In a captivating interview, Rachael and Sarah, the co-founders of Rainbow Certified, shared their enriching journey as LGBTQ entrepreneurs. They shed light on their brand’s steadfast commitment to embracing and celebrating the LGBTQ community within their industry. The inspiration to create Rainbow Certified was fueled by their desire for increased representation and inclusivity. Faced with unique challenges and opportunities, they navigated their entrepreneurial path while remaining dedicated to their mission and values. Looking ahead, they conveyed their excitement about new initiatives aimed at furthering LGBTQ representation and impact. Concluding the discussion, Rachael and Sarah offered sage advice for aspiring entrepreneurs keen on spotlighting LGBTQ representation and inclusivity, emphasizing the importance of authenticity, resilience, and dedication to their vision.
Rachael (She/Her) and Sarah (She/ Her) are partners in life and business. They are the President and CEO of Rainbow Certified, respectively. Rachel is also a Senior Customer Care Representative for a U.K. tech company. They have always had a passion for entrepreneurship and meaningful connections.
Pride Month is a time to celebrate diversity and inclusivity. How does your brand embrace and celebrate the LGBTQ community within your brand and the industry it operates in?
Our brand itself is the best example of representation and inclusion! Rainbow Certified started with two girls who fell in love and wanted to create a positive and inclusive brand that would celebrate the LGBTQ+ community all year long. We make clothing and accessories designed by and for the LGBTQ+ community.
Can you tell us more about your journey? What inspired you to create your business?
As a couple, we found it challenging to find Pride-inspired clothing and accessories when it wasn’t Pride month. We hated that companies only put out Pride products during the month of June, so we wanted to create a brand that would celebrate diversity and inclusion no matter what month of the year. That’s how our brand was born!
As an LGBTQ entrepreneur, have you faced any unique challenges or opportunities in the business industry? How do you navigate those experiences while staying true to your mission and values?
It certainly is hard to be a brand that has a voice that shouts for the LGBTQ+ community, especially at a time when the community has so much hate, with all these new anti-LGBTQ+ legislations in various countries. It’s sad, but the reality is that you never know how people will react when you’re in this community. We get our fair share of negative feedback online, but it really motivates us to keep doing what we’re doing! We know how important visibility is to the LGBTQ+ community and not back down, even when those hateful comments keep coming. On the other hand, TikTok is a platform that has helped us break down that barrier and allowed us to spread a message of love and support to the community.
Looking ahead, what are your future goals and aspirations for your brand? Are there any new initiatives or developments that you are particularly excited about, especially regarding LGBTQ representation and impact?
To reach as many people as possible in this wonderful community and keep supporting them in any way we can, even if that means just making a small design to represent their identity. One of our favourite parts of meeting our customers in person is when they tell us how happy they are to have found a pride flag sticker or pin. We also want to keep being involved in the local community Pride events and the rainbow clubs at the local schools that we have donated to so far! We love seeing educators spreading love and acceptance at schools, as it is something we didn’t see ourselves growing up.
Can you share any insights or advice for individuals who may be interested in starting their own business, particularly those who want to highlight LGBTQ representation and inclusivity?
The best advice we can give is: Just go for it! Start it, set your goals and plans, and keep working towards them. Also, record EVERYTHING- makes for great content to look back on, and of course, for your TikTok videos! People love to see the behind-the-scenes and the good AND bad parts of the business, so show the world your process. Also, it is so important for any brand in any industry to show inclusivity and LGBTQ+ representation! Use queer people in your campaigns all year round, not just during pride month. Support your employees and have inclusion policies in your workplaces, making your business a safe place for everyone.