The Girls!

Rachel Kramer

EntrepreneurCarlsbad, CAPhotos and Story by Lauri Levenfeld
It has been a joy getting to know Rachel Kramer. She is a girl after our own hearts. Her stories of crafting businesses at such an early age remind us of our own young concoction of enterprises. And we love her tenacity and spirit! Rachel doesn’t want to be on Shark Tank, she wants to be a shark! And while her entrepreneurial instinct will pave the way in her business ventures, it is her heart that will give her the depth for success. Kramer has not only created a great business plan for her latest venture in sewing, but one that benefits herself and the precious puppies she loves so dearly. We stopped by The Vanderpump Dog Rescue Center, the latest innovation in dog shelters and referred to by many as the “puppy palace” (complete with chandeliers and all), to sample Rachel’s creations on some adorable four-legged friends and to hear more of the story that got her started.  

1.Who is Rachel Kramer?

I am a energetic, fun, independent 14 year old young lady, who loves to just simply be creative. I love to play tennis and soccer. As a little girl I would always make up little skits and dances to show off to my family, but as I grew up I fell in love with acting, and learned I could not dance for the life of me! Even though I loved to act, I knew I wanted to do more then act for the rest of my life. I will never fully give up acting, because it has been such a huge part of my life, and in certain ways, has helped me with my business. through acting I have learned key communication skills, and most importantly, I have learned to just be me! I have always been the girl who loved sports and beating all the guys during the mile. Through sports, I have learned teamwork, and sportsmanship.

Owning my own business has always been something I wanted to do. The first time I watched the show Shark Tank, I knew I wanted, to not only get an investment, but I wanted to be one of those sharks. I always have made little businesses throughout my life, from selling pictures for 1 cent, to opening up a spa with my cousin in my bedroom. Also, I am not old enough to get a job, but I want to work, I want to wake up in the morning and get to say, “I’m off to work!”. That is when the lightbulb went off in my head saying, that if I had my own business, I would be able to work, and the rest is history.

 

2. Where did you love for sewing come from?

My grandmother tried and tried to get me to sew with her for many years, but it just never really interested me. Then, when I was 12 years old getting ready for my Bat Mitzvah, I said that with the money I got from my bat mitzvah, that I wanted to buy a sewing machine, while my grandmother was in town. I do not remember what made me want a sewing machine, but I am very happy I decided to get one. What I do remember is what inspired me to start making clothing.

A girl in my 8th grade drama class was saying how her sister was going to be on Project Runway Junior, so I decided to watch it. Seeing all of the young and talented designers, made me want to start making clothing myself. Looking back at my journey of sewing, I see how much I have learned in so little time. One of the most rewarding things I have gotten during this journey, is being able to walk out in public wearing something that I made, and that I am proud of! I remember the first time I ever wore my shirt out in public, I was a little nervous  and did not know what people would think. But after  the nerves were shaken off, I was having the time of my life walking through a grocery store!

 

3. You are already a budding entrepreneur who loves to create ideas to make money and give back, where did this come from?

I have always been the kid knocking on my neighbor’s door selling anything I could, from a drawing for a cent to girl scout cookies. As I grew older I started learning the importance of raising money for a good cause, or donating my time to help others. I started doing lemonade stands to raise money for animal shelters, or to donate to a family in need. My mom always taught me how important it was to serve  others, and so she inspired me to want to help people as well.

 

4. What are your hopes for your latest venture with your dog pillows?

The first thing that I ever sewed without help was a dog pillow, for my little puppy, Scruffy. I saw how happy he looked every day laying on it, and thought, I wish I could make pillows to give to an animal shelter to make those dogs as happy as my dog was. So after starting up my business and after a lot of thinking. I decided that for every three dog pillows I sell, that I would donate a pillow to a animal shelter. I cannot wait to put this plan into action, and to see the dogs faces lying comfortably on the pillows I have made for them.

5. Describe a typical day in the life for you.

A typical week day for me would be waking up at 5:30 in the morning to get ready for school. I am out the door and on my way before 7:00AM every morning (I know, early right!). After school gets out I walk to the elementary school that my mom teaches at and chill out there and do some homework. When we finally get home around 4:30 I finish any leftover homework and eat dinner. After dinner I get ready for bed and watch some Netflix until about 9 when I like to go to bed.

On a weekend, I sleep in (even though I probably wake up earlier than most kids my age). I go downstairs watch a little TV, have breakfast, check Instagram and Snapchat. Then if I have an order for R. Kramer Sewing, I usually will complete it in the morning to start my day. After I finish sewing I usually will go on my computer and email the customer that their product is ready. For the rest of the day I will hang out, do homework, hang out with friends, or go play tennis with my dad. Then I have dinner and play with my dog:) After that I watch Netflix (currently OBSESSED with Lost), and go to sleep usually around 9:30-10ish. Those are typical days in my life. Luckily school is almost out so I can do more things with friends, and work on my AP European history summer assignment!

 

6. What has been your biggest challenge in setting up your business? Did you have help?

The biggest challenge in setting up my business, has been knowing how to price everything. I put a ton of effort into everything I make, but I don’t want to overcharge and I don’t want to undercharge. I did kind of make up the prices on my own, but my mom helped me with how to cut down on the cost of making the items. Another big challenge is the name of my company. The name is currently R. Kramer Sewing, but I really would like to change it to something a little more fun. If I do that though I have to change my logo, my website name, and much more. I am hoping my parents can help me do that within the next couple months.

7. Why is it important for girls to establish community and support one another? How do you do your part?

 

Girls need to stick together and establish community. We all need to support each other, and give one another advice and help each other. If girls stick together, the sky is the limit. Every girl has something unique about them and a story to go along with it. If we all can use those differences and experiences to work together, then there is no stopping the power of girls.

I do my part, by always helping a friend in need, and simply making someone’s day by complimenting them on their hair, or outfit. This can boost their self confidence, or make them in the mood to compliment someone else, and start a chain reaction. Also, if at school I ever see someone sitting alone, or just looking like they need a friend, I always will go up to them and ask if they want to sit with my friends and me during lunch.

 

8. What ways do you think TPFG can inspire and motivate girls?

The Project For Girls has already inspired many, and will continue to inspire for a long time. When I read the stories on each  girl, I am always  so inspired. TPFG can and will inspire and motivate girls, because of the powerful stories and giving girls ways to connect with other girls that have the same passions as them. When you read a story about someone who is passionate about what they do, that gets you inspired to become passionate about something you like. Like Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” I think that girls need to know how inspiring and motivational they can be, if they just make their dreams a reality. I made my dream to own a business real, and I feel like I can conquer the world now. All some girls need, is just that little boost of confidence, and I believe that The Project For Girls will give them that confidence that they need.

9. Who are your role models?

I have so many wonderful role models in my life. I have different role models for different aspects of my life. For sewing, I really look up to my grandma, she always helps me with any question I may have, even though she lives across the country. I obviously look up to my mom a lot because of how great of a mother she is, and how she is a great teacher. Seeing my dad run his own business has been an educational experience.  I will forever be thankful to all of the guidance he has given me.

 

10. Where do you think you will be in five years?

Even though I do not even know what I am having for dinner in five days, I do have some plans for the future. In five years I hope to be

a freshman in college. I would love to go to college for film production to become a producer, as I have found a great love for tech theatre in the last year, and want to do something with film. I also would love to take a trip to Australia the summer before college.

As for R. Kramer Sewing, I hope to be able to continue with it, and hope I have room for a sewing machine in my dorm room! In five years I  would like to give at least 50 pillows to dogs in need. I feel like that is a good goal for where I am at now. I hope to continue working with The Project for Girls, as it has truly been one of the most amazing and inspiring experiences I have ever had. I hope to encourage many others in the future to do what they love and know that they can do anything at any age.

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3 thoughts on “Rachel Kramer

  1. I am so proud of the young lady you have become. I have no doubt you will do great things in your future!!

  2. Rach,
    You truly are an inspiration….. I’m so proud of you. Your work is spectacular
    and the website is amazing!!!!!

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