Rachel Hodes & Elle Draper: The Girls Behind Bulletin
Posted on December 04 2017
Gift shopping can be daunting during the holidays. Look no further and visit Bulletin, a one stop shop for all the power women in your lives. Bulletin is a well curated shop of independent girl bosses and their femme-powerment wares. Read below to learn more about Bulletin and the women behind it, Rachel Hodes, Community Manager & Elle Draper, Graphic Designer.
"We wanted to reinvent the way stores work, and make it easier for brands to access physical retail space. We built a platform that allows brands to share the cost of a real-life store. Our team scours the internet to dig up the very best, female-led brands and gets their products on the shelf in just a few days. We currently have three stores open (Williamsburg, Nolita, and Flatiron). And the best part? We are partnering with Planned Parenthood in all three stores, so 10% of all sales are donated directly to PP clinics in the city," says Rachel.
How did you fall upon your career and makes you love what you do?
Rachel: I found Bulletin on a college job site/search engine called 'Way Up'. I was in a transitional stage of life - trying to figure out what was next for me after working as a paralegal and HATING LIFE. I found Bulletin, interviewed with the co-founders, and it's been a match made in heaven ever since! I love what I do because every day presents itself with something new - I'm never bored, I'm always learning, and I'm always being challenged and pushed in some capacity. My job is honestly the shit. I get to talk to people. I get to be creative. And I get to work with the most incredible team of girls that inspires me all day errday. But my absolute FAVE part of what I do is the work we do with Planned Parenthood of New York City. I've been passionate about Planned Parenthood and women's reproductive rights since I was young, so being able to work for a company that is directly benefitting this organization/women in need brings me so much joy. Our stores have raised close to $20,000 for clinics in the city and I can't even begin to express how proud I am to have been a part of that :)
Elle: I was introduced to Bulletin through my older sister Jesse, who had met the co-founders (Ali and Alana) while they were doing YC fellowship. I had just left a job that was NOT the right fit for me, and the timing was so serendipitous! I studied art and graphic design in college at USC and I wanted to put my skills and creativity to good use at a company where i could grow/learn/impact from the ground up. When I met Ali and Alana, they were in the pre-seed funding stage at the very beginning of the venture. They were in need of design help and I knew instantly that this role would be right up my alley. I LOVE what I do for more reasons than I can count. On a high level, it's because I haven't stopped learning since I started. I get to think creatively every day and I get to be around smart women every day. Sometime's we'll be sitting on the floor of a dirty storage room cranking out rush projects, other days we'll be in our pink office listening to lady gaga and bouncing crazy (but genius) ideas off one another about how to approach the next big endeavor. I am so happy to be a part of something that also empowers other women and supports Planned Parenthood. With such a small team, everyone's role goes far beyond their title and everyone is so committed I just feel lucky to be a part of it.
What are you currently most excited about?
Elle: I am so excited about our new holiday store 'Bulletin Mini Mall' - it's a 90's themed throwback oasis with all the best merch, and we just opened in flatiron! The cherry on the top is that we just did a visual and conceptual re-brand (but of course we still have hints of our O.G. goodness in there), and for a designer that's like getting a new box of toys to play with.
Rachel: I'm currently really excited about Bulletin's upcoming Holiday Pop Up Store :)
What would you tell yourself when you were younger and/or what advice would you give other women?
Elle: I was so shy and insecure when I was younger, I would definitely tell young Elle to be more confident in her ideas and her whole self!! To young Elle and other women, my advice is - talk to anyone and everyone, ask questions, don't doubt yourself so much, take risks, be kind, dance a lot.
Rachel: If I could give my younger self some advice, it would be: Never underestimate yourself!!! Young Rach, you have so much potential and you are so smart. You should go for every opportunity that comes your way. Never limit yourself because you think you're not good enough/smart enough/capable enough. You are a fucking rockstar and you can do anything you want!!! Don't do things because you think that's the way life should go. Do your thang - everything will fall into place.
Advice for other women: LOVE YOURSELF!!!! If someone makes you feel bad about yourself, get rid of them. That goes for friendships and relationships. Why waste your time on people who treat you like shit? It's so amazing to be surrounded by love and positivity :)
Is there something you were self-conscious about when you were younger and have learned to embrace today?
Rachel: My legs!!! I played sports (specifically soccer and cheerleading), my entire life and I have a very athletic build because of that. I used to be self-conscious about my muscles/thicker thighs/lack of a thigh gap (during the height of the thigh gap trend ugh). But now, I'm so thankful for my muscular legs. They make me feel strong, and to me, strong is sexy :)
What do you love about lingerie?
Rachel: I love how inherently playful it is. To me, lingerie is made to be enjoyed by two people. The first person is yourself because - duh! Who doesn't feel sexy when they put on a lacey lil number? The second person is your partner, who gets to bask in all of your goddess glory. When I put on lingerie, I feel like a bombshell, and my boyfriend feels like the luckiest guy in the world :) It's a win win situation!
Elle: It's sexy on and it's sexy off - who doesn't love that? There's also such an amazing variety that it becomes this expressive outlet that you can either keep a secret or share. The intricacy is so impressive and I'm obsessed with all things lace - it's an art form!
Where do you get your inspiration?
Elle: Inspiration is a hard thing to pinpoint - I have literally been inspired by a golden trash bag before because it was sitting on top of 10 other regular trash bags and I thought it was beautiful. That being said, I get consistent inspiration from music, live and virtual...and NYC itself. One of my fave activities is to roam around the city listening to a great playlist, just absorbing everything visually, physically + emotionally while good lyrics and melodies enhance it all. I love the people watching, the randomness, the fast and slow and happy and sad that you can experience on every street. I know it's cliche but I've always been inspired by the chaos/grind/unpredictability/
Rachel: I live in the most inspiring city. Every day when I walk outside, I'm inspired. By the people, by the architecture, by the hustle and bustle, by the excitement, by the exhaustion. All of it.
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