Pop Quiz, Monday with Rachel Khona

Ricky Singh, MBA
Nov 18 · 4 min read

The Pop Quiz, Monday, is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise, after all, since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today, who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

1. Can you please tell everyone your name?

Rachel Khona

2. Tell us about your business and what you do?

I have a stationery and gift company called Crimson and Clover Studio. Crimson and Clover Studio brings a little bit of sass and sexiness to cards, candles, pencils, mugs, and more.

Crimson and Clover Studio is now carried in 200+ boutiques and chains across North America, including Paper Source and Nordstrom Rack. Crimson and Clover Studio includes cards for unconventional events like breakups (“We need to address your horrible taste in men” and the simple “FUCK HIM”) , asking friends to be your bridesmaids, (I’m Getting Hitched and I Need My Bitch), and a new line of candles including such gems as a banana-scented “Eat a Bag of Dicks” candle and a peach-scented “I Like Your Butt”.

3. Why did you want to become an entrepreneur?

It was an accident! It all started with sassy sticky notes me and my then-boyfriend would leave for each other around his apartment. He would leave me notes like “I love you more than all the stars in the Universe”. I started to one-up him with naughtier notes like “Thanks for having a Big Dick”. I started compiling a list of potential ideas in my iPhone for future sticky notes.

But then one day I came home to find I was unceremoniously dumped via sticky note (accompanied by my belongings left my boyfriend’s apartment). I decided to turn those lemons into lemonade. I took the notes I had in my phone and turned them into greeting cards. I started selling on Etsy and things just took off from there.

4. What are the challenging aspects of running a business?

So many things! Knowing when and which aspects to scale. I also think it’s important to let go of things that aren’t working even if you have an emotional tie to it. That includes people as well. I had one manufacturer I had worked with for years. I really enjoyed working with them and had a great relationship, but after a few years they suddenly kept screwing up and thereby proved they couldn’t grow with me. I had to let them go.

5. What do you love most about your job?

Not having a boss! Besides that I love that I get to be creative and make people laugh. It’s also gratifying that I am helping other people grow their businesses as well whether it’s a mom and pop boutique or a manufacturer. I hired a small printer when I first started and when I went to visit a woman once said to me “thank you for giving me a job”. The printer had hired her specifically to handle my account. I never thought of it before, but I had effectively created a job! That really gave me the warm fuzzies.

6. How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

I turn up the music and have an impromptu dance sesh.

7. What would one piece of advice that you give to a new business owner?

Believe in yourself. Believe that you are creating something of value. When I first started I had a lot of naysayers. Older people in particular were offended by the swearing and sexual innuendos. But I KNEW I was onto something. No one else was making products that went that far. Not without being incredibly corny. Every time I went to a craft fair, people would be doubled over in laughter in front of my booth. I kept going, stopped comparing myself to others, and like a horse with blinders just focused on the job ahead.

Now in 200 stores, I definitely got the last laugh.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web: https://crimsonandcloverstudio.com/


Originally published at https://www.inboxdude.com on November 18, 2019.

The Startup Growth

The Startup Growth is a blog focused on telling the stories of entrepreneurs and business leaders. We speak to leaders in different industries to learn about their challenges and success stories. What the readers get out of it are lessons that they can apply to their journey.

Ricky Singh, MBA

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The Startup Growth

The Startup Growth is a blog focused on telling the stories of entrepreneurs and business leaders. We speak to leaders in different industries to learn about their challenges and success stories. What the readers get out of it are lessons that they can apply to their journey.

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