Rachel Kelly

Rachel Kelly

Community & Brand Builder


Rachel Kelly always wanted to be an entrepreneur just like her parents who inspired her. She knew she wanted to create something that was HERS; something she was in charge of and where she could be her own boss. Like most people though, she didn’t know what she wanted to do.

While studying New Media at Ryerson, she always enjoyed curating over creating. She would sandwich her jobs between big adventures overseas, backpacking or hiking – one time even climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with only one pair of socks. Anything that gave her a rush and a really good story! She worked at various jobs at the TIFF box office, as an event and conference planner, and even at a travel magazine. This was Rachel’s first experience working outside of a traditional office setting and it inspired her.

At the end of 2015 when she returned from another great adventure, she decided to commit to a year of testing different ways of working. She volunteered at a co-working space, found some freelance gigs, served at a restaurant, and even slung beer at one of her favourite breweries in the city. Her goal was to expand her knowledge and exercise other parts of her brain. When a writing gig fell through at the last moment, Rachel had three options: travel, apply for another job and continue the balancing act, or start something for herself. She thought, “why not now?” Life handed her a big lemon and she knew it was the time to Make Lemonade!

At Make Lemonade, a Toronto workspace for women, Rachel is the community and brand builder. With every day a little bit different, Rachel oversees the hiring, outreach/sales, marketing, management of physical space and accounting.

There are so many times when Rachel thinks, "what the heck have I gotten myself into?!" but she never ever thinks of quitting. Sure, quitting would be "easier" but there is a lot of work that comes with it too, like having to explain yourself. Whenever she has a hard day, she reminds herself that she has a vision and a goal and this "low" is just part of the journey. The "high" will be worth the hardships.

After hearing a discouraging comment from one of her neighbours almost 10 years ago, instead of giving up, Rachel thought, “I’m going to show him! I’m going to create something so good and say ‘look at what I did with my degree!’” This sour comment motivated her enough to make something sweet – and she did!

Rachel’s advice for Youth is just because you are doing one thing right now, it doesn’t mean you need to do it forever. You can always change, you can always switch. We are curious beings and are allowed to do more than one thing at once. We are allowed to switch jobs, we are allowed to move countries, and we are allowed to keep on changing and growing.


Words of Wisdom:

"Every great idea started with a person who eventually decided to rip that Band-Aid off"