Rebecca Yuhasz Smith – WOMAN of ACTION™

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A Celebration of Women™

is elated to Celebrate the Life of this guided woman, one that refers to the finding of her calling in life as “quite by accident”. Following one’s dreams can be an elusive experience, and this one woman finally found her way, after a lifetime of devoting herself to the NOT FOR PROFIT world. Being an artist at heart, this visionary took action and combined her passion with a mission. Today, through the use of her artistic talents, she now devotes her energy to bettering the lives of women and children, she has found a way to meld the modern world with that of a very traditional one.

 

Her mantra for success in business is: “A company can do well by doing good”

We celebrate this genius and congratulate her on achieving her dreams!

 
 
 

WOMAN of ACTION™

 
Rebecca Yuhasz Smith teal horse
 

Rebecca Yuhasz Smith

[founder of Rebecca Ray Designs[

 
 
 
 

Rebecca Yuhasz Smith began her career as a handbag and accessory design quite by accident.

After a very fulfilling career in the non-profit world, she was looking for something as an artistic outlet. In college, Rebecca pursued Political Science and Constitutional Law and ended up with a Master’s in Education but she was always an artist at heart! Best laid plans!

She is a collector and loves to forage and create.

Rebecca Yuhasz Smith designs large_Michelle-LucianoOn a whim, she started using her own antique collections of textiles, jewelry and images to create handbags that were as much art as they were utilitarian. When people started trying to buy the handbags right off her arms while she was grocery shopping, she realized she might be on to something.

Rebecca’s husband, Derek, encouraged her to pursue the notion of turning the artistic process into a company. She decided to enter a women’s entrepreneurial product contest in the magazine Country Living, and much to her surprise, her designs were selected as a winner. At that point, she realized that perhaps she had the push she needed to turn a few bag designs into a real company.

Upon founding Rebecca Ray Designs, Rebecca realized she could embrace all of the artistic things she loved to do, but instead had put to the side to pursue a more “practical, mainstream” career. She named the company Rebecca Ray, as R.A.Y. are her maiden initials and they spell out her father’s name. He has always encouraged both Rebecca and her brother to create and own their own companies, which they have both done. What Rebecca never anticipated, though, was that what her small cottage industry for would become so large and well branded throughout the country. With availability in over 300 fine retail locations throughout the USA as well as Canada,

Rebecca Ray Designs is now far from that little cottage industry.

Being a woman and a mother herself it was always a goal of Rebecca’s to employ like-minded women. According to Rebecca “I have always found that women working for women understand each other – it is like an unspoken mantra.” She goes on to say, “By the very nature of what we do everyday, women have to be multi-taskers who above all else, get the job done. I think that women bring a can-do, cooperative ability to the workplace that is often driven by the concept that things just have to get done and we ask questions – often challenging and changing age-old paradigms in the process.”

Rebecca Yuhasz Smith2_The-Smith-FamilyAll the women employed by Rebecca Ray Designs manage and wrestle with the really significant, big ticket items of managing children, husbands with careers, aging parents and pets, yet they are in the office everyday creating a dynamic business.

It is an extremely supportive, often humbling environment and they always have each other’s backs when life throws the inevitable curve balls. A group of type A personalities who get the job done and are fiercely dedicated to what they do. That is a passion that spills over to all of the stores who carry the product line and the customers who buy the product.

Additionally, when Rebecca founded the company, she was, and still is, very committed to two things: Providing employment to local women who also have families and keeping the product manufactured in America. Mary Ann is the lead seamstress of Rebecca Ray Designs. She is Amish and has been with the company for 10 years – since Rebecca gave up the sewing to run the expansion of the business.

Mary Ann has cultivated a team of Amish seamstresses who all work for her out of their own homes so that they can be with their children. She has standardized all of the product patterns and created ways to couple the most current technology with age-old techniques including treadle powered sewing machines, flame lit irons and no electricity.

The pairing of the modern office culture and the traditional Amish ways has been an invaluable asset to the women of Rebecca Ray Designs and their children, both personally and professionally. It has been a terrific partnership and learning experience, which points out that people from very different cultures can work together to make wonderful things happen. Rebecca Ray Designs has grown over the years but they are still sending their bags, and more out through a horse
and buggy culture and making them one-by one right here in the US – by hand, while employing local artisans in the process.

Rebecca Ray Designs was founded on the belief that “A company can do well by doing good”.

rebecca_ray_designs_logoThis belief drives the philanthropic endeavors of the company. The largest portion of its charitable giving goes to the Amish Relief Fund which is an organization that takes care of primarily families – women and children especially in need in the Amish community.

The Amish do not subscribe to medical insurance organizations and they pay for their medical bills typically immediately, in cash. The community, through this fund creates their own safety net to help everyone in need accomplish that. The company also funds various 501C-3 certified charities that are focused on women, children and animals and gets involved in the events themselves whenever possible.

Rebecca Yuhasz Smith1_Bit-Bracelets-Handmade-in-USOver the last five years Rebecca Ray Designs has experienced substantial growth every year and are fortunate to have an active Board of Directors who share its vision, believe in the products and are committed to the business principals of “Made in America.”

In the future Rebecca Ray Designs hopes to continue growing the company by providing traditional luxury sporting lifestyle products with a contemporary twist.

A continuation of the current branding effort, an increase the amount ofretail stores that carry Rebecca Ray and a calculated international growth process are all in the plans.

Along the way Rebecca Yuhasz Smith has learned some valuable lessons;
Expect the unexpected, embrace change, think of solutions that are not typically
those considered and surround yourself with the best and brightest people you
can find and listen carefully to their advice
.”

 

 
social-mediaFIND REBECCA HERE:

Facebook – Rebecca Yuhasz Smith

TWITTER – @RebeccaYSmith

PINTEREST – Rebecca Y Smith

Rebecca Ray Designs – Website

Rebecca Ray Designs – TWITTER
 

 
 

A Celebration of Women™

welcomes this philanthropist at heart, artist at soul into our global Alumni with open arms, and look forward to many collaborations in bettering the lives of all women and children, in our world.

 
carnations
 

Brava Rebecca!

 

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