Q&A with Rachel Francois: Copywriter and digital marketer focused on holistic & authentic storytelling.

Time out: This is a 4 minute read

 

I met Rachel sometime back in... 2014 perhaps?! We got to know each other through the lululemon community and she's always been someone that I was delighted to run into. Not literally though, because she was training as a professional athlete and I was definitely not running into her in that sense. She's always exuded a sense of confidence and cool that I was enamoured by. I recall one instance in particular that she was so naturally genuine with me that I felt that I could reach out to her for a very personal matter years later. I was touched by the encouragement, support, insights and kindness that she offered me.

We've been in each other's lives very peripherally, and yet, when she moved to Kelowna a couple of years ago, I feel like we've kept in touch more through social media than we ever did while she lived here. You may recognize her from her time in Victoria or from the recipe she submitted for our Community Cookbook. She's been generous to offer thoughtful answers to my questions here on her business, personal growth, self care, her favourite comfort food, advice for budding entrepreneurs, what she would tell her younger self and more. I hope that you can take a break from whatever work you are doing, grab a cuppa something warm, and enjoy this inspiring woman.

Rachel Francois

Britt: Tell me about the work you do and what projects/products/ services you are most excited about working on at the moment.
Rachel: I am a copywriter and digital marketer with a focus on holistic and authentic storytelling. Right now I am working on a website and brand creation for a Kelowna-based woman who grows/sells/styles tropical plants and provides education for new indoor plant parents.

Do you find that there is a common issue or hurdle that your clients bring to you for help?
One of the most common issues brought to me are challenges with writing. This may be because they don’t have the time, the interest in writing, or are having trouble writing about themselves and their own business (it can be a very uncomfortable process to write your own bio!). I love being able to support business owners in creating authentic connection to their audience through writing.

Is copywriting and marketing something that you've always dreamed of doing or is there a good story about how you came to be doing this?
I have always loved writing, in all forms. I even got my Bachelor of Arts in history and minored in professional writing at University of Victoria. I had a professor,, Elizabeth Grove-White, who encouraged, empowered, and guided me. I was hooked. It was from there that I really believed I could write as a profession. 

What lights you up about running your business? What drains you? How do you deal with balancing or managing each?
I love connecting with passionate people who have so much to offer the community. Getting into a creative flow of writing and putting together a project that was once in my head lights me up. What drains me is staying organized with finances, prioritizing tasks and staying disciplined by keeping myself accountable. I manage these factors by making sure I stay physically and spiritually nourished, and if that slips, taking the time I need to refill my cup so I can sustain my work. I stay in gratitude on days that are tough, and have people in my life who remind me why I do this work. Prioritizing self care has taken many burnouts to figure out, but I feel like I’m getting the hang of it a little bit. 

Rachel Francois

Now that you aren’t competing for the Olympics, how have your health and self care goals shifted?
Initially when I took a step back from running, my health and self care went out the window. I went from having a consistent routine of movement, professional support for my physical and mental wellbeing, and coaches to keep me accountable, to nothing. It took some time, but I have shifted my health and self care goals to support myself emotionally and mentally, not for performance but so I can feel holistically well. It came from discovering my self-worth that was beyond my ability to perform and remembering that I am worthy of feeling calm, happy and healthy. 

Something that I have been personally working on for years now is learning how to discern the difference between knowing when it's fear or intuition that’s leading me. Can you relate, or tell me about how you define this for yourself?
As a chronically anxious person, this is definitely a challenge that I can relate to. I’m not sure if I’ve figured it out, but taking intentionally blocked time every day to sit in stillness with myself has been a game changer to get to know myself and honour my intuition. Progress!

Do you have any insights gleaned from running your business that you think are often left out of the limelight?
What I have learned is how to detach my worth from my output. I am a “recovering perfectionist” as Brene Brown describes, and learning how to do work that I am proud of without thinking of myself as less of or better of a person because of it has been a journey. Acknowledging that this is something I want to work on and listening to others who navigate the same thing (there are a LOT of recovering perfectionists apparently) has been a powerful experience.
Rachel FRancois

What would your advice be for budding creative entrepreneurs?
Learn how to say no! It is such an empowering phrase and taking ownership of what you do and do not do creates space for the right opportunities to flow in. Building on that, trust your intuition and remember that you are so much more than the work you do. 

Tell me about a time when you had to make a big change or pivot in your life. How did you know that it was time to shift? What tools supported you?
Moving to Kelowna was one of the bravest and biggest decisions I have made. I was in over my head with work and mental health challenges, and had an opportunity to slow things down. Going against my patterns of “fighting through” in order to make things convenient for others, I decided to stay put in Kelowna and take on a different angle with my self care, the way I work, and my lifestyle. Having a community of people that I can talk about my personal and professional challenges and wins has been the best support. 

What challenges have you overcome that lead you to a deeper understanding or a shift in perspective for you over the last year/ through the pandemic?
Learning how to be still and embrace slow periods that are not conventionally productive has been uncomfortable and healing. I have started to say no to things I do not want to do or do not have the capacity for, and yes to things I want to do. 
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the community I have found. Like minded people that live all over, who care about each other beyond the work they do, support each other's big goals, and remind each other how capable we are on days we forget. 

What would you tell your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to be kind, gentle and loving to herself. No matter what. 

What's your favourite comfort food? 
My favourite comfort food is butter noodles with cheese and hot sauce. LOT'S of cheese.

Do you have a recommended read?
My favourite book I've read in the past is Untamed by Glennon Doyle. It put a fire under me to dive further into my self-love and empowerment journey

Tell me 5 random things about you that may not be well known
  • I have an absurd amount of tropical house plants (112 the last time I counted) 
  • I am a terrible baker and really don’t enjoy it (but love cooking and will happily eat any baked good put in front of my face)
  • I have an obsession with Broadway musicals. Wicked is my favourite. I know every word to every song.
  • I am deathly allergic to peanuts….so if there is peanut butter in the baking you give me, that is one treat I will politely and awkwardly decline. When I was in elementary school I was forced to wear a fanny pack with my epi pen in it. This is before fanny packs were cool.

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    If you're reading this thinking that you're looking for a great copy writer or someone to help with marketing, then she's your gal. You can get in touch with her through her website or follow her on Instagram.

    She's also teaching a virtual series called Restore, which is a mindfulness practice to guide you through yin yoga, journalling, mediation and breath work techniques. The virtual course starts Februsary 21st and you can sign up here!