Faces of the Executives’ Club: Kelsey Rasco, Owner & Operator, Haus of Dash

Written by: Brady Drake

Founded in 2015, The Executives’ Club of Fargo-Moorhead is a club designated exclusively for CEOs, Presidents, Founders, and serial entrepreneurs to have extraordinary conversations.

We were lucky enough to interview a number of those visionary leaders and are even luckier to get the chance to share them with you over our next few issues.

Want to join the club? Head to the100.online

Q&A with Kelsey Rasco

What is an important lesson you learned about business in 2022?

No matter where you go, bring extra sunglasses because the future inevitably is bright as shit. It’s just up to us to open our eyes and our hearts to the goodness. Even in the deepest sea of monsters, the sun can be found tickling the surface, awaiting our approval to rescue us.

What are you most looking forward to in 2023?

I love fresh beginnings; the turn of the clock, the sunrise on a Monday, the appeal of opportunities and the magic they bring during the first quarter of the year.

Take us through a typical day in your life.

Well, you all better pop your Lexapro prior to reading this excerpt because it’s the wild wild west inside these metaphorical walls: 7:34: My sweet baby girl, Rhyan, opens her eyes and yawns the sweetest yawn and politely lets me know she’s ready to start the day. So, I prepare her perfectly warm bottle and allow her to eat in peace while she begins to wake. Sweet, sweet life. My heart. My soul.

Reality: Screaming (is that me or her?), shrieking alarm telling me I should have been on bottle prep two minutes ago. I go skidding into the kitchen in my t-shirt and granny panties trying not to break my damn ankle on all the building blocks on the ground (but it was so cute when she was scattering them around LAST WEEK). As I’m trying to pry my last night’s makeup eyes open, I see there is, in fact, NO clean bottles for little miss muppet. Scramble time ladies.

I jam through making the bottle and get that thing shoved in her crib and then silence begins. Soft and slow sucks let me know the monster is happy (that’s also a lie, for she’s actually very sweet).

7:45: My morning swiftly moves by and I continue to get ready and prep myself for a wonderful day ahead where I’m on time and not running in, breathing heavy.

Reality: So, when I should have been getting ready, I collapsed in my partially made bed for 5 more minutes. The monster is done eating and ready for life. Me, not so much. Time to put the burners on stat. When I planned a beautiful hair day and stunner makeup, it ends up with a brisk brush and mascara. Alexa, tell me I’m beautiful.

8:35: Peacefully get Rhyan dressed and suited to endure the outdoor climate. We are ready our friends. Let’s head out.

Reality: Timing is a joke. Peacefulness is a joke. It’s all a joke. It’s actually like 9:25. What really happens is a full-on WWE wrestling match. Tears are shed by baby and mama. She twists. She turns. She shouts. Come on baby, JUST LET ME PUT YOUR DAMN DIAPER ON. And then I can actually get her dressed. I always have intentions of Instagram-worthy outfits but this B (baby people, baby) is getting unmatched socks and no headband. By the end of this, I’m freaking sweating my tits off. But I must move forward with progress. I look down and now my perfectly black clothes are absolutely and utterly covered in dog hair. Cute. At this point, I just laugh because the joke is always on me. I still didn’t put her damn coat on. Does she even need to have it (actual thought process)? Frick, of course, she does. We’re in the frozen tundra. We make it out the door and my hands are full. Carseat, bottles, diaps (we don’t even use adult language in our house), purse, phone, my dignity.

9:30: Time to collect ourselves during the drive to work and by ‘ourselves’ I really mean me. Because that drive is apparently Rhyan’s nap time (she must have been tired after the WWE match). This is when reality takes over and no more blissful shoulda-woulda-coulda’s. I gotta get that babe to daycare before the witching hour comes (meaning store opening time). I rush into daycare like the hot mess express, kiss , kiss, kiss and squeeze. I shove bottles at teachers and I’m off. Then, I hop into my 2012 sedan and gun the gas and rip into traffic. I roll up to Haus of Dash at 9:58 (if I’m lucky) to start my day.

Maybe next time I can talk more about Haus of Dash but lord, give me grace. Give me patience and give me time. For this mama is tired. And guess what… I get to do it all over again tomorrow. If you see me, nod your head and give me a ‘get outta jail free card’ because you know I’ll need it.

I am Kelsey Rasco. I am Haus of Dash. And I am the most authentic human you might get to meet.

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?

You’ve got this.’ In all reality, few really do and ‘if’ there is a likelihood of achievement, it was built on stacks of failure, created from the depths of mental heart attacks and from the wisdom of hearing nothing but silence, the type of silence that can crush dreams before they even come to fruition.

What keeps you up at night?

My toddler but, better yet, what wakes me up early in the mornings? Ah, glad you asked! Unfortunately, I have this houseguest who roams the halls in her slippers while dragging her feet and complaining about the accommodations as if it’s a subpar Air BnB. Inevitably, out of midwest grace, I kindly accept the 2-star review. Then I remember it’s simply the shadow of my anxiety lurking between the minutes that pass during the dawn. Remind me to not invite that guest back. She’s a drab

What would you give a Ted Talk on?

Quasi-experts. Yes, I said it. People selling people on their hot and fast passion or common success in a singular example set. Quasi-experts sell the grand timeshare pitch and the fish that take the bait are glamoured by the less expensive version of what they really need due to a lack of educational research. Myself included. This has a direct result of lost profits, over commitments and bringing in the wrong people in the wrong seats. Not to mention the expense and lessons learned of having to re-task the effort whilst rebuilding human trust. Also, I’m late for my therapy appointment where I’m working on releasing what doesn’t serve me. Wish me luck.

How does the reality of your job differ from people’s perception of it?

As often as I fluff pillows and entertain people on social media, the volume of what capitalizes my attention is Googling, ‘how to …’ in the most endless ways possible. The letters on my keyboard, h, o and w are worn down just like my two-year college degree, hanging on by a thread of brilliance. Brilliance is most commonly mastered via a Google ‘how-to’ search.

If you could thank one person who’s contributed to your success, who would it be and why?

As Brianna Wiest, in her book “Ceremony” states, “Holy are the hands that have held you in your darkest hours, especially when those hands have only been your own.” As uneventful and headstrong as the classic ‘me’ answer is, it is the one I will answer this inquiry with pride. Staring straight into the eyes of defeat and carrying the weight of doubt, it was my cadence that created the steady hum of success. And oh boy, I feel successful. Rich with love, abundant with support and immersed in sturdy friendships. That, my friends, is success.

Do you have any media recommendations?

BetaBlox, BetaBlox, BetaBlox. Drink the Koolaid. Bathe in the Kool-Aid. Name your kids Beta and Blox. BetaBlox is a 12-month entrepreneurial incubator based out of Kansas City that is masterfully directed by the wisdom of proven angel investors. Fortunately, I was selected as a candidate for ‘The Blox’ docu-series where I was part of an elite accelerator which is a brainchild from the original 12-month incubator which is currently available to watch on their app. Only after you Google, ‘how to download an app.’

What’s your “Why”?

In regard to my personal why, it has nothing to do with money but yet, everything. And here is my reason why: Rhyan’s Leotards Yellow, pink, red and blue. These are the colors I want for you. To wear, to dance, to tumble, to play. These are the colors I want you to have each day. Your brothers are simple, and I know you won’t be. Because you’re feisty. You’re emotional. You’re a girl, you see. Dad and I work so hard to give our family a life. Money is needed. But cherished out of spite. One day, we can celebrate, play and laugh but until then, we continue to pave the path. So 8 to 5, 5 to 8 Mister Money, without you, we don’t feel great. Give us grace. Give us patience. For you we try. But we must start at the basics. So, those, my sweet girl, are the colors I want for you.

What part of your job would you use an “Easy Button” on, If you could?

Oh yes, this possibly could be the easiest question I’ve been asked recently. It’s a delight to answer this and frankly, practicing what I preach, I utilize this easy button as much as my bandwidth allows me to. Here is my worldly advice; When things get difficult, take a nap and then try it again.

What’s one characteristic you believe every great leader should possess?

Low standards. Easier to please honestly. Incredible amounts of praise, excitement and servant leadership pour from the appeased leader making them appear even greater. It’s essentially a win-win.

Who’s a leader you’re studying or paying attention to right now?

Don’t tell her. She’s not ready for this. She is not equipped to handle such a public endorsement without prancing around like a mystical unicorn that floats above the law. However, we all could add some of her life skills to our leadership arsenal. Her name is Rhyan Anneliese Shackle and she is a four-year-old that holds the crown in our house of commons. As much as I beg for communal support, I’m incredibly privileged to have front row seats to view her authentic admiration for life. Her shameless appreciation for things that bring her joy is a lesson in itself. Adults have created hairline fractures in the glass houses we operate in. We’ve forgotten to paint the walls with our passions. We’ve become recluses and shamelessly folded ourselves into molds that don’t serve our inner child. So yes, I’m closely paying attention to the one person who scares me the most because, frankly…she holds the secret we’re all looking for.

Facebook: /dashandwhite
Instagram: @hausofdash_

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.