Anger is a gift, when used positively, with Hayat Rachi
When today’s guest got fired for not conforming to a company’s high-heel policy, she proceeded to build a body-positive lingerie brand using her severance pay.
Founder and CEO of Neon Moon, Hayat Rachi joins me today and talks about:
- Using her £1000 severance pay to build Neon Moon.
- The first steps she took to set up the business and find manufacturers and suppliers
- The biggest lesson she’s learned in the past six years of running Neon Moon
In this episode we discuss:
00:45 Quick Introduction to Hayat Rachi
01:15 What inspired the creation of Neon Moon?
02:35 Why Hayat risked her 1000-pound severance pay to tackle the lack of body positivity in the underwear industry
04:21 Hayat talks about refusing to conform to a company’s policy of wearing heels and being fired
09:52 How does someone without a fashion background create a lingerie company?
12:22 Hayat talks about the steps she took to create Neon Moon
- “I reached out to The Prince’s Trust because I knew that they helped young people in setting up their own businesses.” [13:01]
- “Then I scoured The British Library, their Business and IP center which is completely free. They have this software where you can find manufacturers and suppliers.” [13:18]
- “Not being afraid to pick up the phone and just asking for help was a huge milestone for me in terms of setting up.” [13:45]
16:33 Habits Hayat had to improve on to get her business moving
19:07 Hayat’s biggest learning in the past six years of running Neon Moon
Quick Juice Questions
22:07 Do you invest? If so, what do you invest in?
“At the moment, the only thing I’m investing in is myself and Neon Moon. At any point, especially in my 30s, I would love to invest in property, S&P 500, index funds, ETFs, stuff I could just keep for years and years and not think about.”
24:32 What most inspires you? When and where are you most inspired?
“I feel inspired when I’m around my loved ones like my boyfriend and my friends.
The more you garner attention, the more I’ve attracted yes people. Yes people will tell me, “That idea you have is great,” when actually I might just have the most horrible idea.
I need someone to tell me, “Hayat, what are you thinking? That’s the most terrible idea.” My friends and family do that for me.”
27:08 Which book has inspired you and changed your thinking the most?
“I have this really tiny book called Rich Habits by Thomas C. Corley.
I just love it because the one thing no one teaches you when you start up your own business or if you garner attention as a personal brand is, your habits are an indication of how successful you will be.”
29:55 If there’s one last bit of Executive Juice you can share for people who want to get to the top of their game, what would it be?
“You need to take care of yourself along the way. Asking for help and speaking about your mental health is really key.”
On founding Neon Moon
- I reached out to lingerie brands who I bought from and was like, “Why don’t you include women that don’t want to be sexualized into a model?” It literally just fell on deaf ears, and I thought, “Why am I waiting for them to change? Let me just create the change.”
On the first steps Hayat took to create Neon Moon
- Firstly, I put my pride to the side. I think that’s a huge thing everyone should do. Asking for help is the huge number one that I would always put out there.
- It’s very easy for someone to send an email — not that I’m dumbing down email. I do it all the time — but it’s way more personal if you just call someone up and say, “Hey, I’m setting up a business. I don’t know what I’m doing. However, I’m looking for a manufacturer for this.
- The kinder and nicer you are, the more people are willing to help.
- Not being afraid to pick up the phone and just asking for help was a huge milestone for me in terms of setting up.
On her biggest learning in the past 6 years of running Neon Moon
- The biggest failure was probably not growing my marketing spend whilst we were getting more traction.
On why Hayat loves reading Rich Habits – The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals
- I just love it because the one thing no one teaches you when you start up your own business or if you garner attention as a personal brand is, your habits are an indication of how successful you will be. […] No one will teach you how to realign your thinking especially if you come from poverty or, at least, living on the breadline.
- Being brought up by parents who were poor, I was brought up thinking that money was bad and it runs out. My habits were just absolutely awful when I started the business. I just thought, “Oh my God, we’ve got a bit of money. Now how do we save it?” And everyone around me was like, “What are you on about? You need to invest it back into the business.”
On entrepreneurs taking care of themselves
- You need to take care of yourself along the way. Asking for help and speaking about your mental health is really key.
- Unless you’re an absolute narcissist or psychopath, having your personal life impact your business is actually normal and I don’t understand why people like to pretend that it doesn’t.
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