Rachel Cohen is the co-founder and co-CEO of Snowe, the direct-to-consumer homewares company that’s won accolades from Architectural Digest, Fast Company, Forbes, and Vogue, among others. Rachel began SNOWE in 2015 with co-founder Andres Modak, while the two were outfitting their first home. Uninspired by mass-market budget buys, and unimpressed by pretentious luxury brands, the two Wharton grads set off to create their own company of well-designed, high-quality home essentials. Prior to founding SNOWE, Rachel worked in real estate investment banking at BGC Partners, advising hotel and lifestyle clients; previously she managed a boutique co-working space, a subsidiary of SL Green.
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Q: What inspired you to start your brand?
A: When my partner Andres and I set out to create our New York City home together, we were unhappy with the disposable quality and ubiquity of design in mass-produced homewares – at least those we were able to afford. High-design, luxury offerings we would fall in love with were always extremely overpriced and inaccessible. So we set out to create a solution. We believe that thoughtful design and enduring quality didn’t need to be out of our reach. We were particularly inspired by the idea that good design balances form, function, honesty, durability and really is all about the details – from using the best materials or solving small pain points that we all know too well. Dieter Rams is a particular inspiration to us and his approach to design has planted the seed for many incredible products, but not as often in the homewares space. We launched Snowe to create all the things we wanted for our home but could never find – and in the process unearthed an overwhelming appetite from others for the exact same need.
Q: What does walk like a woman mean to you?
A: To face each day with confidence, empathy, acceptance, and chart your own path.
Q: How do you channel your own style into your business?
A: When Andres and I were conceptualizing Snowe, we thought a lot about fashion. The way the perfect white t-shirt or crisp white shirt can create the perfect foundation for your own style or the way we’ll invest in those go-to designer jeans that work for every occasion. While it’s always nice to refresh certain elements with new seasons or to layer and accessorize with color, material and texture, we felt that good home design is evergreen. We wanted to create the perfect foundation for how we, and we felt many others like us, actually lived. While we had our own aesthetics, crawling into a bed made with crisp, white Italian sheets that make you feel like your at a 5-star boutique hotel is universally appealing.
Q: What is something that always makes you feel at home?
A: An open kitchen so we can bring our friends and family together…we do love hosting a good dinner party! And since Andres is the culinary talent behind the meal, I love to set-up the appetizers and cocktails on the kitchen island while he cooks as it makes for a relaxed way for everyone to mix and mingle. And let’s face it, no matter how hard we try, everyone always ends up in the kitchen.
Q: What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?
A: Don’t be afraid to break down walls…over and over again. Perseverance is ultimately the key thing that can determine your success.
Q: What is your favorite everyday shoe?
A: A classic flat. Running around NYC I need to be comfortable from morning meetings to after-work dinner or drinks. A classic flat is the perfect, versatile shoe for just that!