Rachel is Principal at Unusual helping to build and support the firm’s consumer investments. Rachel’s passion for business lies at the intersection of products and people. Rachel started her career as a consultant with McKinsey & Company with a focus on consumer brands, retailers, supply chain, and manufacturing. She then joined the Corporate Strategy team at Nordstrom Inc. Most recently, Rachel was an early-stage investor on the consumer team at Shasta Ventures. Rachel grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, a place that has given her a deep appreciation for the entrepreneurial journey. She was a part of the team that launched SparkTruck, a non-profit organization that brought design-thinking curriculum to students across the country via a mobile classroom. She has been a speaker at TED events, for the Aspen Institute, and at Autodesk University. Rachel holds a BS from Northwestern University where she studied Manufacturing Engineering and Psychology.
My favorite part of being an investor is the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with entrepreneurs. I love the dedication that team Unusual shows towards being the best possible partner to the founders we work with – by creating thoughtful programming like the Academy and unique offerings like the Founder Services Team.
After spending time in the venture industry for a few years, I was really impressed by the Unusual approach. The alignment of values throughout the LPs, core team, and the founders we work with is something really special.
A huge part of the investment decision comes down to people. I look for founders who will be magnets for great talent. Building a great company takes a team!
Focus is critical at the early stage. Find 1-2 things and be world class at them; you can always add a broader offering overtime.
Ideas are a dime a dozen these days. Make sure to talk about why YOU are the right person to work on this specific problem.
The majority of my day is spent spending time with founders (both those already in our portfolio or new potential investments). When I’m not doing that, I’m reading up on new technologies and spending time talking to consumers to get a pulse on new trends.