Inspirational Woman: Rachel Kettlewell | Founder, Fearne & Rosie

Rachel KettlewellHi! My  name is Rachel and I am Fearne and Rosie’s mum.

I’m a teacher who, whilst on maternity leave with Fearne and Rosie and then George, developed and launched a range of reduced sugar jams, no added sugar sauces and honey spreads. As a business we went from kitchen table to 2 of the UKs biggest supermarkets in under 2 years. Which is unbelievable really.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Absolutely not. From an early age I remember thinking that I wanted to ‘help people’ but I never really knew what that would look like. I worked as a behavioural therapist with children with autism after university before retraining as a teacher and then whilst on maternity leave I founded Fearne and Rosie, which is rapidly becoming a dream come true.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

Oh gosh yes! I had two under two with Fearne and Rosie, followed swiftly by George so I’m constantly running on low sleep- ha! It goes without saying the challenges of building a start up and then paired with small children… it has been a challenge. Equally it’s been an incredible journey and the flexibility I have with running a business and scheduling my time around my children is something I am very thankful for.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Professionally, I think gaining the support of my mentor. A wonderfully brilliant human called Giles Brook. Kindness and time are worth more than anything and working with Giles’ support means the world. I am incredibly lucky.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Resilience. It’s something I always push with children when I’m teaching actually. Keep going. And smile.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I’ve been privileged enough to mentor some incredibly talented teachers along the way and now, experiencing life as a mentee I can see the impact successful mentorship can have on a person and on a business. We all need support to be the best that we can be. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Giles and actually without the informal mentorship of my friends. Investing your time in building your friendships is key.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

Isn’t that a tricky one? When I think about experiences I had as a teenager working right up to recent months I’m reminded that we still have a long way to go. We have to keep talking about it. Continue to lead by example and question inequality when we see it… how can we change it if we’re still not acknowledging that it’s there? That’s one of the reasons I do what I do. I want to work hard to ensure the next generation of girls and boys recognise the importance of gender equality.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Yes you can!

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

There are so many things bubbling away behind Fearne and Rosie and I am so excited to share them. Ultimately, I hope that we can continue to build a business that helps to make the world a better place for all of our children. And sleep, yes, I am hopeful that I can one day achieve some sleep!

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