Change doesn’t scare Rachelle Roth. In 1991 she and her husband Jeffery left successful, high-powered careers to start Urban Country. They were furniture novices who set new industry standards. Life and business changed irrevocably in 1999 when Jeffery died of brain tumor, but the idea of a “family business” took on even richer meaning as two of Rachelle and Jeffery’s daughters joined the enterprise. In today’s blog, Chaddock catches up with this entrepreneur, designer and mom to find out what makes Rachelle run…
CHADDOCK: Urban. Country. Quite a juxtaposition. Tell us the origin of your company name.
RR: Our whole business philosophy – then and now – is based on the idea of blending. In the case of the name, it’s about an edgy urban aesthetic paired with a casual, relaxed country vibe. Urban Country is less about contrast and hard juxtapositions than it is about a seamless blend.
CHADDOCK: What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
RR: Starting the business in 1991, but I didn’t fully realize it then. We gave up great jobs. We had young kids. The economy was horrible. We were furniture beginners – but with great business acumen (him) and fashion sense (me). We wanted to blend our talents, so we did!
CHADDOCK: What’s the biggest upside to running a family business?
RR: Creating. Shedding old ideas. Some 25+ years ago, my husband and I were the ones innovating. It’s a kick to see our children – two are active in the business – charting new courses.
CHADDOCK: And – tell the truth – the biggest downside?
RR: Ah, see the last question. It’s hard to let go of what you think you know, but I’m a proud mamma!
CHADDOCK: Second career time. You’re starting fresh and saying goodbye to interior design. “I would like to….”
RR: I can see myself consulting on a fashion business, helping others break barriers – the mental and tangible ones. That would be satisfying.
CHADDOCK: If you were a CHAIR, what would you look like?
RR: I would be a curvy French bergère in mohair and velvet, please.
CHADDOCK: How would you describe your own personal style in three adjectives?
RR: Sophisticated, elegant, whimsical.
CHADDOCK: What attracts you and Urban Country to Chaddock?
RR: Chaddock offers such a panoply of styles. Urban Country is all about the blend, and Chaddock is a great fit. Styles range from buttoned-up traditional to outside-the-box designs.
CHADDOCK: Do you have a favorite piece of Chaddock? An item you covet?
RR: There are so many…. I recently downsized into a 1900 square-foot condo. I had to edit. The Mary McDonald for Chaddock goat-leg demilune was a must-have. It’s rustic. It’s classic. There’s the blend again! I live with and admire that piece every day.
CHADDOCK: What’s your personal motto, mantra or credo?
RR: Do what you love and do it with passion!