflower (fabric designs): https://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/the_little_rose_shop