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Lemons to lemonade feature #10: Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff

Monday, November 24, 2008
I have noticed that several of the mom entrepreneurs I have featured in the past few weeks started their business in 2008 despite the bleak economy. Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, mother of three (ages 10, 7 and 1) and a writer, producer and marketing consultant, is no exception.

This year Rachel started, an online magazine devoted to eco-friendly fashion, beauty, lifestyle and parenting. features green picks in several categories and explains, in real-girl terms, how eco-friendly choices can help turn your carbon footprint from a ginormous Ugg into an oh-so-slender Manolo.

Like many mom entrepreneurs who started their business in this economy, Rachel remains positive and optimistic and chooses to see the glass as half-full. Here is her story...

How has this economy affected you, your business and your family?
Foolishly, I thought the year that the economy took a nosedive would be a good time to give up a career as a publicist, running my own PR firm, in order to start a website that doesn’t plan to sell anything and thus must depend on advertising to succeed. But hindsight is 20/20, right? Thankfully, although we live in the super-inflated city of Los Angeles, we bought our home with a fixed mortgage and at a price we can (almost) afford on my husband’s salary as a cinematographer. And because I do everything pretty much by myself, running the company doesn’t really cost much. But with our numbers as good as they have been for the short period of time we’ve been in business, I had expected to be bringing in more income from advertising by now in order to start paying myself at least a small salary. That way I could avoid having to go to work for someone else. We can tough it out, but I am looking for an investor.

How are you making lemonade from lemons?

Last year I co-founded an online magazine called Green Girl Guide, which after a year of steady traffic and growth (2,000 subscribers, 300,000 hits per month), received a "cease and desist" letter from National Geographic, which saw a conflict with their website The Green Guide. With no resources to fight the geological giant, my partners and I disbanded GGG. That's the lemons.

Here's the lemonade: In July of this year, I founded with archived content that I had written for the previous site. The idea is to show people--primarily women--how to shrink their carbon footprints. I also created a weekly newsletter that rewards subscribers with discounts and a chance to win free green swag, plus an early head’s up on events before they go public. The site currently records 3,000 subscribers and 500,000 hits per month--a huge jump in a little over three months!

This week I launched a new project, a blog called Mommy Greenest that you can find on as well as at I wanted to create a place where I could write about my everyday experiences in trying to become a more eco-friendly mom.

Any encouraging words you would like to offer mom entrepreneurs?
I have three children, and each time I realized I was pregnant the joy was tempered with the sinking feeling of, “Am I going to be able to work and still raise my kids the way I want to?” But I have, and I do. I work when I can: At 5 a.m. before the kids wake up and sometimes until 11 p.m. after they go to bed. That’s one bonus of having children - you learn to do without a lot of sleep. Also, having a home office really helps if you’re a mom because there are a lot of non-business things (putting beans in the crock pot, throwing the laundry in the dryer) that you can do while you’re working. But I guess the biggest thing is don’t put off doing what you really want to do because you are afraid of not being able to do everything 100%. It sounds cliché, but you can do it all!

To learn more about the company, visit or email Rachel directly at