Monday Motivation from Rachel Bauer, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Gild Collective

Mondays can be rough and, sometimes, we can all use some motivation. Our #MondayMotivation blog series brings you tips and life hacks from industry leaders and some of the most creative entrepreneurs out there.

We sat down with Rachel Bauer, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Gild Collective, which provides creative experiences for women via in-home craft parties with DIY project kits and detailed instruction. We discussed the unique issues women face in the workplace, creative team building, and the opportunities for women to come together and celebrate one another.

What inspired you to start your business?
Our business has evolved a lot over the past two years: we started as a craft party company—we sold portion-sized craft supplies for women to gather with their friends and create something beautiful. For many different reasons, we have evolved and changed. Now, we focus on facilitating women’s leadership workshops for organizations, usually workplaces, where we use a craft as the bonding agent to bring women together and open up over hard conversations.
Through all of these changes, our mission has hardly changed a bit. From the beginning, our goal was to bring women together with their communities to build confidence through shared creativity. While we no longer focus on bringing crafts into the home, we do still focus on building confidence through creativity. That notion of instilling confidence and helping others is what inspired us to start Gild. We knew that there were opportunities for women to come together and celebrate one another, and we wanted to be the company that made it easy. We still do.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Our biggest challenge so far has been to accept our failures as learnings. It is easy to get bogged down and feel sad or hurt that something has not succeeded in the traditional sense. We have made a few pivots during our two years, and we have learned so much with each and every aspect that caused us to change direction. But each time it felt like failure until we were past it.

What’s been the greatest reward?
The greatest reward is being able to speak with women who have struggled in their careers to find equal footing with their male counterparts and to give those women the open forum they need to build trust and to build confidence in themselves and understand that they deserve more. It has been equally rewarding to work with companies and help them to recognize the incredibly small changes that they can make to ensure that they are clearly communicating the importance of their female workforces.

What is the biggest thing you’d like to see changed in your industry, and how are you working toward making that change happen?
I would like to see all of the assumptions about women in the workforce turned on their heads. I want to see every one of those assumptions challenged. Many leaders assume that women leave their companies at higher rates than men to have children, but research has shown that not to be true. Women leave companies at higher rates than men because they do not see opportunities for advancement and development. It costs a lot of money to replace an employee that leaves. If more companies would open the floor for honest dialogue with their female employees, they would undoubtedly make the many small changes it would take to engage and retain their female workforce, saving themselves a lot of money in the process.

Who or what motivates you to keep going, even when things get tough?
My co-founder Kelsey motivates me to keep going. She works incredibly hard and is the most tenacious person that I know.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to another entrepreneur just starting out?
Set a standard for balance in your life as early as you can in the process of starting a business. Do not let it consume every waking hour of your life–it is incredibly easy to let work consume you, but it will lead to a less happy “you” in the long run. Take time daily to focus on your health–you will be a much better business owner in the long run if you take care of yourself and your body first.

What do you do every Monday morning to prepare and motivate yourself for the coming week?
Every Monday my business partner and I have a breakfast meeting. She is my best friend, so we always start the meeting off by just catching up on our lives. It’s really important to us that we never lose sight of that. After we are done with personal, we lay out a plan for the week and make sure that we have the capacity to fulfill that plan without completely overloading ourselves in the process.

For more #MondayMotivation, check out our interview with Julie dePontbriand, Co-Founder & CEO of ShopVenture, a customer review platform that allows women to share their online shopping experiences and help others make smart purchase decisions. Julie discusses the eternal optimism of entrepreneurship, marrying her passions, and the best tools for productivity.