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Local 'Shark Tank' alum shares tips for business success at International House

Rebecca Rescate

For the second event of its Entrepreneur Works Presents speaker series, Philly nonprofit Entrepreneur Works is bringing Rebecca Rescate to International HouseShark Tank viewers may remember her from memorable turns during seasons two, three and four; on October 19 from 7 to 9 p.m., she will lead a special presentation and Q&A with aspiring entrepreneurs

A Northeastern University graduate who majored in design with a minor in business, Rescate tells Flying Kite that she wanted to be an art teacher growing up before realizing that product design was her true calling. In the last decade, she's shepherded a diverse stable of products onto the market, including the ones she landed deals for on ABC's Shark Tank. Cat owners across the country are toilet-training their felines with the CitiKitty system, while others are staying cozy with HoodiePillow. (For a look at all of Rescate’s brands and products, check out her website.)

A mother of three kids under 10, the Yardley resident is an advocate for tailoring work life to one's personal schedule. She also emphasizes that developing a successful brand or product doesn’t happen overnight.

"There’s a lot to learn and people don’t have the patience to do the learning," she explains, touting the value of the local library and myriad modern resources aspiring entrepreneurs can access without relying on a specialized degree. "I didn’t launch my second brand until six years into owning my first business."

It took her that much time to master the ins and outs of understanding a market, fine-tuning and promoting a product, and building her brand.

According to Rescate, her October 19 speech will tackle "the reality of entrepreneurship, and the really amazing lifestyle that you can build as an entrepreneur," unshackled from the typical nine-to-five, Monday through Friday schedule. It took her awhile to realize this, she admits, but once she began building her work hours around her life instead of the other way around, she realized "you can use it to your advantage to be more effective than you ever imagined."

For her, that means being "on fire" at four or five AM -- she can get more done in the wee hours of the morning than she ever can in the middle of the afternoon -- and designing the cycle of work on her businesses around the kids’ school year.

"A lot of times as an entrepreneur, you can forget to use those things to your advantage," she insists. "Take advantage of when you’re at your best…I have used the best of me to create the best business."

In other words, "Why are you working when everybody else works? It doesn’t have to be like that."

"I always try to empower people to use what they have at their disposal," she adds. "It’s never lack of education, lack of funding, or lack of connections that keeps you from being successful. How successful you are is determined by you."

The event, sponsored by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, is happening in partnership with International House’s Intercultural Leadership Series, which fosters "insight on the competencies, behaviors and specific skills needed to be an effective leader in an intercultural environment." Advance registration ($20; free for International House members and residents) is required.

Writer: Alaina Mabaso
Source: Rebecca Rescate
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