Small Business Spotlight: 10 Questions with Rachel Park Designs

Friends, I am SO excited to be coming at you with another round of small business spotlights in my “10 Questions with…” series. It’s been quite some time since my last post, and I’ve been itching to share more behind the scenes info and interviews from my favorite small business owners.

Small Business Spotlight: Rachel Park Designs

This series has reached thousands of readers, both people who want to start their own businesses and casual readers who just adore the shop owners and bloggers featured here. For me, sharing these profiles isn’t just fun, it’s also a public service. Because social media makes everything look so EASY. It makes starting and running a business or blog look like child’s play, like all you need to do it click your mouse, and voila! Readers and customers will flock.

But anyone who’s actually done this knows it’s the opposite of easy. It’s FREAKING HARD. So I share these profiles in the hopes that you will learn what it really takes to be successful and to give you a true appreciation for what kind of work goes into it.

Small Business Sptlight: Bespoke Ties from Rachel Park Ties

Today’s profile is Rachel Park, owner of Rachel Park Designs, a line of incredible bespoke ties. Not only is Rachel a savvy business owner, but she is a breast cancer survivor with an incredible story. I’m so excited to share a behind-the-scenes look at her business with you today. Read on.

Small Business Spotlight: Rachel Park of Rachel Park Designs

Glad to chat with you! First, tell us where we can find you online.

I’m Rachel Park, owner of Rachel Park Designs, and you can find me online at  

What inspired you to start your own business?

After graduating with a fashion design degree, I was inspired to launch Rachel Park Designs by the need for men’s neckwear and humdrum selection available. Starting in my kitchen with a sewing machine and a card table, I created my first ten ties.

What inspires your work and what sets you apart from everyone else?

I design unique, bespoke ties, wedding ties & bow ties for men and women. Personally, I feel the most inspired when I am at the fabric store, surrounded by amazing textiles. All of my ties are limited edition and handmade of the highest quality, which all begins with a high-quality fabric!

Although the tie is a traditional item, I like to use nontraditional materials such as exciting colors, striking textures and bold prints with contrast tipping (usually from Korea, to represent my Asian heritage). Contrary to popular belief, ties are NOT one-size-fits-all. My handmade bespoke ties are unique, because they are all customized to fit you.

What is your background and how did you develop the skills to start your business?

Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in the Midwest, I grew up making clothes for family and friends and always loved sewing. Seeing my friends wearing my clothes, I would get that exciting feeling of, “Hey, I made that!” which encouraged me to become a fashion designer.

Starting a business is a lot of trial-and-error. Looking back, I didn’t think too much about it; I just launched, held on for the ride and learned as I went. And I still am!

My goal was to always make ties that men actually WANTED to wear. When I see the big smile on their faces when they see their new tie for the first time, that makes me smile, knowing I’ve achieved my goal!.

What has been your biggest success to date?

My friend was recently nominated for an Emmy, and he proudly wore my tie on the red carpet. He looked amazing! It was also a lot of fun to know that my tie was just a small part of such an amazing experience in his life!

What has been your biggest challenge?

As a small business, brand visibility and capital flow, absolutely. Also, the two are not mutually exclusive; it is a bit like the chicken or the egg: If no one knows you are out here, how do you get sales? And if you don’t get sales, how do people know you are out here? Luckily, now with social media, entrepreneurs can do much more with less.

Describe your typical work day.

I enjoy my morning coffee outside and disconnect — no phone allowed! I meditate and fill in my gratitude journal, which really helps me to set my intention for the day. I make breakfast, walk my pug and then knock out the two to three (any more than that, I find they won’t happen) most important things I have to do for the day. Afterwards, I write in my planner (yes, I still like pen and paper!) the two to three priorities for the next day. Then when I wake up, I can start all over again.

Which small businesses are you inspired by?

As a fashion designer/ breast cancer survivor, I’m really inspired by AnaOno Intimates, an amazing line of post-mastectomy lingerie started by my friend (and fellow survivor), Dana Donofree. All of her models are breast cancer survivors, and a percentage of every sale is donated to a breast cancer charity. Beautiful!

She’s also recently launched the MAKEMERRY® Collection by AnaOno, a collection designed for breast cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment. (I wish they were available when I had radiation therapy! :)) .

If you could go back to the beginning knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently?

I wish I would have found an entrepreneur community/ tribe sooner. It”s not easy being an entrepreneur; if it was, we’d all be doing it! The great thing is you’re the only decision maker, and you don’t have to wait for an endless chain-of-command for approval. On the other hand, you are responsible for every decision! You have to make them all quickly and hope they’re the right ones for your business.

What’s your best advice for someone who wants to start her own creative business?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, never give up and most importantly, JUST START!! I’m a detail-oriented perfectionist; I always want things to be a certain way before I release it into the world, and I’m still learning to let that tendency go. It’s more important to just get it out there than think about it forever, because nothing will ever be perfect.

As the writer, Doris Lessing, said, “Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.”

Tell us YOUR small business success story for a chance to be featured in the small business spotlight! For a chance to be featured in one of our small business posts, email info {at} cuteheads [dot] com & tell us about your business.

Small Business Spotlight: Rachel Park of Rachel Park Designs. Learn how to start your own creative small business at

4 thoughts on “Small Business Spotlight: 10 Questions with Rachel Park Designs

  1. So wonderful to learn about this business! Those ties are beautiful. I love where she gets her inspiration. She’s also inspiring being a survivor!

  2. Wow, the Makemerry collection sounds amazing! I love that you designed a collection specifically for breast cancer patients. Awesome learning more about Rachel!

  3. I feel and get inspired whenever I read interviews with business owners and the like. It pushes me more to start my own and do not spend time dreaming but I should be acting.

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About Esther

The Cuteness: sharing daily inspiration, kids fashion, work/life balance + small business how to's from mom & business owner Esther Freedman