Riche Holmes Grant
Founder and Designer
Social Media Handles
Smart + stylish accessories designed to make life with baby easier for the modern mom.
Years in Business
Where is your target market location?
We’re based in the DC metropolitan area, but our customers are around the world.
Who is your target audience?
Smart + stylish moms, ages 35-44 and their gift-giving relatives and friends.
What’s the “Why” behind your business?
I’ve prioritized motherhood in my life and reinvented my career around my daughter’s needs, but I’ve also figured out a way how not to lose myself in the process. Admittedly, I work harder for myself than I would for anyone else, but that’s because the stakes are so much higher for me.
Every day, I have this little person looking up to me wondering what’s next. She’s what makes it worthwhile for me. Of all the things that I’ve done, what I’m most proud of is teaching my daughter how to be an entrepreneur.
What is one major obstacle you had to overcome to become the woman you are today?
One major obstacle I’ve had to overcome to become the woman I am today is not letting myself be confined to a box when it comes to my career. I went to one of the top law schools in the world, and the expectation from most people was that I would graduate and practice law in a big law firm. It wasn’t until my grandfather told me during the last weeks of his life that I should take a break after graduation and then figure out what I really wanted to do with my life that I actually considered other options. I decided to follow his advice, but it was so hard in the beginning.
When my classmates were making six figures, I was still trying to figure out what I really wanted to do. After helping my friends start their own businesses and working for a national test prep company, I decided that I wanted to start my own test prep company, in my own community. That was in 2003, and I named the company “Innovative Study Techniques.” There were so many obstacles that I had to overcome, but ultimately, what kept me going was the belief that I could do it. No matter how big the other companies were, I never doubted that I could and would be successful. Fourteen years and thousands of students later, I have no regrets.
How will people benefit from an experience with you?
I’m all about keeping it real when it comes to both entrepreneurship and motherhood. I don’t pretend that things are perfect because they’re not. Yes, I’ve had my fair share of successes, but I’ve had a whole lot of struggles too, and that’s what I think people benefit from–hearing both sides and getting the inspiration they need to keep pushing in their own lives too.
How do you manage being a mom and/or wife and a thriving entrepreneur?
I work really hard to limit my heavy work hours to the time when my daughter is at school. That way, she doesn’t miss out on my attention and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on my work when I’m with her. This system keeps us happy and feeling connected, even if it means that I don’t always get to finish all of my work when I’d like to. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned since becoming an entrepreneur, it’s that the work will always be there.
Any advice for those who are struggling with being a mom and/or wife and a thriving entrepreneur?
As moms, I think it’s so important for us to have “me” time too because we’re always taking care of everyone else’s needs, very often to the detriment of our own. If I’m not happy, I can’t focus. One of the things I love doing is getting up a couple of hours earlier than my husband and daughter. It’s my time to meditate, drink a cup of tea and just relax before the day really starts. Lately, I’ve been enjoying experimenting with making homemade body products or catching up on my favorite shows during this time too! In addition to my daily rituals, I try to dedicate one day a week (usually) Fridays to my dedicated personal time. It’s so important to Maybe I’ll catch a yoga class, a movie, treat myself to lunch or just do nothing, which is always a great option too.
Share any mommy/wife advice that you feel is necessary and priceless.
Get your rest. It sounds like a simple thing, but when I first started out, I actually thought that I was being more productive by sleeping less. It wasn’t until I read Arianna Huffington’s book, “Thrive,” a few years ago that I started sleeping more. Reading the story about how she work up at her desk in a pool of blood after passing out from exhaustion was a real wake-up call for me. Now that I’m getting more sleep, I’m way more productive the next day, my mind is sharper, my energy level is higher and I’m so much happier.
Any advice for those who feel like they are stuck?
Don’t give up. There have been many times in my life as an entrepreneur that I’ve wanted quit because something wasn’t working. But that’s life; things don’t always work out the way you expect them to. I’ve found that the key to bouncing back or getting “unstuck” is to use the challenges you face as stepping stones that will lead you to the next great idea. For example, when I felt stuck during maternity leave from Innovative Study Techniques, I used my less-than-ideal circumstances as a clueless new mom to create a new venture, which ultimately became BambiniWare. Feeling stuck was the best thing that could have happened to me.
Have you ever had to deal with negative people since becoming an entrepreneur? If so, how did you handle them?
Yes! When I started my first business 14 years ago, people told me to my face that there was no way it was going to work. That might have discouraged some people, but when I hear things like that, I become even more motivated. In the beginning, I worked hard to prove the naysayers wrong. But, now, I’m working hard for me and for the legacy that I want to create for my daughter. I’m my own biggest critic, which is both a gift (mostly) and a curse too!
Any advice for those who want to become an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship is definitely not for the faint of heart, but if it’s something that you’ve been considering, you definitely should go for it. You’ll never really know what it’s like until you try it for yourself. Fight back as hard as you can against excuses like not having enough time. We can all relate to the feeling of not having enough hours in the day. Between work, spouses, children and everything else we have going on, it can be difficult to find a free moment. But somehow, we still often find time to indulge in our “guilty pleasures.” Real Housewives, anyone? Whether your vice is TV, social media or anything else that sucks up mindless hours of your time, press the “off” button and start taking back your time.
Try not to beat yourself up if you don’t get everything accomplished exactly as you planned each day or week. In my case, I already knew that it would take me three times longer to do things than before, so I built in extra time and I tempered my expectations. If I got three things done in a day, I was happy. And in the instances where I only got one thing done, I looked at it as one thing that moved me closer to my goal.
Lastly, I’m a firm believer in vision boards and speaking success into my life. For me, that’s happened when I’ve stopped wondering “WHAT IF?” and started planning for “WHEN…” It’s a life lesson that I pass on to everyone I know because it really works. Each December, I make a vision board of what I want the upcoming year to look like in various areas of my life. The only rule I have when I make my board is that I don’t put any limits on my goals. In a world where literally anything is possible, the only thing that can stop you from creating the life of your dreams is your own imagination.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself running BambiniWare as a global lifestyle brand for the modern mom and using my experience in the education sector to teach other woman entrepreneurs how to grow their own businesses.
If you could give your 18-year-old self advice, what would it be?
Make every day of your life an adventure.
Who inspires you and why?
My daughter, Riley, who’s now 4 years old. I never fully understood what people meant when they said that their children made them better people until I had her. I’m a better person because of who she is and who she inspires me to be. Every morning, she pushes me to make each day better than the last.
Share a quote/scripture/song that motivates you?
“Closer” by Goapele. I fell in love with this song shortly before I had Riley, and true to the song’s lyrics, everything that’s happened in my life since then has moved me “closer to my dreams.”
Thank you, Richie, for stopping by the Real Wife Movement to share your story and to motivate us. We applaud you!
Family, make sure you visit Richie’s website or contact her via social media.