Q&A with Rachida Benamar

 

Rachida is founder of the beautiful Rama Publishing, a lifestyle stationery brand based in London (her gorgeous penholders feature in our Collective welcome pack!) Rama has stockists all over the world including Anthropologie, Papersmiths, and Moderna Museet. Rama’s designs have been nominated for top industry awards such as the Top Drawer PaperAwards 2019. 

Rachida also helps people to make positive decisions about their careers. Her guidance and support help them transition to a path they want and choose and I think we could all do with a bit of that! Really looking forward to having Rachida’s positive and fun presence with us next year - I think she’s going to fit in with The Collective perfectly.

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Hey Rachida! Can you tell us a little about your work?

My work is diverse and pulls me in many different directions. I have two businesses – a career coaching practice and a stationery brand called Rama Publishing. 

On any given day I could be hosting a workshop (where I teach people how to communicate effectively, how to negotiate, or how to strategise their next career move), then switch into working alongside my designer on new products for Rama, all while interacting with my followers for both businesses on Instagram. 

It is tough but I do love it. One thing that keeps me going is the truly wonderful community I have around me. When I get a DM from a young law student thanking me for creating the Ratio Notebook words can’t describe my pride – I well up every time! 

What's your favourite part of your job?

Getting to coach some amazing people and watching them develop. I have been coaching people ever since I began to talk so to be able to do it as a job is a dream come true. I get so invested in my clients’ success because I know how powerful it is to have someone believe in you. The best part is seeing the look in their eyes when what I am telling them “clicks” and they start looking at their issue with a fresh perspective. I also love being able to do this on a pro bono basis with amazing organisations like The Diana Award.

What's been your biggest achievement so far?

Being asked by The Diana Award to sit as a judge for their 2019 cohort was an incredible honour. Reading through the achievements of these amazing young people who have done more in their short life than most adults was humbling. Being nominated for the PaperAwards Best Stationery Design comes in a very close second. 

Where has your job taken you?

One amazing place my job has taken me was to the Houses of Parliament as part of my work for The Diana Award. Here I had the honour of meeting the award winners that I helped select when I was a judge.

What can we expect from your involvement in the 2019/20 Collective?

You can expect me to be 100% committed to helping people with their issues in a direct and practical way. Apart from being a coach and entrepreneur, I have also completed an LLB and LLM from UCL and can help you spot potential legal issues (although I recommend consulting a practicing lawyer if you have serious concerns). My true strength is in motivation and strategy so expect a blast of positive energy coupled with practical tips to help get you moving in the right direction – I can’t wait! 

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It is amazing to be able to join an online community of people going through the same challenges as you. One of the main keys to success is to surround yourself with people with different skills but the same aspirations.
— Rachida Benamar

In what ways do you think online communities like The Collective are important for freelance creatives?

They are not just important – they are essential! I think the word “freelance” has got some negative press. People seem to think that freelancers lead this privileged lifestyle where they can work half the day and then go relax in the park. In my experience, nothing is further from the truth. The freelancers I know hustle extremely hard to build their business to a point where they can make a living doing what they love. 

Being a freelancer can also be extremely lonely. To begin with at least you are in a company of one. You have no team, no one to give you feedback, no one bounce ideas off etc. It is amazing to be able to join an online community of people going through the same challenges as you. One of the main keys to success is to surround yourself with people with different skills but the same aspirations. I quickly realised once I started my businesses that my 9-5 friends could not understand me as well as my fellow freelancers. 


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Rachida is one of our brilliant mentors in this year’s Collective