This month, we chatted with Rue Khosa, a mother of two boys and business owner of The Perfect Push, a lactation clinic in Redmond. She is also the founder and organizer of Northwest FamilyFest, a fun family event taking place on Saturday, August 3, 2019, featuring kids’ activities, live music, delicious food, and a marketplace for local businesses and organizations to showcase the work that they do. Rue kindly sat with us recently to share about what gets her out of bed in the mornings and how she thinks we can better support women and families.
PEPS: Please tell us a bit about yourself. Who is Rue?
Rue: I’m a business owner who is motivated…and as a mother, I’m inspired, especially by things – anything, really – that affects women and children. (Parenting) can be a difficult, yet rewarding journey for women and they need support. The relationship between a mother and her baby can be drastically affected by childbirth, breastfeeding, postpartum recovery. If things aren’t easy, a parent can feel like a failure. I feel things could be done differently to support women and working moms better. What if we provide more support, education, and resources? How can we fix this and do it better? All these things wake up and get me going in the morning.
PEPS: You started up The Perfect Push in 2015. Why?
Rue: The Perfect Push is a full-service childbirth and lactation clinic and parent wellness center. Breastfeeding can have such a big impact on the relationship of an entire family. So, I wanted to offer classes, doula support and postpartum support to help educate and care for new parents. Sometimes, society can make us feel like we need do it all. I hear from mothers sometimes that they wonder, if I choose delegate or farm out the work, should I have children at all? To me, it’s not an ‘either-or’, should-I-work-or-have-a-kid type of question. We need to create a community of loving in an honest, authentic way. Where parents can come as you are, without judgement, and be informed so that they can make choices that are right for their family. We all want what’s best for our children and my goal is to support parents so that they can do that.
PEPS: What inspired you to create the Northwest FamilyFest?
Rue: When I had my first son, Tai, who is now 6, I was a working mom. The few events that we did find to attend together were not particularly interesting or fun. I had to work a lot and questioned, ‘how can I create an environment that adults can bring their kids to’? I believe we can be at our best when we know our kids are taken care of. How can we support women better, so that they can truly show up and show out? So, I combined my passion for creating something fun for kids, while supporting local, smaller businesses and the result was the Northwest FamilyFest! My whole family is very involved. My husband helps to balance the books and my sons pick out a lot of the activities. It doesn’t even feel like work to them. Tai has said, “Mom throws a big party for me and all my friends get to come!”
PEPS: The FamilyFest is completely supported by local businesses and nonprofit organizations and 100% of the proceeds go to charity. Why has it been important to you to support local charities?
Rue: We are in our fourth year of this FamilyFest. This event has nothing to do with my core business and for the first three years, we didn’t make any profit, so I got a lot of questions like ‘why are you doing it?’. I feel so strongly about supporting a greater cause. To create something fun for kids while lifting up small businesses, especially in the wake of the convenience of online shopping by retailing giants, is so important to me. And to then combine it with supporting local families who are vulnerable, well, that makes it extra special. I chose Special Delivery because they help teen moms who are at risk or have been displaced during pregnancy or after delivery. We also selected Seattle Union Gospel Mission’s Emergency Women’s Shelter because it recently re-opened its doors as a shelter for pregnant women and teens. I was looking outside of the Eastside to see how we could support immigrants and women of color, understanding especially what the infant mortality is, and I felt these two were a good fit.
PEPS: What’s something we would not guess about you?
Rue: (laughing) I’m pretty transparent. What you see is what you get. I am a highly functioning scatterbrain though. I rarely take notes and miraculously manage to keep it all in my brain and pull it out when I need it.
PEPS: What fuels you?
Rue: Helping people. I am inspired to help others, whatever it takes. I once had a new mother who was experiencing complications with latching her newborn. This mother called me for help, at 2am, distressed and in need of some guidance. My younger son, Tana, was also a newborn at that time, so we set up a Skype phone call within minutes and I showed her step-by-step how to latch her baby with Tana and I as a live example. It worked! She ultimately delivered both her children with Perfect Push and we have become friends! I love it when my work transcends the business and families truly become part of the Perfect Push family.
PEPS: What is one thing you could not live without?
Rue: I couldn’t do what I do without my amazing husband. It takes a special man. There are days when I wake up and exclaim that I have an idea and he cringes, but it never stops him from supporting me – like fuel to my engine! He carries us – me, the kids, our business – and makes sure things work well. He’s always there, a quiet presence, and lets me do my thing. I am so fortunate. I get to be me because I have a truly loving, organized, and supportive spouse.
Rue, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and passion for supporting families!