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Founder Friday: Rachel Jackson, Rachel's Remedies


Rachel Jackson’s story of why she founded her startup, Rachel’s Remedies, is similar to many startup founders. She was experiencing a serious problem and knew many others were struggling as well, so she was determined to find a solution. But her path to becoming a startup founder? Definitely not as common.

Before Rachel’s Remedies, Rachel Jackson was a practicing lawyer in Buffalo. But, like all nursing mothers, she was experiencing discomfort and challenges breastfeeding. She decided it was time to take the startup plunge and address this all-too-common condition for women by developing a relief pack that helps with breastfeeding pain and milk production.

Today, Rachel’s Remedies partners with one of the largest brands in their industry, Dr. Brown’s, and just last week announced that their products will now be available in Target stores. They’re also part of the Z80 Labs portfolio of companies, were the 2017 Bright Buffalo Niagara Grand Prize Winner, and were a Finalist at the 2017 43North Finals.

Learn more about Rachel and her remedy for breastfeeding women in today’s Founder Friday!

How did your startup, well, start up?

I was working as a lawyer and was in the middle of the craziest and busiest time in my life, which was trying to keep my law practice thriving while also keeping my children thriving. I experienced very common and painful breastfeeding conditions, and was frustrated at the lack of product on the market to address them. Apparently I talked about this frustration on a daily basis because one night during dinner, my father urged me to do something about it and quit just talking about it. The next day I formed Rachel’s Remedies (my legal background has been very, very helpful), and had a prototype made the next month. I don’t think I’ve slept since.

What do you do? Your startup?

We make medical consumer goods that did not otherwise exist in the market and that solve common global health problems.

When was the ‘aha’ moment for your startup when you realized this could actually work?

When my friend (who later became our marketing director) called me and said she had mastitis (a painful breastfeeding condition) and asked if she could try one of our prototypes. She used it constantly and it treated her mastitis. Because of Rachel’s Remedy she did not have to go on antibiotics and was able to continue breastfeeding her baby.

What has been the biggest accomplishment for your startup to-date?

Our biggest accomplishments to-date is our recent co-branding and global licensing partnership with the Handi-Craft Company, d/b/a Dr. Brown’s, and that we just launched our co-branded products in Target.

Goals for the next year? Three years?

So many!!! Our top goals for the next year include completing development of our new medical device, securing a manufacturer for the device, and obtaining FDA clearance. I want to complete this by 2019. Everyone is telling me this is not possible, but I can’t hear them. So, I’ll give you an update in December.

Why Buffalo?

I love Buffalo! I’ve lived here almost all my life.

How do you do it? What drives you?

My family. I want to succeed for my family and for myself because it is rewarding. I want to show my kids that dreams can come true if you work hard for them, and that it’s worth it to work hard for what you want.

Also our customers. I want our products to improve our customers’ quality of life, to make their lives easier, and to relieve and treat their pain.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

To always listen to your instincts (unless you have bad instincts). Also, that it always costs more than you project, so raise more money than you think you’ll need and raise money earlier than you think you’ll need it.

Research, research, research. Google everything about your product idea, your market, your competitors, and what challenges you may face. There will be many surprises, but there’s no excuse for being surprised by something you could have found out by doing your research.

Finally, learn to change direction, throw your business plan out the window, and chart a new path when the opportunity presents itself.

Tags: Founder Friday, Z80 Labs

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