Interior designer Rashmi Patel does more than simply energize rooms; she turbocharges dreams, those of others and her ownIn Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Guildenstern points out, “The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.”
Rashmi Patel would argue that for her, and many other entrepreneurs, dreams are not fleeting, flighty motes dancing in the light of our imaginations; they are the quintessence of ambition. Indeed, she feels even a shadow of a dream is enough to fuel an entrepreneur’s ambition. Patel is living proof of what happens when you combine dreams with a tenacious, grinding work ethic.
Dancing With the Details
Patel owns RushMeHome.com, a website focused on interior design solutions and concepts. The interior designer draws on the beauty of seemingly “little” things — vases, wicker baskets, kitchen spices, washcloths — to elevate the aesthetics of her clients’ personal havens. She also goes big – bringing about major redesigns to entire rooms or even the whole home.
To maintain her creativity and balance, Patel moves more than her mouse and stylus; she works on her feet. She credits daily dancing with centering her mind and spirit.
“I dance at home because it helps me focus, think creatively and not take things too seriously,” she explains. ”Because, after all, nothing changes your mood more than a dance party with your kids in the kitchen.”
Walking the Road Not Taken—With Help
Patel, who is half Gujarati and half Malayali, moved to the U.S. with her parents from Visakhapatnam, India, when she was seven years old. Like many Indian immigrants, Patel’s parents encouraged her to pursue a career in medicine or information technology.
“As I got older I found a new respect for myself — that it was all OK and that this journey was for me and me only,” she says. Though she tread her own path, she still credits her parents’ decisions, influence, and support for her success.
“Because of the opportunities I may not have had in India, and all the sacrifices my parents made, I work harder, so that I can be the best I can be for me and my kids,” she says.
Patel also credits her mom, who offered unequivocal support as she followed her dreams.
“She is always my biggest cheerleader in anything I’ve done in life — even the times I’ve failed,” Patel says. Moreover, her mother’s example gave Patel a blueprint for her future.
“Her constant need to learn and just-do-anything attitude has helped me dream, no matter how old I am — and to take the risks I’ve taken throughout my journey,” she says.
Holding the Hands of Others
Patel has always devoted a healthy portion of her energies to helping others; this has been another navigational force in her journey.
“As a sixth grader, I mentored little kindergartners in a reading program,” she says. “Thinking back, this has to be one of my fondest memories as a middle-school student. I would wake up earlier in the morning than my usual wake-up time, just so I could get to school to help these little kids learn how to read.” That altruism remained with her as she matured and helped other young people make their dreams come to fruition.
“As a professional working in the tech industry, I’ve mentored high school and college students … and answered any questions that they had. I loved being part of this because when I was in college I wish I had this sort of one-on-one mentorship to help ease any tension I had.”
“Each Person’s Journey Is Different”
Patel’s advice to any woman is, “Each person’s journey is different, and we all have enough space to reach to the top, but to get there you have to put in the work.” And as important as that work, she explains, is embracing the journey itself:
“Anything long-term takes time and patience. There will be highs and lows …, but when you know how to take them in stride, it’ll make your journey that much more fulfilling. Because throughout the journey there will be failures – many of them – but those are the times I have grown and learned many lessons. And these have helped me tremendously.”
In many ways, Patel is not only driven by dreams, but is also living one. When she is not working or otherwise building her interior design business, she is hanging out with her kids – blogging, reading or traveling. What started as an idea has coalesced into a lifestyle. And with her design services, Patel dares — and helps — others to live their ambitious dreams.
To check out more stories of entrepreneurs and pioneers on SEEMA, you might like Fashioning a Better Future