Welcome to Locally Grown! Locally grown introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County businesses. Today it is our pleasure to introduce you to Randi Brill of Teacher Peach, the go-to brand for amazing teacher gifts and motivating classroom products.
When Randi Brill’s mom told her at a very young age that she “would be in charge of something someday,” she never imagined that it would be a company that she not only loved, but a company that she created as well. Her mother was right, Randi certainly is in charge of something, and she could not be happier.
Randi founded Teacher Peach in 2012, a go-to brand for amazing teacher gifts and motivating classroom products, in appreciation of all of the teachers out there today. As many can relate, her experiences with her teachers from her past inspired her wish to develop a company that appreciated and valued all of the teachers that work so hard on a daily basis. This wasn’t the beginning of her story though. Her life took many twists and turns before she arrived at the job she loves.
Randi grew up in Pittsburgh, and was raised by a mother that was a teacher for thirty-seven years. She attended and graduated Carnegie Mellon University, moved to Chicago, and landed in the publishing business working for an educational publisher. She was grateful for her job, and needed to work hard to make money. Giving up was never an option, but she always felt like there had to be more. Instead of feeling a close partnership with the teachers she was working for, she basically felt like the invisible person behind the line of work. She had no hands-on experience learning what the teachers wanted, needed, liked, or disliked. She felt like she was building personalized products for people she didn’t even know. To her, it felt so far removed, and Randi always felt like there must be more.
In 2011, things began to change. While at a reading conference in Orlando, a casual conversation changed her life, moving her closer to the dreams she had for her career, and eventually bringing forth Teacher Peach. Randi felt like she wanted to know the teachers, and really focus on their needs. She did not want a company that would compete with the publishing industry; she was striving for something different. Teacher Peach was founded on the fact that teachers need rewards and inspirational tools. They need something to brighten their day, and make the job they love, even more fun. Randi knew that she could do this, and do it well. Teacher Peach was born, and Randi assumed the title of the “Chief Peach.”
Randi and her team worked incredibly hard, but she never gave up, even through obstacles that would arise. She held strong to the vision of Teacher Peach, and began realizing that she made the right decision when she traded in a crazy, exhausting job, for a wonderfully creative one. She loves the contact she has with teachers, and enjoys getting to know them and find out what it is that THEY want.
Although leading Teacher Peach keeps her extremely busy, she keeps family as her first priority. She has a four kids and a wonderful husband that she enjoys spending as much time with as possible. When she is not busy enjoying family time, she loves to go for walks. She feels walking is where she gets her best work done. She can think clearly, process things and truly focus. She also enjoys staying up late, having a cup of tea, using Audible, and watching NCIS. Some people believe she never sleeps, and while she remains coy on the true number of hours she gets each night, she is rested enough to get the job done, and done well.
When asked if she has any regrets, her reply is that she can barely think of one. She mentioned that the only thing she would do would be to tell her younger self that “wishing doesn’t make it so.” She thinks she could have cut her losses a bit sooner with some things in her career journey. She believes every obstacle makes you work harder, and she proves that by never slowing down and creating a company that makes her proud.
She loves the products as much as the teachers do, and when asked which one is her favorite, Randi offered the following reply,
The Jumbo I Teach Tote. I wrote the message on the tote from the heart, and it still resonates with me today. It has a special place in my heart because it was the first product, and the best-selling product as well.
Randi believes that Teacher Peach embodies the life of a teacher. Teaching is often fuzzy and juicy, but sometimes it might be the pits, and you need some inspiration to push you through. Most of all, Teacher Peach wants its teacher customers to feel confident. If the classroom teacher feels confident, in turn, the students will feel confident that day as well, which in the long run, is what really matters and is most important.
Disclosure: Teacher Peach is our featured Locally Grown Business of the Month. This series of features is part of a paid partnership with Little Lake County. Contact littlelakecounty[at]gmail[dot]com if you are interested in featuring your own locally-owned business in our series.