This week we're so excited to spotlight founder & CEO, Regina Merson! Regina is the creator of Reina Rebelde, a cosmetic brand inspired by Mexican heritage and created for every type of Latina. From lipsticks to eyeshadows to nail decals, Reina Rebelde focuses on creating products that celebrate makeup as a form of both self-expression and cultural expression. Check out what Regina had to say about how she stays overcomes obstacles and an important lesson she's learned since starting her business.
What is your business and what inspired you to start it?
I am the founder of Reina Rebelde, a makeup line inspired by the all-powerful, dynamic Latinx community. In my previous career, I was a lawyer and I moonlighted as a makeup junkie. My business idea was born out of my personal frustration as an immigrant Latina woman and how it seemed all these brands were fighting for our dollars, but none of them really understood why we are fascinated by beauty and they types of products that we expect and deserve. I wanted to create a brand that made the community proud – not something cheesy, cheap or disrespectful. I have felt incredibly disrespected by the way brands market to me, how naïve and clueless they think I am because I am a woman and Mexican. I realized I was not alone in this frustration. We deserve better, but we are only going to get the respect we demand. Reina Rebelde is all about giving the Latinx community the respect and voice they deserve.
How do you overcome challenges and stay motivated?
I always knew challenges were going to be an inevitable part of starting and running a small business. I was not prepared for the fact that they would be unrelenting. I’ve had to accept this reality, developed a resilience to them, and have learned to go with the flow more. I always have to remind myself about long term goals and the bigger picture of why I started Reina Rebelde and what our core mission is - I use that vision to help me push through all challenges and setbacks. I absolutely love what I do, I love connecting with the community through the business and that keeps me incredibly motivated. There are months where it seems we do not leave the office, and then we will do a show or a community facing event and it is absolutely energizing and motivating. It is a good reminder to get our of your head and back on the streets and what a big difference that can make for your spirit.
What is an important lesson you’ve learned as a female latinx entrepreneur?
No one is going to push you to pursue your goals or give you permission to push forward – as women we are constantly asking for permission and apologizing. You have to carve your own path and fight for any ground you want to gain. It can be an experience that is full of rejection and disheartening at times, you have to learn how to tolerate how uncomfortable that can be and just keep going.
Best advice you’ve received and would like to share?
People who have built businesses have counseled me that above all: the journey should be FUN. I thought that was brilliant. In times of intense stress and exhaustion (which are pretty constant), it is hard to remember that I am actually enjoying the challenge and find the entire process fun. Building a business is like a huge never-ending puzzle, it is exhilarating and heartbreaking, and whether you hate or love the intensity depends a lot on your mindset – I make this fun, I laugh at myself and my mistakes, I keep the office culture playful and super silly at times.
To check out all the Reina Rebelde products and collections, be sure to follow along on Instagram: @reinarebelde.