With Rhae, Rachel Daugherty and Ashley Kriegel are determined to make shopping fun for every body.
By Anastasia Vastakis, Photo by Paige Newton
What do you do if you see the need for a change in your life? You not only make that change—you change your life to embody that decision. That is exactly what Rachel Daugherty and Ashley Kriegel did when they created Rhae, an all-inclusive clothing brand. The two women met at Daugherty’s former business, Fine Healing Goods, and instantly connected over a shared bond: the journey to motherhood.
The word “journey” is apt because that’s what it often is. Many people don’t think of the struggle women experience with motherhood. While many consider having a child the most beautiful gift, the process of getting there can often be difficult. This was the case for both Daugherty and Kriegel.
Moms First and Foremost
“We realized we are both moms, we both always wanted to be moms and we both struggled with infertility. And we both ended up adopting a child. So we bonded over that, because it’s something where unless you have walked in those shoes it is difficult to relate,” Daugherty says. This story is part of what inspired the need to create Rhae. The store was created to not only make shopping an enjoyable experience for everyone, but to help these two women live the life they had dreamed of since they were young girls: being mothers first and foremost.
“I’m lucky enough that I can do Rhae,” Daugherty says. “Still, Ashley and I said we are not going to work weekends, and if we can drop our kids off and work from 10 [a.m.] to 2 [p.m.] every day that’s awesome. How lucky are we? It’s not lost on us that it’s a privilege to have that flexibility, and a lot of people can’t do that.” Hustling and making money is great, but being able to do that while still raising their kids, and being with their families, and making women feel confident in their bodies is what makes Rhae a true gem.
It’s important to feel good in one’s skin, clothes, body. Especially for those who have children. “I shouldn’t be cringing at my body,” Daugherty insists. “I should be celebrating it so my daughter sees that I’m happy. That was the inspiration. I want to do something that I love. I also don’t want to feel bad when I’m shopping.”
Daugherty points out that while many companies preach that they are inclusive, their products don’t always match their message. Sometimes, the XXL will only come in limited colors, or certain skirts don’t take into consideration hips, or how bodies move when they walk. “It’s obvious to us, the shoppers, who are plus size, when something is not authentic,” she says. “It’s like, ‘Wow, that was an afterthought because no woman with hips would ever wear that skirt.’ So, that’s when we said we have to do something about this.”
If their tagline “spread sunshine not shade” isn’t apparent enough, Rhae is all about making women feel comfortable in their bodies, starting with the clothes they wear. Daugherty and Kriegel are helping to address the need for inclusivity in the fashion industry. And they’re doing it while also spreading the message of body positivity as powerful women and mothers.