Wellthy Woman: Rachel Mulcahy, Founder of Ivy Wild
Oct 17, 2018
Meet DC's clean beauty queen, Rachel Mulcahy. Founder of Ivy Wild
What does Wellthy mean to you?
Taking time to understand yourself and the things that make you fulfilled, then find opportunities that put you in a place of power - where you feel like you're owning your decisions and your life path. This may seem really obvious but I think it can be a huge challenge. It was for me.
Can you describe your journey to becoming Wellthy? What was your ah-ha wellthy moment or a big turning point?
For years after college, I stayed on one career path and had a vague idea about what my work and life would be - something along the lines of climbing the corporate ladder, having kids, and not having too much stress or taking on too much risk. But fast forward to my early 30s...
After about twelve years in corporate marketing roles (primarily in the tech space) I started to realize that I didn't want to have my boss's job and in addition I definitely didn't like the seemingly crazy-stressful juggling act that I saw the Moms I worked with doing as they tried to balance kids and work. I noticed that I felt creatively stifled in my day-to-day and I started to question why I was spending my time in the tech space.
I was coming up against some big personal life choices (you know that period of time when suddenly all of your friends are getting married - well this time it was babies... everywhere). I was feeling really frustrated at my vision of how the next ten years could play out if I didn't make a big change. The prospect of having a baby and then being "stuck" in my job was terrifying to me. So much so, that it made going to work everyday almost unbearable. I was so resentful that I felt this huge weight around my neck, and soon the personal frustration I had with myself for not taking a leap started to outweigh my fear of doing so.
I realized I wasn't ready to make personal steps until I was fulfilled in my career path and the longterm dream I'd had of starting a business for myself.
I used to listen to podcasts on my commute to and from Tysons Corner everyday. Girlboss Radio, How I Built This, Fresh Air, Start Up. For about a year I listened to entrepreneurs talk about how they started their businesses, what the early uncertain days were like, how they had to stick it out through lots of "no's" until they started to grow and become successful. I started really focusing on what I wanted my day to day to be like; which audience I wanted to interact with; what type of offering or service I would be excited by.
It was a tough year or two trying to figure it out, but I finally found a way to make a change and left my corporate job to start Ivy Wild when the time was right for me.
What is your dosha?
Vata-Pitta (i.e. air x fire) - I have to say on paper I really like this - I'm just going to brag that I'm supposed to have creative and leadership attributes. Coincidentally, I took a super lengthy and in-depth personality/attribute quiz once and the creative element also showed up there, so I'll take it! Seriously though, this resonates with me because for the past year and a half I've been on a journey to start a business, which is really tapping into creativity to develop a brand, and leadership to just make.things.happen. Every step along the way has been growth and continuting to refine and improve - I certainly don't think I've mastered it all (yet).
Who are you top 5 Wellthy Woman and why?
Emma Gonzalez: Does this really require any explanation? She has bravery and strength out of this world.
Sophia Amoruso: I love that she has been open about the struggles she had with the end of her company, Nasty Gal, and jumped back in on a path that made sense for her, with Girlboss Radio and now with Girl Boss as a new platform focused on career and wellness resources for women. She has always been open about her journey of growing into her role, learning along the way, and making mistakes. It's so important for women to know that its ok not to know 100% of the job you're trying to get.
Muriel Bowser: As the mayor of DC she has done a lot to keep DC on a progressive path. I love that she made the choice to adopt a baby as a single professional woman and to talk about that... what a way to take charge of your life and your future. She makes me so proud of DC!
Amy Schumer: First of all, I am so impressed that she is unapologetically herself. With the pressure on celebrities to change the way you look or dress I absolutely love that she flips it and leads with the gross, dirty, hilarious side. She also completely owns her image and isn't constrained to that persona - she also jumps in to support important social and political causes she believes in. I just want to hang out with her.I see her showing a more complete version of herself than you often get from celebrities and I think there's a lot of vulnerability in that.
Lena Dunham: People either love her or hate her, and I love her... I think her writing is hilarious and honest. When she has faced tough criticism, she handled it gracefully, humbly and truthfully (by the way, that alone is a huge inspiration). When Girls was criticized for not representing everyone, she acknowledged the shortcoming and also reminded us that no one show or work can proclaim to acurately represent everyone in a deep, honest way... For some reason she has been a lightening rod for a multitide of issues related to millenial self-absorption, race, class. But I love that stands up to her haters and learned when to give AF and when not to.
What are your top 5 (if you have more hit me with it) tips to staying Wellthy?
- Overcome the negative headspace. Negativity can seem like harmless commiseration with friends or coworkers but it can become a habit and creep in. If you find yourself going to that place regularly, just stop and find anything else as a topic of conversation.
- When you feel frustrated, use it as a guide. At one point, I was so frustrated in my day to day that I had no choice but to step back and create a plan out. It made me feel so much better to start working on a way out, I felt much more empowered to start taking the next baby steps toward the future. Looking back, I realize I didn't have to wait so long to get there.
- Practice gratitude. Everyone says it, but yeah - it bears repeating. For me, it's equally about the little things and the big things. I love seeing the tree outside my bedroom window, I will literally just say out loud all the time (even to myself) how cute it is. I think about how lucky I am to have had the choice to start pursuing what I wanted to, I remind myself of this on the tough days.
- Measure your progress in short-term and long-term goals so that you get the pay-off of small wins along the way -- otherwise it can feel like you're holding yourself hostage to achieving some big far-out goal. You can feel happy and productive now, too.
- Don't worry about other people's choices. Comparison is the thief of joy, right?
Since the journey to being Wellthy is never over, what are some Wellthy goals that you have for yourself?
My number one goal is to keep focusing on the next "step" in growth - this means personally as well as for Ivy Wild. For me, career and personal life are so tightly linked that they are interdependent. I'm working on making that new 10-year vision a reality.