I: So you have a day job on top of running Rubie’s. How do you balance between the demands of your job, and your business?
R: I don’t, really. I find that it’s a big challenge for me to balance it. I’ve read many books and articles that say “Quit,” and I’ve read many that say “Don’t Quit,” and many that suggest doing something in between. I would say my advice is to somehow make it work in a smart and realistic way. You have to be confident, and you have to see a profit before I think you should consider quitting or scaling back, and until then it’s going to be a hustle, because then you are working two jobs. But if you’re really serious about it then you gotta be serious about it. So I would say, if it is your real passion then find something else that pays the bills, and still allows you to do this. My passion for Rubie’s makes me a better at marketing, my day job. I never feel like Rubie’s is work. I love what I do and I would do it day and night, but you really have to balance the other things in your life: family, friends, health, which is what I try to do. Some weeks I am really successful, and some weeks I completely fail at it. You just have to take it one day at a time. Be realistic. Don’t bog yourself down with the pressure of building an empire over night, because it’s not going to happen. There’s nothing wrong with keeping your day job and keeping this as a hobby. Or keeping your day job and doing this on the side. I think that everyone’s definition of success is different, and do what you love to do, and find a way to fit your life around it.
I: You were recently featured in Vogue, and you spoke a bit about the ‘Cupperware’ parties. Can you tell us a bit about these parties?
R: Yes! I would actually attest a lot of my success to these parties. I found that there was a lack of knowledge around bras. I wish that these things were taught in school! I find that most people don’t know how to wear a bra, they don’t know that you really have to get the breasts in there, really pull them in. I’m obsessed with this stuff! So I thought that since I have so much knowledge, and all I want to do is talk about it, why not have a girls night over wine and cheese and just educate people on the subject. I want to be seen as an expert fitter, and as a professional bra maker, but also an expert on breasts and bras. I remember doing the first ‘Cupperware’ party, which was named by my husband actually, who is really proud of it. It was a complete hit. We would sit around and talk for about 15 – 20 minutes, and we would talk about the basics: shopping techniques, wear and tear, how to care for your bra, and then would go over some common questions such as “Why are my sizes so different between different retailers?” I find that when one person would start talking, other people would open up and start talking, and it would turn into a great discussion where everyone felt so supported and you realize that you are not the only one who has these questions or issues. That makes me really happy. I would also go into the advantages of wearing a custom bra or wearing something like a Victoria’s Secret bra, versus a specialty bra. Sometimes, a custom bra isn’t the solution for everyone, so I walk through the pros and cons, and at the end I do private individual fittings and consults on the spot. I realized a lot of my friends wanted to host themselves, because they bring their own network, so now I rarely host them myself, I find people that are interested in hosting who invite their friends, and I give them a special discount for hosting. They love it and have a good time. It’s just a girls night where you talk about boobs. How can you go wrong?
I: Are you having more anytime soon?
R: Interestingly enough, I’ve had more out of town than in town. I’ve had a lot in Edmonton and Calgary, which is where I’m from. There have been a lot of requests to have them here again, so I’m probably going to do a series of them starting very soon. I don’t consider them unsuccessful if I don’t make any sales. I’m just happy that I’m able to meet people, impart my knowledge, and have them walk away thinking “Wow, she really helped me.” People get really excited about that and that makes me really happy.
I: Do you have a most memorable experience from these parties or from any other customer interactions?
R: I would say my most memorable experience is honestly the joy and relief that I see in my clients when they wear their new bra. I understand what they’re going through. I’m surprised I haven’t cried when someone tells me that it’s completely changed their life. I see them wearing a bra that fits, and their posture changes. Your shoulders are back, you’re ready to take on the world. They leave through the door a different person, and knowing that you were part of that is just priceless.