Navigating Being The Face of Your Business and Creating An Intentional Jewellery Brand with Rachelle Joaquin
I was never really into jewellery but there’s something about Quinsco that really inspired me. There’s something I resonated with and it was something I wanted to be part of. And it is because Rachelle makes me feel that I know her. I know the story behind her brand. I see her love for it through her posts and there’s more to it. Her instagram is not a just a brochure, she tells a story and makes her #quinscoqueens feel as though they (we!!!) are part of what she’s building.
Quinsco just turned three. It dates back to when Rachelle decided to make jewellery for herself that she couldnt find in stores and later on started gifting it to her family and friends. And now here we are. Quinsco has got my attention since day one. I kept asking myself, “how does she do it?” I couldnt separate Rachelle from the brand! When I think of Quinsco, I think of her automatically and vice versa. There’s just no separating the two and that’s how you know you have a powerful personal brand.
Ive been told, “Never meet your heroes.” because theyre not really what you imagine them to be, but with Rachelle, it’s the complete opposite. She was everything I envisioned her to be and more. I told her that, and every other person I boasted about her after our meeting. The whole we were talking, having our Cha Time tea latte, all I could think of was, I know I always say this, and I mean it every single time, but ahh sitting across from her and listening as she talked, it gave me goosebumps because right in front of me was the future version of myself I dream of. With a pinterest-worthy apartment downtown, a distinct sense of style and an adorable dog to come home to. But more important that the tangible things, I hoped one day Id be able to express myself in a way that she did and that Id be able to create something bigger than myself that includes others as well. I used to admire people on TV for trivial reasons and now, I admire real people in real life for something much deeper and more important.
Listening to her speak, I was also able to realise other dreams. And Im forever grateful that I get to engage in this kind of conversations with people like her. I flew to Toronto for Tony Robbins but meeting Rachelle was indeed the highlight of my trip and I say that with utmost genuineness. I’m so grateful.
Some of the things we talked about in this interview:
Having a personal brand
Her vision and goals for Quinsco
Balancing the corporate world she loves and Quinsco
Learning how to say ‘no’ and being intentional
Social media and selling more than just a product but an idea..
Living in Toronto
Routines, organization, and streamlining
We originally planned to meet at a coffee shop near her day job office but when I told her I wanted to get some pieces for my aunt and grandmother as well, she invited me over while she created them for me! Yup, I got to see the behind the scenes as she handmade them. I felt privileged. And I got pictures of her in action!
This episode of WWW is different and it’s by far my favorite! We recorded it live and I transcribed it to text for this blog post. It’s more genuine and as raw as can be as opposed to the usual written questions. I’d love to do more of this! Continue reading for Rachelle’s interview and you can follow her on these channels!
Edit: SHE JUST GAVE US A DISCOUNT CODE 😭Ive been flaunting my necklace since I got it and I just want everyone to be a QuinscoQueen! Haha! Get yourself some schmancy jewellery and use “LOVENICOLE10” for 10% discount :)
And hey, I will NOT earn anything nor get commissioned from sales. I just genuinely support the brand and Rachelle was soo kind! So yay <3
Is going full-time the main goal for quinsco?
People always ask me that. But the thing with me, at my core, Im a very risk averse person. I like to live my life within the lines, for the most part. Obviously with Quinsco I draw all over the place. But in a sense Im a very risk averse and I like stability in my life and my 9-5 provides that stability for me. And often times the narrative that you hear out there is, “Oh I hated my 9-5, I needed a creative outlet.” and this and that. But, Im kind of the anomaly because I actually love my job, and I love my company and I love my team and I dont really want that desire to leave it. Like, Im not itching to leave it but at the same time, when I envision my perfect day, my best day, and that’s an exercise I think you should implement, envisioning what your perfect day would be like from start to finish. When I do that, whenever I do this exercise, obviously I dont do it everday but when I do do it, my day’s kind of like changed a little bit. The common theme is that, I go into my office at home, or wherever and I’m my own boss. So that kind of tells me that okay, the answer to your question is yes, but not now. Maybe down the road.
The thing too is that I’ve never really seen the full potential of Quins yet I’ve always reach my capacity in effort and time. And I only have so much time in a year, or in a day to work in my business. So I’ve never really seen, if I give my 100% attention, how far and how high could I go. That’s why I’m a little bit scared because I don’t have the actual results. Would I be able to still live the way I wanna live? For the time being I’m managing and now, I’m putting things in place like hiring Alicia to help me and potentially hiring a production assistant to help me so I could do both and still have a life. This is like my third year, in second year I had so many burnouts last year. It was crazy. Because I was pushing myself and I was alone like I didn’t need a lot of help or I didn’t ask and that was bad. So this year I can’t live like that. I promise myself, if you wanna maintain two things, like your corporate job and your business, you have to set things in motion where you can be like not working around the clock because to me, that’s not meaningful, that’s not intentional, it’s just like I’m tryna juggle through life. That’s why this year is very important to me to get organized and really get focused, because like I said, at one point of my time I was so overwhelmed with everything I want to do, if all you do is work. I’m a hassle but if you don’t stop to look around to see where you are headed and what you have accomplished this far, what’s the point? And I was there, too. As much as I enjoy doing things, it’ll be like, what’s the purpose? At that point, my health was so bad, I wasn’t even sleeping properly, and I was just stressed out and very irritable. Those negative feelings put away happiness my business mood bringing to me. So I’m like I gotta change this or I have to stop Quins all together. But how could I stop Quins? I just implement new systems and that’s where we are today, new systems to find a balance.
On having a personal brand..
Different people will give their opinion whether it’s good or bad to do a personal brand against your business but like, for me, it’s helped me alot. I still very much want it to be in my voice. [My newly hired social media manager] will set up the grid for me. If it’s a product photo, she’ll come up with the caption, I always edit though because Im kind of control freak. *laughs* And once it’s me in the photo or I wanna share an experience, those captions are obviously me because I’m like reflecting, right? But just the fact that she’s scheduling that out, whether it’s gonna be a product photo or a quote or whatever, that’s helped me a lot to free up my mind space.
Goals this year..
One of my goals this year, which I havent done yet, is to start a newsletter because I find with the instagram algorithm not everyone sees my posts all the time. Instagram is my main thing. It’s the most interactive. The thing is with me, I’m not a facebook person. Ive never been a facebook person so it is very hard for me to integrate my business on facebook because I dont use the platform. But Instagram Ive always used it.
I dont know how frequent it is gonna be but it will be a very.. It wont be too much information but it iwll be like, quick tips on whatever! My favorite jewellery piece of the month. Because for me, now that my vision for my brand is becoming more clear. And it’s gonna way more, it’s going to be bigger than jewellery.. Because for me, I always want my jewellery to symbolize something. When people wear their jewellery, whether it be mine or not, I want them to be reminded to celebrate themselves. Something that’s important for me is to spotlight other women that inspire me so I want that to be part of my newsletter and part of my instagram because I dont really have the time or the resources to start a blog so I think a newsletter would be the best way to get my information out. You cant really put too much content or words on instagram. I dont think people have brain capacity for that so I think newsletter would be the best solution as oppose to starting a full pledge blog.
Being intentional with your “Yes”
For me, when you’re overwhelmed and you have a bunch of things you have to do, you become an anxious person. It came to a point where that was the vibe I was giving off to people around me, me being anxious. And even though I’m a bit ‘happy-go-lucky’, there’s always a sense of anxiousness, never living in the moment and I don’t want that for myself. I want everything in my life to be intentional and meaningful. One of the best things that I’ve changed in this last quarter is saying “No’ to things and being okay with saying “No.” Because I am a “Yes” person, I love to say yes to everybody. Everything has to have a purpose. When my friends, for example, they just wanna do a random night and I have work the next day and I need a full functioning brain, I won’t go. Before, I used to feel bad but now my motto is “If it’s not a ‘hell yes!’, it’s a ‘no.’” And that helped me walk away from situations that’s not help enriching me as a person or forward with my goals, but if we’re just we’re gonna go drinking or stay up until 3 o’ clock, my younger self would be ‘yeah, that is so much fun’ but no, because I have so much things to do. And I want to make sure my time is used properly. Even if I’m not working. Like this, we’re gonna be spending an hour talking to each other, I’m gonna benefit from this conversation and you’re gonna benefit in this conversation, to me that is time well spent not a wasted time like going to a party. (That you’re hungover the next day) Yeah. And I need a full functioning brain or else it’s not a good time but yeah, that’s me!
on being the face of her jewellery brand..
Obviously, I’m selling a product but I’m also selling an idea. My whole life I’ve always been self-sufficient and very independent, never rely on anybody because I moved away from home when I was 18 and I went to school from a different province. So I had to learn how to adult very fast because I could run home if I have a problem. And I have to learn all of my own, like ow to follow taxes so I’m always like very hard working and independent because I was alone, my parents gave me as much as they could, but I knew in my heart what I want to be in life and I had to barge the gap somehow, I have a great paying job so that’s kind of work ethic I always had and even in school, I was like a nerd. But you know what, I’m not ashamed of it because I would be the girl in library on a Friday. I could probably list on my two hands the parties I’ve been to in university because I love to learn and I love studying and I love being engaged with my profession and with my studies, I just loved it. To me, working hard has been engraved in my soul. And with Quinsco, I’ll be like “Okay, I’m selling this jewelry brand” But again, why it’s important for me to be the face of it is because I want people to see, you can have anything you want as long as you work hard. And you can have both worlds. I’m using one side of my brain from 9-5 and the other side from 5-9, you don’t have to limit yourself to one lane in life. If you’re willing to work really hard, that’s the main message I try to engrave with my followers. But with working hard, obviously, you have to be careful and you have to interject self-love and taking care of yourself. As I’m learning new ways of living and building systems and processes it’s like I love to share that. And I want to be more open. And I want to share that with the newsletter, I really like it to be not just jewelry. It’s gonna be like a lifestyle kind of thing where I could give my own personal experiences and tips and tricks and stuff like that. I want girls to be their own bosses in some capacity. I hope more and more how my voice saying “you can do this.” I’m a very nosy person. I consume YouTube videos a lot because I like seeing the person behind and seeing blogs. I fell off because I was so busy and editing takes forever. I love seeing behind the scenes. Doesn’t matter if you own a business, behind the scenes of anything. And that’s another personal touch to my brand because I know there’s so many other people, too, who wanna know he face of the creator of the finished product because you get more of a connection. At the end of the day, I always think of me as a consumer and a buyer, like how would I feel when I buy certain things and I try to know how I can use those observations to help Quins. Over time, if I find a connection to something, I’m way more willing to support a brand or a cause. That’s why I’m gonna implement that in my business model. Again, even though I’m a numbers’ girl, it doesn’t really matter to me when it comes to my company, it could be 5 people, 10 people, it could be hundreds of people as long as that community is freaking awesome. I’ve had girls who have been supporters since day one. I met so many wonderful women all across Canada because of Quinsco. And how, somehow I inspire them but after them following me, they totally inspire me, too, like a 360 of a circle.
On Living in Toronto
In Winnipeg, it’s a small city, and usually, in small cities, people’s minds are narrow minded, so leaving Winnipeg to go somewhere else to study. I was really encouraged, everyone was “this is our life, it’s a small town.” But I was like that, too. But when I graduated grade 12 in high school, I went to Paris, and that’s how I saw how really big the world was. Up to the point, you know I’m a small town girl thinking like the whole world is like in capsulated in this one small city, and then you travel somewhere outside of Canada or somewhere outside your city, and you’re like “whoa. There is so much out there. There’s nothing really stopping you from traveling there and experiencing this except for yourself. And I had that experience so I spent my whole grade 12 thinking about it, I kept my options open. I applied in universities in Winnipeg and I applied in Ontario. I don’t have a lot of family here but I have one cousin here, so it’s scary that not gonna get any help, but it actually ended up working out fine because I grew up so much faster. It’s very hard working for my parents for me to announce that I’m moving out *laughter* but perhaps it’s one of the best decision I’ve ever made. So I did university for four years. And then I got my first job in Toronto and then I just stayed here and been here since 2005 and I was really in love with Toronto. I find people’s energies are well rhymed to my energies, especially living here, everyone have the same fizzle and buzzle and got something to do and I’m a city girl, so I like the city. And in my journal one of what I always state is that I am very grateful for people who live in Toronto and live the life I live in Toronto. It is such a great city. In Toronto, everyone has the stars in their eyes, everyone has goals and you could tell the energy, you’re walking around city, you know these people are doing something important. Whatever energy you surround yourself in, is the energy that is going to be instilled in you. If everyone’s hustling, has goals, has to crush their goals, you would want that, too. I think that’s motivational for me to base in Toronto for sure. If you were living in Vancouver, the vibes thee are very like Zen, everyone’s relaxed and does yoga, no one’s in a rush. I think that’s the distinct there, in Toronto, everyone’s in a freaking rush which could be a good thing and a bad thing but you could tell the difference.
Routines, organization & Streamlining
One thing I did this month, because if I’m not organized mentally and physically, this would really make a stressful holiday season and I don’t want that. So, in September, I will get my shit together and I will hire somebody and I will play my system, I’m gonna start a now routine, I’m gonna try to minimize all the noise in my life and just focus on what’s important. September was a test month for me. My current routine is that I wake up.
September was a crazy month of organization. I was trying to think, why do I always feel overwhelmed? Why do I always feel that there’s so much noise? So I “feng shuid” my phone. I used to have hundreds of fricking alarms. Even that alone was making me anxious. So now I have one alarm from Monday to Friday, one alarm on the weekends and then I have a reminder at 10:55 that I need to get to bed that is it. That is all. Keeping it simple. I do not want extra fluff. Another thing that I implemented this month was, you know how I was saying I was really overwhelmed because I had so many to-do lists and all those to-do lists were everywhere. So I put everything into wunderlist. So now everytime I have an idea, I’m not gonna write it on a piece of paper, I’m gonna put it in this app. Anything I have to do Im gonna put it in here and now, everything is in one small place so that’s one imporvement that Ive done this month. When it comes to planning Im very much a pen and paper kind of girl but in the last year, I was getting dates and times mixed up on too many occassions that Im like, “you know what, this is not working out for me because there were just too much things happening-- I have personal commitments. I have work commitments. I have QUINS commitment. I have so many due dates and important dates that things were getting lost in the shuffle and it happened to me one too many times. So what I decided to do was, I moved all my stuff into Google Calendar. Everything is color coded! It’s pretty organised and it has reminders which is the most important thing to me. I was missing stuff and that’s not like me so I had to switch to a non paper planning even though I love planners! So now I have one planner that has everything. I have one app that houses all my notes and my to-do lists. There’s nothing more. Im trying really hard not to use paper.
And another thing I started doing is, I just have so many things on my computer and I’m like, “you know what, Im just gonna use google drive exclusively. So everything goes in there. I never have to wonder where I put something-- a photo, an invoice. Everything goes to folders that Ive created and organised and that’s it. Because I think for me, again, Im going back to me feeling overwhelmed and anxious, I had decision fatigue. It was hard for me to make a decision because there were just so many options or so many places to put something and that was very draining. And if youre constantly in that cycle of not knowing where things are or just trying to house all your ideas in your head it’s like, no. Youre going to drive yourself crazy. And I did drive myself crazy. That brings us to present day where Im feeling so much better since the beginning of September. It’s been a month of streamlining.
her favorite Bossbabe Moment..
Someone messaged me saying she was at this women’s conference and they were in a circle and talking about like, “oh who inspires you?” or “who’s your favorite brand and why?” or “which brand do you think has their shit together?” and then one of the girls, who I dont even know, was like “oh, Quinsco.” The moderator of that discussion messaged me right after she was like “GIIIIRL someone said that Quinsco was like their favorite brand!” And I was like “Oh my God that’s crazyy!!!” because like, it’s just me. I don’t have experts on my team and it was just me kind of learning as I go. Me. Out of all people. So that was a pretty awesome moment.
after three years, what are the things that remain the same?
I think at the core my messaging in terms of the jewellery and being able to celebrate and being able to remind yourself to celebrate [hasnt changed.] I want my jewellery to make you feel unique. I want it to make you feel celebrated. I design my collection in such a way that you can mix and match and to make all the pieces unique to you and that has stayed the same since the beginning. That’s probably the only thing that has stayed the same. *laughs* Everything is so fricking different. It’s crazy. The vision has definitely surpassed what I thought.
How does it feel like when you see people wearing your pieces on social media?
Honestly I do a ‘happy dance’ every single time it happens. Legit. I dont care if Im out in the public, I’ll do a small happy dance. It’s awesome. It’s so rewarding. Sales aside, the fact that people wanna post a photo of them and then tagging me and sharing it, that’s priceless. That’s way more important to me than sales. That definitely brings me a lot of joy.
her Vision for Quinsco..
I want Quinsco. I wanna keep obviously elevating my collection. If I ever have the time or decide to make the time, I would loveto.. Because everything Ive done Ive self-taught. I would love to go to school to do other things that are a little bit more technical that only, let’s say, my suppliers or my manufacturers can do. I really want to get into rings and certain things like that. I would love to just elevate my brand that way.
One of my goals for Quins in 3 years is just, aside from being jewellery, I wanna be a resource for girls and women especially female entrepreneurs. I want them to be like, “Okay, she has a product but she has so much good things to share that I can implement in my life. Whether it be business, work or life related. It’s a point of resource.” That’s my goal.
her 3 Thruths..
Be true to yourself always. And the reason I say that is when you start a business, I’ll speak from my own experience, when you start a jewellery brand, you have so many voices saying “you should do more of this. You should do more of this.” At the beginning I tried to appease everybody but it was a very dysfunctional mess. There was no cohesiveness into my collection and my brand at the beginning because I was trying to appease everybody and everyone obviously is different, right? But when I stepped back and said, “you know what, Im gonna go back to basics. Im gonna be true to myself. I’m only gonna create things that I want and can envision my dream customer wearing.. That’s when Quins really took off. It was more organised, it was more cohesive. And when Im talking about my jewelry, I hope it doesnt seem like Im just trying to sell something because I wanna sell something, it’s because I fricking love it.
Money isnt everything. Money will come and money will go but you know, I think it’s the relationships that matter at the end of the day. The relationship that you have with yourself, the relationship that you have with your partner.. And I know this osunds really bad and very counter ituitive but my third truth would be..
You can have more than one love of your life and that’s okay. You can have the greatest love in different parts of your life. You dont have to have just one greatest love. You learn so much as you go through those types of things.
Rachelle, thank you so much. I hope I could express my gratitude into words that will do it justice but thank you so much. You’ll always be an inspiration.