Written by Tom Connor.
Rachel Blumenthal is no stranger to starting a business. When the 39-year-old launched Rockets of Awesome, an online kids clothing subscription service and e-commerce site, back in 2016, she was already a seasoned entrepreneur: Twelve years earlier Blumenthal had founded the costume jewelry brand Rachel Leigh; 10 years later she started Cricket’s Circle, an e-commerce baby registry; and in between these ventures, she helped her husband, Neil Blumenthal, launch Warby Parker, the online retailer of prescription glasses and sunglasses that he co-founded in 2010.
Launching these first two companies not only honed Blumenthal’s leadership and management skills but elevated her expertise in another valuable arena: raising capital. While building her previous ventures, Blumenthal established a valuable network of like-minded individuals, venture capitalists and mentors that she leveraged to raise capital for Rockets of Awesome and spark her business. Among them: celebrity moms Serena Williams and Gwyneth Paltrow, along with venture capitalist Kirsten Green, the founder of Forerunner Ventures, whom she met through business contacts and events.
“I’ve been able to build a network of really great people to surround myself with,” says Blumenthal, Rockets of Awesome’s CEO. “I’ve always believed in the importance of building relationships and valuing and respecting those relationships. I’ve also learned the lesson of getting warm introductions to investors and making sure that there are aligned interests or at least something in common.”
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