Members at Work
By Julia Halverson



Home Away from Home 

Mill Street, Grass Valley is one of the most popular areas for those that live in the greater Grass Valley area. The businesses are plentiful and friendly, as are the people who pass throughout the day. Mill Street is home to businesses that have been there almost as long as the street itself, and businesses that are just starting up. One of those businesses belongs to Emily Rangel. She is the founder of Moms & Minis, one of the newer businesses located in the “heart of Grass Valley.” Upon entering the small shop, I was immediately greeted Mrs. Rangel and instantly fell in love with the welcoming, homely atmosphere of the store.

Rangel founded Moms & Minis in September of last year and opened her doors by the end of January. She has not always been in the business industry; in fact, far from it. “Well, I taught preschool for over a decade…” says Rangel. “I have three kids myself… I figured it was time to do a “me” project,” which is how her business began. She surrounds moms and families with resources that sometimes are hard to find. “… living in this community through three pregnancies, there are no resources that women need for that time period of your life. There’s nowhere to get maternity clothes, nursing clothes, or breastfeeding anything,” replies Rangel, explaining one of her driving forces to create Moms & Minis. Her goal is to provide mothers and families with easy access to these materials, and a place to destress or just relax. “Moms can come to breastfeed in here and just take a minute since there really isn’t anywhere in town,” replies Rangel.

Rangel’s business doesn’t just have an impact on the lives of others; it has greatly impacted her own as well. Her life hadn’t always been focused around children and preschool. “I was working for a divorce attorney in town… since then my happiness has increased significantly. A lot happier days, and a more flexible schedule with my kids,” says Rangel, on how her new business has changed her life. So, when the time came for her to start a new project, she decided on something that would make her happy, and that she was passionate about. “I’ve always really enjoyed pregnancy and newborns, and teaching preschool through age five. So I just focused the store around those things.” Being in an environment surrounded by things and people you love makes a huge difference in how you go about your daily life. Rangel is also joined by her best friend, who serves as manager. Rangel has truly made this business into something she enjoys.

Being a first-time business owner, Rangel has been introduced to some of the ups and downs of startup life. “It was kind of a whirlwind,” laughs Rangel. When asked what one of the most challenging parts was, Rangel replied, “Just figuring everything out. I’ve never done this before.” Moms & Minis quickly has become successful in its first few months, and she is happy with how far her business has come. “I’m pretty happy where I am,” states Rangel. When asked if she had any tips for potential small business owners, Rangel did have something to share; “Get a book. That was the best investment I made. Get some resource tools, and find something you’re passionate about, and want to be around.”

Taking her passion and creating it into something that has become an important resource for moms and families alike, as well as making it something people love and feel comfortable in, is remarkable. The ability to love and nurture a business such as her own is what truly makes it a welcoming place. “I really love it, it’s really fun. I love when people walk in… it makes me happy.”