Do you know our founder? If not, allow us the pleasure to introducing her. Rachel Bollin started Brooke and Nora back in 2013. She originally named the company B & N Laundry, to represent her twins Brooke and Nora and put the focus solely on laundry care. Rachel started B & N when her twins had just turned one. Still in diapers, still crawling, and still not sleeping through the night, the twins were indeed a ton of work.
"I was completely immersed in motherhood and everything that goes with it. Those first years are so hard, even if it's just one baby, it's a lot of work."
It was at that time, when the twins had just turned one, that Rachel's husband Tony went into stage 5 renal failure. To offer some back ground, Tony had already received one kidney transplant nearly 18 years prior. Unfortunately, transplants do have expiration dates, and that transplant had lasted much longer than anyone would have expected. So when Tony ended up coming down with the norovirus, his kidney gave out and now he was need of a new kidney and would have to go on dialysis until a donor was found. The waitlist in California for deceased donor is over 10 years. Rachel knew Tony would not live on dialysis for 10 years so she set out to find him a living donor. She used every single resource she could to get their story out, hoping that the more people who knew their story, the better the chance of them finding that special living donor. At the same time she was also in a full panic to protect Tony from having further complication, and protect the twins from ever having health issues too. She was in full on momma bear mode and nothing was stopping her.
"Everyone would go to bed at night and I just stay up till 1 am researching household chemicals. My mind never shut off, I felt like I was on the verge of something but what I just didn't know yet"
One day, Rachel started making her own laundry soap. She had found a few recipes online for homemade laundry soap and she figured this was an easy enough place to start. It took a few weeks to get the right formulation especially since Rachel was not a chemist and had never formulated anything before. Around the time she started to get the right powdered laundry soap recipe down, she happened across a women in a nearby town selling goat milk soap. Rachel bought some, shaved a bar into the other components and gave it a whirl. Shocked by the positive results she had her husband and close neighbors try it also. Everyone agreed, this was some good stuff.
Since then Rachel has invented her famous goat milk stain stick, liquid goat milk detergent, scent boosters, and released many other laundry products for the line. Brooke and Nora once known for their laundry products, has released their bath soaps and will be adding more bath and body products in 2020. We wanted to get to know Rachel more so we set up a fun Q & A:
What is your favorite color?
"Well I have two favorite colors, first is pink, the other is the B & N blue. I just love how calming it is and the memories it creates for me."
What is your favorite B & N product?
"I still think the stain stick is the best thing I created but I also really love the liquid detergent in spring blossom"
What is your goat's name?
Where do you draw inspiration from?
"The twins are my greatest inspiration. They are such amazing people who see the world so differently from one another. I look at them and I see flashes of colors and designs. The new bath and body was truly inspired by how I feel my Nora looks at the world. She's a natural artist and sees details I never notice and she loves pastels."
"What are your goals for Brooke and Nora?
"Obviously I want Brooke and Nora products to become more accessible to mass market. I'd love to see more major retailers pick us up but my biggest goal is to just keep putting out products that are as beautiful as the people who use them. That's what it's all about for me, making beautiful products that people want to have in their homes. "
What is one thing you learned along the way?
"Business is hard, don't ride the highs or the lows will be really bad. Just stay calm even if the biggest buyer in the market approaches you and ask for samples, don't get too excited."
What is something you want to share with our readers?
"I feel really blessed having fans who use our products. I see each online order that comes in, every single one, I open, read and mentally say thank you. You are all extremely important to our success. Thank you!!"