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Get to know Kristin and Rachael, The founders of Holistic Habitat

Get to know Kristin and Rachael, The founders of Holistic Habitat

4 years ago, 2 best friends Kristin and Rachael took a step and launched Holistic Habitat. And although their curation of Bohemian trimmings are beautiful and unique, the company's goal is so much more than adding a nice piece of decor to your console table. Their goal is about impact, benevolence, and responsibility; it's holistic. Get to know these two brave and beautiful souls, learn how best friends run a business and still get a long, and what HH is all about.

What prompted you to start Holistic Habitat?

Kristin:

Rachael and I had been friends for years and one day, while chatting about how unhappy we were with our current work situations, Holistic Habitat was born. 

Rachael:

It was definitely meant to be! I had this idea in my head and wanted to bring it to Kristin, but our mutual friends circle is pretty small and my boss at the time was a friend of her's too. I was waiting for the right time to bring it up and one day we were hanging out & she brought it up. As soon as she said “what do you think about... “, I said “I’ve thought A LOT about it, and here’s what it looks like...”. It was that day that we decided we were going to change everything about our current situations and take a leap of faith on something that felt much bigger than the two of us. It was no coincidence that we both independently had the same vision. 


Did you always know that you wanted to start your own business?

Kristin:

I knew I wanted to start my own business in 2004 because I was working for someone that didn’t treat us well, so I started my own plumbing showroom to compete with that former employer along with three of my co-workers. 

Rachael:

I did! When I was in 5th grade I drew a sign for the shop that I wanted to have “when I grew up”. In 5th grade I was super into personal accessories, so at the time the shop (in my mind) was mostly shoes & hats but that evolved as my interests changed. I accessorize myself less than I do my house now so it was a natural progression. I started flipping antiques and restoring furniture in 2012 & enjoyed the freedom of working for myself. I knew it was only a matter of time before I took on my own business as a full time gig. 


Where do you draw inspiration from?

Kristin:

Everywhere! Mostly, I take inspiration from other designers, Amber Lewis is a favorite. I also take inspiration from solving problems. That’s how our leather straps came to be. I needed a quick way to hang a few new plants (that I definitely didn't have space for). I had some faux leather straps from an old retail display and once I showed my DIY hack, they just took off! 

Rachael:

I would say “everywhere” as well. It can be as simple as an object that I find in an antique shop. I will pick it up and envision how I would style it and a shelf curation is born in my mind. I grew up with an “I can do that” mentality thanks to my grandmother. I think above anyone, I drew my inspiration from her. We’d often see something and say “we could make that”. I love challenging myself to DIY (when I can find the time).  

 

What does it mean to be ethically sourced? And why is that important to you?

Kristin:

Ethically sourced means we take a deep look at how and where our products are made. We do our best to source from suppliers that have ethical policies in place to protect the employees from being exploited in any way. We also source from suppliers that make sure they are giving back to the communities that help create their products. It’s important to us because we believe that everything we do impacts those around us both near and far and we want to treat others the way we would want to be treated. 


HH does a lot of campaigns to support and educate about marginalized groups of people. Why is that important to you as a company?


Rachael:

It’s important to us as a company because it is important to us personally. It’s really the mission we began HH with. We decided on day one that HH would be as much about giving back as it would be about home decor.

We donate to these groups because we believe in social justice and equality. It's important to me personally that my gay dad and my black nieces and nephew know that their lives are no less valuable than anyone else's. That my kids grow up understanding all of the ways society is broken & become change-makers; that they are raised with the awareness that they are inherently privileged because of the color of their skin, that they feel the injustice in that, and that they do better. It is important to me that they know that their parents tried to create change too.



What do you enjoy most about being the owners of HH?

Kristin:

SO MUCH! I enjoy the constant learning that we both have to do in order to keep this business going. I didn’t know the first thing about Facebook ads until we were about a year into the business and now, it’s all I think about (mostly). I love the flexibility it gives us for our families. I also LOVE that we get to hire really amazing people and keep them employed in a career they love too. That’s huge for me. Knowing that we can enrich the lives of others is the reason I get out of my comfort zone to keep pushing growth. 

Rachael:

So many things. The creative freedom, the ability to be with my kids every day, the fact that we get to do something that we love that supports our families but also creates a little bit of positive change in the world. It’s really astounding to me when I sit back and think about it; that this idea that was born on a Thursday afternoon has not only been a gift for myself and Kristin, but also our close friends and family members that have joined our team. I am truly grateful.

If you could give one home decor tip, what would it be?

Kristin:

Invest in your big purchases in timeless colors and lines. Your sofa in cognac leather with clean lines is going to translate into any design trends you’re into today and in 5 years. You can swap out your accessories to add new styles, trends, and dimensions without breaking the bank. That bright emerald sofa with a bold pattern is going to limit you as your style evolves and changes. 

Rachael:

Decide your direction before you buy! It’s so much easier to achieve a “look” when you know the look you are going for in your space. It took me a while to get there. I try to purchase with intention now instead of just getting the thing because it’s pretty. How does it fit in? Do I have a place for it? How will it feel in the space? Will it add to it, or just add clutter? 

 

Describe HH in 3 words or less.

Kristin:

Approachable, Ethical, and Fun.


What is your current favorite product?

Kristin:

I’m obsessed with our new custom candles. All three of them are scents I love and I am SUPER picky about candle scents. 

Rachael:

We just launched our headboard cushions in black & I am suuuuuper pumped about those! 



Describe your friendship in 3 words or less.

Kristin:

Forgiving, Safe, and Expansive.

Rachael:

Impactful, full-circle, sisterhood

 

3 tips for working with your best friend.

Kristin:

Give them GRACE. We can both get fired up very quickly over things that, at the time, seem like a huge deal when in reality, they just aren’t. So, I think we have both learned to let the other person have their moments of intensity and then we can both come back together once our “fire” has burned out. Humans need space and time to process feelings, opinions, and ideas.  And, that’s no different in a work environment. I think that’s missing in corporate America, but that’s a whole different topic. 

Rachael:

Listen, Learn, Grow. 

Listen to each other. While we are so similar in many regards, we have different opinions & knowledge that equally bring value to the company. Learning to listen and value those differences has allowed us to grow in ways that we wouldn’t have if we were flying solo. 

It took some adjusting to the shift in the dynamic of our friendship. Being business partners holds a lot more weight than just being friends. Our livelihoods depend on this relationship and the business doing well.  Once we worked through the adjustment we found this incredibly healthy sweet spot in our friendship that we both wish we could mirror in other relationships. We have done a whole lot of loving, growing and grace giving. 


How do you want your customers to feel when they put one of your products in their homes?

Kristin:

I want them to feel like they have used their dollars to help others while they have given themselves the gift of a home they love. That’s the goal. 


Rachael:

I want them to feel like they’ve purchased with intention. That in addition to buying the thing that makes their space feel like a greater reflection of themselves, they are also creating positive change that reaches beyond their four walls.



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