It’s so nice to meet you, Rachel! I’ve heard so much about you from our Heyday Tribeca team! To start-- what do you do?
Well, I’ve had a diverse and creative career. My background is fashion merchandising and fashion journalism. I’m from a little town in Northern Minnesota and went to Washington University in St. Louis, and I’ve lived in San Francisco, London, and ended up in New York! In addition to clothing, I always had a food business on the side. I like doing lots of different things at once. My friends would say, “Rachel, you should say you're a serial entrepreneur!” (laughs). I’ve always loved food, though. Everything I've made has always been beautiful, gourmet, and healthy.
I began OperaNuts five years ago. I’ve always been good at putting people and food together. I was baking these nuts in my oven and people would ask if they could take some to bring to work! One night, I was invited to a dinner party and I said to my friend “I’m coming, but could I come late? I’m not sure what I’m going to bring, but I want it to be perfect.” I came late, I brought my nuts mixed with dark chocolate almonds, mixed with speciality salts, and a few other things. Everyone loved them and asked if they could purchase them! Soon after that I found a kitchen on the West Side and here we are. I ship to 31 different states, and I absolutely love it.
Before we started the interview, we bonded over harsh winters and silly stereotypes about Minnesota and Maine, our home states.
Yes, people are so surprised that I’m from the Midwest! I really don’t know why that is. A friend and I were walking down the street and saw a woman with a pink suitcase and she said, “Well, doesn’t she look like she’s from the Midwest!” I said “Excuse me Margaret, but I’m from the Midwest!” People forget, probably because I’ve traveled and lived in lots of places, but I go back once a year to see friends and family. Growing up there gave me a great foundation for who I became as an adult.
How did you end up visiting us at Heyday?
Well I used to get facials from a Romanian woman who has since passed, so I wasn’t getting facials anymore. Then my friend said that she got facials at Heyday, and I loved the idea so much that I met her after her appointment to get coffee and chat about it. I had my first facial with Gina and I still see her every month – she’s absolutely wonderful!
What’s your favorite part about getting a facial each month?
The best part of my facials is the anticipation! I think, “Oh my gosh, it’s a week before my facial, I need to exfoliate!” I think about it. I don’t love the idea of “pampering." I have questions, I have problems, and I want the answers and solutions! Heyday understands that. I feel 12 feet high when I leave, every time! I love having that appointment every month because it’s something to look forward to.
If you could soak in a giant bubble bath overlooking any setting, where would you be?
I would like to have a bubble bath in a clawfoot tub on the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence. I want to see the pink sky at sunset. Hopefully my Heyday products are close by! I used to go to Florence when I was a journalist twice a year for fashion shows and I just loved it. Nothing beats that sunset.
What's a surprising fun fact about you?
Bob Dylan and I grew up in the same town and went to Sunday School together.
Excuse me?! You know Bob Dylan?
Yeah, I know Bobby! My brother is friends with his brother. You know, I was so mad at him recently, for not accepting the Nobel Prize in Stockholm. His parents would be furious! I remember his mother from when I was growing up, walking into the synagogue with feathers in her hat and bright lipstick. She would come over to me and say “Hi Rachel, how are you?” and I remember thinking that I wanted to be just like her when I got older.
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