Risa Riepma – Serving Her World

Posted by Rodan + Fields on Thursday, September 20th, 2018

After attending university to study nutrition and dietetics, Risa Riepma joined the U.S. Air Force and planned to develop her career through service. “I joined the military right out of college because I wanted to help people, to get my degree, and to travel the world. I quickly developed a heart for serving our country and helping other military members. I married my high school sweetheart after my first assignment, and when we had our first son it became more and more difficult to keep all the balls in the air and give 110% to both my career and being a mom.” This challenge marked the beginning of Risa’s empowering journey toward becoming an entrepreneur and owning her own business in skincare.

Rodan + Fields Consultant - Risa Riepma

Moving toward change

When Risa’s youngest child was two years old, she and her husband decided to separate from the Air Force and adjust their finances so Risa could stay home with their children. “At that point, my focus and priorities fully shifted from being a busy career woman and military officer to being a mom and raising my kids. I was very blessed that my parents were able to follow us to the assignments and take care of our children, but I still felt ‘mom guilt’. I felt like I missed out on a lot of the precious moments of their early years.”

Unfortunately, that dream had to be put on hold for a little while longer when circumstances in the Riepma family changed. “We were planning on separating, but then came the news of my youngest son having autism. That really shook our world. We decided that it was in his best interest and our family’s best interest for me to stay in the military because our medical insurance was excellent and we wanted him to have the best opportunity at overcoming his disability. It was a difficult decision, but I knew it had to be done and I was happy to do it.”

Rodan + Fields Consultant - Risa Riepma's Children

Risa’s three children Bella, Hunter, and Ethan summer 2012, just before her deployment to Afghanistan.

Finding a meaningful solution

Risa chose to stay in the military until she was eligible to retire with benefits, at which point she would finally be able to stay home with her children. “We didn’t quite know how that was going to work out because I needed to supplement our income. I just figured I would make a plan at some point. When I learned of Rodan + Fields everything started to make sense.” The Riepmas were stationed in Germany in May 2014 when Christie Perkins shared her story with Risa and introduced her to the idea of becoming an entrepreneur.

“I was really busy working 50 hours a week as the chief of clinical nutrition at the military medical center and coaching my daughter’s softball team. I was also trying to get dinner on the table and help the kids get their homework done. I was not looking for a business by any means. But I believed in the established brand and I realized this could be the opportunity I was looking for. I joined a few days later and got the largest business kit I could get my hands on. I am glad I didn’t wait for the perfect time to start my business. There never is a perfect time — I just needed to jump in and take the leap of faith.”

Rodan + Fields Consultant - Risa Riepma at Coffee Shop

Risa in San Antonio, fall 2017, after retiring from the Air Force.

Building her business

At that point Risa started juggling her family, fitting in time for her business, and living and working overseas. “I used every chunk of time that I could, which included my lunch hours and the time after my kids and my husband went to sleep. Because of the time zone difference and because of the limitations of being in the military, it was not uncommon for me to take calls in what was the middle of the night (for me) with prospects back in the states. I put in 15 minutes here, thirty minutes there, totaling about 15 hours per week.”

“To be totally honest, I was really tired. Building a business overseas was not easy, but I made it happen. I had a really big ‘why’ and I hoped that my hard work was going to pay off. During my assignment in Germany, I used part of my Rodan + Fields earnings for my family to travel throughout Europe. I will always cherish those precious memories, many of which would not have happened had I not started this business. Throughout this journey I really depended on my husband’s support and getting my kids on board, because there were a lot of times that I was a little preoccupied with everything on my plate. But my husband has always been very supportive. He saw from the beginning how this could help me realize my dream of becoming a stay-at-home mom. Kurt and my mother have been my best cheerleaders.”

Rodan + Fields Consultant - Risa Riepma & Business Partners

Risa with some of her business partners during a team retreat in Gruene, TX — fall 2017.

Reaching big achievements

With plenty of hard work, Risa reached Level V after her first year in business and achieved Premier V a year later. More recently, she achieved Milestone V twice in the Lead the Way program and enjoyed an amazing trip to Cancun, Mexico, and VIP trip to Convention. Best of all, in 2016 she was finally able to make her biggest dream a reality. “I retired about two years ago from the Air Force and I was thrilled to not need another 9-to-5 job to help support our family. When I put in my retirement date I was a little scared, but I knew that I had done the work and that my team would hopefully continue to grow. I just felt like it was time for me to take another leap of faith. I haven’t looked back since.”

Rodan + Fields Consultant - Risa Riepma in Cancun

Risa with Level V leaders Tami Milner and Jennifer Alpard during the Lead the Way Milestone V trip to Cancun April 2018.

Risa has seen many benefits from being an Independent Consultant so far and values the intangible perks even more than those that are material. “My kids were are older now and in school, but they need me in different ways that I feel are just as important. I love that I’m able to be more engaged with them. I’m less stressed now that I’m not on the hamster wheel, and I’m a much happier person and mother! I have always been a confident person, but I’m much more fearless now and I dream a lot bigger. I’m also able to give more generously, which has always been something I love to do. I have grown so much as an individual because of my R+F business.”

Rodan + Fields Consultant - Risa Riepma's Family

Risa, her husband Kurt, and their 3 kids after her military retirement in 2017.

A passion for service

In the year since meeting her initial “why”, Risa challenged herself to develop a new goal that would drive her forward. “My R+F business has allowed me to live life to the fullest, to make time for what’s most important, and to bless other people in whatever ways I can. Through R+F, I found the freedom and flexibility that I always wanted, but I continued to look for something more to give my business meaning. In July 2018, I realized my life longlifelong dream of serving on a volunteer trip in Kenya benefitting children, and my R+F business helped me be able to make the trip happen. I loved becoming involved in a cause that has now given me even more passion and focus. I have big plans now for what can do for other people with my business. That trip was truly life -changing.”

Rodan + Fields Consultant - Risa Riepma in Kenya

Risa giving her time and love to the children in Kenya.

Risa is also passionate about leading others on Team Believe to truly believe in themselves. “I love encouraging others to believe in themselves, in our products, and in our business. I’m really passionate about helping other people overcome their fear and their doubt. I think many of us put limits on ourselves and we tend to settle for less than we are capable of — so I really like to help others to push themselves, step outside their comfort zone, and see that they are capable of much more. We all benefit from taking chances, trying, growing, learning from our setbacks, and using those setbacks to become better people. Life is too short to not take smart chances.”


Interested in learning more about Rodan + Fields? We offer life-changing skin care products and the opportunity to launch your own business alongside a passionate community of entrepreneurs. Click below to start your own R+F journey.
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Tell Me More…

Best meal you’ve ever had? My mom makes the best crunchy tacos, beans, and rice. My absolute favorite!

What did you want to be when you grow up? As a child, I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast and a television broadcaster.

Have there been any especially significant people in your R+F journey, or life in general? My three kids give my life and business real purpose. It’s because of them that even during the difficult times, I never give up.

What is your favorite R+F product? My absolute favorite R+F product is the Active Hydration Serum.

What is the best business advice you were given? Do not give up on a profession or dream because of the time and work involved in achieving it.




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