Hey Mama...with Rachel Crethar

We are all about ladies doing business at Team Basil. With the exception of Mr Bangs, our office is made up of mother hustlers, jugglers and negotiators. We are also about learning, self care, filling the cup and utilising tools to help us function better. We thought it only fitting to kick off our series about “cool mums doing rad stuff”, with a chat to lovely Rachel Crethar of Rock & Co, about life and business, and of course crystals!

Rachel, you wear many hats –boss lady, mama, entrepreneur, crystal lady…in your own words tell us about what you do.

I’m a wife, sister, daughter, friend, and of course mum of two kids. My daughter Kit is 6, and my son Louis is 3. I have an online store called Rock & Co that sells crystals, books, essential oils and crystal infused beauty products, and run Crystal Introduction classes around Australia and this year took it to Auckland for the first time!

I read that you were inspired to start Rock & Co during maternity leave after a wonderful experience with meditation and crystals helping you adjust to life with two kids. What made you think starting a business would help?!!?!!

Haha! Good question!! I’m an eternal optimist and I guess I thought maybe I would only have to return to my part time media strategist role for 6-9 months (LOL!!!) the reality was it was closer to 2yrs! But honestly I just had a good feeling about the whole thing. Working part time in the day, with 2 kids and the business at night was tough but my gut was telling me I had to give it a go and see where it led.

How were you introduced to the world of crystals?

I was first attracted to crystals purely from an aesthetic point of view, and very quickly realised that there was so much more to them than that after my own incredible experiences. I dived in deep straight away reading everything I could get my hands on, took a crystal healing course and the rest is history!

Do you have any fantasies of alternate jobs?

Having my own business from home was my dream forever! For the first time in my life I’m in charge of my own days and I can go with the flow more instead of forcing myself to do what ‘should’ be done that day. Even though it’s a juggle with the kids, and the 20-something year old me never imagined it would be so spiritually led, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now.

Are there any business management tools in your toolbox that you swear by?

I’ve always been super organised and a massive list maker! I have a big A3 sheet on my desk and I write out a fresh list every couple of days. I put everything on there, business, personal, any new ideas and thoughts – it helps me get the constantly running ‘to do list’ out of my head, on paper and get on with the day.

How do you stay creative when you’re being dragged down by business-ing/mummy-ing/wife-ing?

Music! If its been a particularly annoying morning… you know the ones where someone is crying because they wanted honey not jam, there are no clean socks, and then a fight erupts over one tiny toy that no one has played with for 6 months? Well they are the mornings I turn the music on loud when everyone has gone. That and I give the house a good sage! Its helps me shake off the morning and get into a more creative mindset.

I also think my meditation practice, journal writing, reading and podcasts are all areas that help me get out of my work/mum/wife-ing head.

What does a typical day look like for you? How do you structure your home/work life?

I’m one of those annoying people that wake up at 5.30am and meditate! My kids start waking up from 6am so it’s the only time I have to myself before the day kicks in. It keeps me grounded and I can really feel it if I haven’t gotten my meditation in!

Then its straight into breakfast, lunch boxes and getting everyone out of the door while I chug back a couple of teas. My nervous system can’t handle coffee.

After everyone has left and been dropped to school I like to make myself a big cooked breakfast, usually eggs, spinach & tomatoes while I sit down to go through my emails and write my list and work out my priorities for the day ahead.

After that point no day looks the same – which I love! My days vary between seeing wholesalers, packing orders, preparing for workshops, updating the website, cleansing crystals, meeting with potential collaborators or writing for some upcoming projects.

After I pick the kids up from school and preschool I throw them in the bath because they are usually pretty dirty and it gives me some time to get dinner started without little people under my feet.

We try to eat together as a family Sunday-Thursday, I love hearing their little stories about the day. Luke and I usually eat by ourselves a bit later on the weekends and have some one on one time.

There’s nothing like having your own business and having babies. ‘Maternity Leave’ as such doesn’t really exist… I have fond memories of chatting on the phone with customers while Astrid slept under my desk in her basket! How have you worked that whole work/life/family ‘schtick’ out?

It’s a juggle! My daughter Kit started school this year, which I thought would give me more time but it’s a whole new ball game of assemblies, and remembering what to take each day! Louis is 3 and goes to preschool Mon-Wed so I try to squeeze everything I can into those days. But sometimes on a Thursday and Friday he might need to tag along to the post office or to see a wholesaler with me.

I don’t think anyone has it all worked out, we are all just doing the best we can. I don’t feel guilt about working when I’m at work, and I don’t feel guilt if I need a self-care appointment like some kinesiology either. I think it’s important that the kids have role models around them that are doing what lights them, and also parents that know how to care for themselves so they are showing up as their best selves. I hope one day they will find paths that bring them as much joy as this business brings me.

Any hot tips for someone starting their business, e.g. Pitfalls to avoid, advice you loved yourself, apps you find indispensable?

Follow your instinct! If you feel like you are onto something, test the idea out with a couple of friends opinions that you really value, and then go for it!

Try to absorb as much content about the subjects close to your heart as possible e.g podcasts, books, blogs, movies, magazines – I’m a content junkie and some of my best ideas have come out of something that’s totally unrelated to ‘small business content’.

When asking for advice, make sure you reach out to people that are honest with you, not the people that tell you what you want to hear. I have a small handful of people that I trust to tell me the truth always.

Why do you think there’s been such a resurgence in crystals, energy work and other ‘new age hippy stuff’?

I honestly think more and more of us are realising that the whole point of all of this is to expand our consciousness, and become the most evolved versions of ourselves that we can be.

Crystals, essential oils, meditation, moon rituals – whatever it is that helps you connect with yourself on a deeper level and work out what your purpose is, or what you need to heal to be your most authentic self then that’s great! They are all just tools to help us do that.

How should I ‘use’ my crystals to maximise their benefits? Are there any no-no’s?

No there are no no-no’s – I think people actually over think it! More often than not the first crystal you are attracted to or drawn to in a shop is the one you need. Just cleanse it, sit with it and think about what you would like to bring into your life or release from your life. I have had crystals that I’ve ‘set intentions for’ that have brought about some amazing changes, and some crystals that were just in the shop ready to be sold that really impacted me and I had to end up keeping. So do whatever feels natural to you. It will be the right thing.

Why is it important to cleanse crystals? There are a few ways to do it, what’s your favourite?

Crystals can absorb the energy that’s around them, so if they are new to you then I would definitely recommend cleansing them first because you don’t know what kind of energy they have absorbed in their travels before you.

You can cleanse your crystals a number of ways;

  • sound
  • moonlight
  • salt water
  • sage
  • palo santo
  • white light

I tend to mostly use sage, palo santo or sound, as there are many crystals that can’t get wet so it’s the safest and fastest way. For my personal collection I will put out any crystals that have been exposed to any negative energy e.g in my pocket during a heated discussion at the full moon but not the whole collection every month. My crystals in the house are always exposed to music too and I believe that helps them maintain a beautiful vibration.

Do you involve your family in crystals/energy work?

I did a Reiki course earlier in the year and the kids sometimes ask me to do some Reiki on them at bedtime, and if anyone has had some bad dreams or is scared then we cleanse their bedroom but that’s sort of where it stops. Luke is a pretty open-minded guy so he doesn’t mind the crystals around the house… although he stops at that.

Are there any personal rituals/routines that you are strict about sticking to?

Other than my morning mediation followed by a cup of tea I wouldn’t say I’m strict about anything else!

In terms of rituals, I love the ritual of scent – lighting some incense, putting the oil diffuser one, cleansing the house with sage or palo santo or just lighting a candle.

What are some of your favourite things in your home that bring you joy (people not included)

Other than my crystals; our garden and vege patch, my big linen love seat that I call ‘my chair’, jumping into lovely bed linen at night and the art we have on our walls from friends and by friends.

What’s your weekend look like?

A quiet Friday night at home with my husband Luke, lazy weekend mornings with some music playing or Luke having a play on his guitar, lots and lots of tea, we might go and see friends for an early dinner with the kids, and if it’s a nice day on Sunday head to the beach in the morning. I don’t love cooking so having Luke cook on weekends is always a treat for me.

What makes for a perfect dinner party, chez Crethar?

I wouldn’t consider myself a great cook – so when I entertain I just to keep it fresh, simple and outsource as much as I can! That also leaves me time to catch up and laugh with my favourite people and have a few glasses of champagne.

What is your essential outdoor activity/un-tivity?

Beach time first thing in the morning with my favourites. Louis is obsessed with crabs so we will go on a hunt for some after a swim.

What are you looking forward to this year?

We have planned a trip to the States in October to catch up with some friends, which I’m really excited about. We are planning some cool surprises for the kids and I can’t wait to see their little faces!

You’ve got some awesome workshops on the horizon. What do they involve? What’s coming up?

I absolutely love hosting the workshops! They are an introduction to all things crystals and essential oils, and I partner with my friend Courtney who is the queen of essential oils. I take everyone through the different shapes and what they mean, how to cleanse them, when to cleanse them, how to integrate them into your daily life and how to set intentions. Its always a fun morning! We are headed to the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane in May, and back to Sydney and Melbourne in November.

SO, we all have our ways to cheat when the week is flying and there aren’t enough hours in the day…What is your #MumHack, aka your mum-life shortcut for survival?

Music is my hack – if everyone is getting crabby and I put on some music that the kids love it can change the vibe instantly! Also lollypops in my handbag seem to fix almost any situation.