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Rachel Ostroy
Founder and CEO, neat-os
Los Angeles

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“...believe in yourself. If you don't, certainly no one else will.”

I am the Founder and CEO, as well as a bunch of other things at neat-os. Although not an obvious path, creating neat-os and becoming an inventor, manufacturer and entrepreneur joins all my life experiences to date. I grew up in Los Angeles, and went to college and grad school in Philadelphia, PA and then lived in Berkeley, where all three of my children were born. I worked in the restaurant business for many years, but once I was pregnant with my first child, I wasn’t sure how I could manage restaurants and a baby. So I turned a hobby of interior design into my new career, which had a very flexible schedule. During my time working in design I learned a lot about sustainability and environmentally friendly materials. Now back in LA and the idea for neat-os was created which beautifully combines my interest in food, design and the environment.

What inspires you? The possibility for change and the people who take on the challenge.

Do you have a favorite quote? Don’t know if this counts, but when I was in high school I got a fortune cookie that read, “No one can make you angry without your consent.” I wrote my college essay about it.

What are the most pressing issues facing women today? Wanting to do it all. Nobody can do it all, but it’s a great fantasy that many of us try to achieve and kill ourselves in the process of trying to achieve the unachievable.

What are the biggest keys to your success? Perseverance and the support of family. There are so many times it would be easy to quit but you can’t and no one is going to make you do it, except for you. And then having your family cheering you on helps a lot too!

What are the biggest keys to the advancement or success of women? I’d say the same as above. The more women persevere in the workforce the more prominent and powerful we become.

product-imageWhere did the inspiration for your business come from? I grew up taught to hate waste. So several years ago I swore I wouldn’t buy another plastic baggie, and then I found myself wanting one and thought there must be a greener substitute that was not only ecological, but also easy to care for, durable and attractive. Assuming such a bag must exist, I Googled and ordered 10 different bags. Sadly, none of them was what I was seeking. None of them seemed to have food in mind. Instead of feeling defeated, I decided to create what I was after.

Where is your product sold?  At, on Amazon. We plan to open up to other retailers in the near future.

What advice do you have for a woman who is considering starting a business? Where to start…first believe in yourself. If you don’t, certainly no one else will. Take help and advice from other people, but don’t lose sight of your goal because no one knows your business as well as you do. It’s okay to make mistakes, everybody does and it’s the only way to learn. Don’t give up!

What are the biggest hurdles you’ve faced in starting or growing your business? How did you overcome these? The biggest hurdle for starting was probably my own confidence, which at times wavered due of my lack of experience in manufacturing and product development. And for growing the business, finding a local quality manufacturer! Way harder than it appears. I hope I’ve overcome this one, but not sure yet. Check back with me in six months.

Help support neat-os! neat-os has launched a crowd funding campaign with indiegogo to keep their product USA Made.

Although it costs more to have the bags made in the US, it is something I am committed to. It took a year and a half, but I finally found someone — and in my backyard! I now have a new manufacturer in Los Angeles, 20 minutes from my home.  Supporting local economies is another tenet of the neat-os mission so I’m especially thrilled.

However, the minimum orders with this new manufacturer are much higher and we need more machines to make the bags. I am hoping to raise $30,000 to cover these costs.  The money will allow me to purchase:

  • $4,000 in fabrics 
  • $2,000 in zippers 
  • $15,000 for local assembly and production
  • $9,000 for machines (sewing, serger, and pad printing machines)

You can help support them and read more about their campaign at


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