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The SEM Weekly

From Lawyer to Inspired CEO

Rachel E. Jackson, SEM alumna, went from a career in the law to founding a successful business.

Rachel's Remedy Relief Packs, the main product manufactured by Rachel's Remedies

Rachel's Remedy Relief Packs, the main product manufactured by Rachel's Remedies

Elisa Yi, Contributor

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Could you imagine switching career paths overnight? Would you be able to leave your current occupation that you studied and worked extremely hard for to pursue a different dream? Rachel E. Jackson ’87, accomplished this feat; she changed career paths almost overnight. Ms. Jackson was a successful lawyer but chose to establish her own business when she found a new passion in her life.

Ms. Jackson is the founder of Rachel’s Remedy, a company that offers a line of products tInsphat help relieve pain for breastfeeding mothers. She decided to follow her sister’s footsteps and attend Buffalo Seminary for high school. With the confident and positive attitude she gained from SEM, Ms. Jackson was later able to build her current business.

“SEM really gave me an incredible confidence to do things I didn’t have the confidence to do before, thanks to the structure, support, and the teachers of the school,” said Ms. Jackson, “there were no limitations to follow my dreams and I felt that I could be myself.”

After graduating high school, Ms. Jackson went on to college to study law and eventually became a lawyer. She ran a law firm with her brother for about fifteen years before giving birth to her first child.

Ms. Jackson decided to breastfeed her children, but like most women, she experienced uncomfortable breastfeeding conditions. Ms. Jackson searched for ways to relieve her pain, but could not find a solution to the problem. Even the solutions her doctor recommend were uncomfortable and inconvenient. As Ms. Jackson thought more and more about how she could diminish her discomfort, she started to subconsciously design her own pain-relieving product in her head.

“I remember complaining all the time to my family that there should be a better product on the market,” says Ms. Jackson, “I would tell them my own ideas for a new remedy and my dad finally told me that I should go for it.”

With that encouragement, Ms. Jackson decided to switch career paths. She left her career as a lawyer and chose to dedicate her professional life to creating a product that would help moms nurse with less discomfort.

In 2014, Ms. Jackson established Rachel’s Remedy. Ms. Jackson is the CEO of the company and gets to work with her SEM sister, Joanna Gillespie also of the Class of 1987, who is the Director of Operations. Soon after the company was established, Rachel’s Remedy Breastfeeding Relief Packs were launched.

The product is essentially a cooling or moist heat pack that comes with a waterproof pouch and can be utilized differently depending on each individual and the precise area of discomfort. The Relief Packs are made of organic cloth and flaxseed and they are also the only FDA-approved moist heat or cooling packs currently on the market. Previously, women would have to hold wet, heated washcloths to the area of pain but for Ms. Jackson, this method proved to be faulty. She was left with wet clothes while the pain would not go away. Also, the washcloths would have to be continually reheated. Now, women can increase milk flow and prevent pain with Ms. Jackson’s product.

Rachel’s Remedy Relief Packs are now sold through major retailers like Target, Amazon, Wegman’s, and Babies “R” Us. Many women have utilized these products and the response has been positive.  Users claim that the Relief Packs are “convenient and easy to use” and “changes the entire breastfeeding experience.” Positive reviews have continually been posted on online retailers and blogs and the majority of women agree that Rachel’s Remedy is an efficient way to diminish pain.

One particular user on Amazon said, “I’m so glad I found this product! I was so sick of waiting around using a wet hot washcloth after nursing. This product offers pain relief and I can carry on with my day. Worth every penny! Thanks, Rachel’s Remedy!”

Rachel’s Remedy started selling its product on Amazon in July, and initially only sold 10 Relief Packs. However, they now sell about 80 Relief Packs a week on Amazon, and approximately the same amount through other online retailers. However, this is not the only growth and success Rachel’s Remedy has experienced this year. This past March, Launch NY Seed Fund LLC decided to invest fifty thousand dollars in Rachel’s Remedy for their first local start-up investment. Launch NY is described as “venture development organization whose mission is to identify, support and invest in high-growth, high-impact companies,” and Rachel’s Remedies was excited and pleased to partner with the organization. In addition, Rachel’s Remedies competed in the 43North Startup Competition.

43North is known to be extremely competitive and it is funded by Governor Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative, the New York Power Authority, and other establishments. $5 million dollars in prize money are awarded in total, and the first place winner receives $1 million dollars. There are a total of three rounds, and only 20 businesses are chosen for the final round. In the end, eight winners are selected and are required to relocate to Buffalo for at least one year if they are not local businesses.

Rachel’s Remedy did not qualify for the final round, but the company was still a semifinalist, which is considered to be an achievement in itself. Although Rachel’s Remedies ultimately did not receive a prize in the 43North Startup competition, in October, the company won a prize in The Pitch. The Pitch is another 43North competition that specifically targets businesses owned by women and other minorities in Buffalo, and Rachel’s Remedies won $5,000 dollars.

When asked to give a piece of advice to current SEM students, Ms. Jackson was ecstatic and happy to help inspire other SEM girls.

“If you think you can build a good business, follow your dreams and go for it. Talk to as many people in the community as possible and don’t try to build your business alone. There are resources in every corner, if you look for them, and people can give you great advice on how to build your business. I would encourage anyone to follow their dreams, especially since SEM has such an encouraging, accepting, and welcoming environment.”

To learn more about Rachel’s Remedy visit rachelsremedy.com.

Ms. Jackson with her two sons

Ms. Jackson with her two sons

The Rachel's Remedy Relief Packs, the main product manufactured by Rachel's Remedies

The Rachel’s Remedy Relief Packs, the main product manufactured by Rachel’s Remedies

 

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From Lawyer to Inspired CEO