Regina Merson is the founder and creator of Reina Rebelde, a new emerging cosmetics line taking the beauty world by storm, whose mission is all about celebrating the fierce cultural dualities of today’s Latinas. We at #VixenArmy are obsessed with Regina’s unapologetic love for her culture while owning her passion for all things beauty so much that she left a stable law career to launch the makeup line.
Check out Regina’s story below and be ready to meet your new #girlboss crush!
- Who is Regina Merson?
“This is a tough one to answer, lol…I’m a proud Mexicana, born in Guadalajara, but immigrated to the United States when I was 9 years old. The transition from Mexico to the U.S. was tough for me, so I used school and education as my outlet. I became a certified bookworm. I took a liking to law and made it my goal to become a lawyer. I graduated from Yale University for undergrad and received my law degree from the University of Chicago. I spent nearly six years as a bankruptcy attorney, and although I’m beyond grateful for the experience and the incredible people that were part of the journey, I felt that my passion lived in makeup. I would spend parts of my day dreaming of lipsticks, but when I would tell the people closest to me of my idea to start a makeup line, they thought I was absolutely crazy. How could I leave a stable career I worked so hard for, for something unsure in an already saturated market? But I personally felt that no makeup brand understood me as a bilingual, bicultural Latina and the beautiful cultural relationship that Latinas have with makeup. So after an unfortunate round of layoffs at the law firm I was working at, I took it as a sign that it was time to dive head first to bring Reina Rebelde to life!
- What motivates you to succeed and just keep pushing forward?
My motivation right now is simply to not disappoint myself. In my past career, so much of my success was to make other people happy, often at the expense of my own aspirations. Now, my sheer motivation is creating a brand that I feel is an extension of myself, my passions and what I authentically share with other women. When I hear that other women and Latinas connect with Reina Rebelde and the products, that’s all the motivation I need.
- Why did you feel like you needed to start a makeup line, and specifically, one for the Latina consumer?
I felt like there was a gap in the beauty industry, specifically with how beauty brands address Latinas, which is what inspired me. You always see beauty brands address Latinas or show Latinas in a very one-dimensional way, which is the complete opposite of who Latinas are. There are so many layers/dualities to Latinas. Even with the brand name “Reina Rebelde,” which translates to “Rebel Queen,” I wanted to capture the unique dualities Latinas have to manage in their lives here in the United States (and elsewhere). Reina/Queen is a term of endearment for us, but it’s also accurate to our sense of self and relationship to our beauty. At the same time, there is a lot of fire inside of us, breaking barriers/trailblazing, which is where the Rebelde/Rebel comes from. A Reina Rebelde is many things at all times, but above all, she is always stunning and fierce in her pursuit of life. For us, it is never a decision of whether we will be a Reina/Queen or Rebelde/Rebel, we are always both.
- What was the transition from corporate bankruptcy attorney to entrepreneur?
The transition was exciting and energizing, but also terrifying and full of highs and lows. Like any new beginning, I believe there is a lot of blind faith one has to have in believing in yourself and trusting your ability to figure things out that are foreign and new. But there was so much positive energy that naturally comes with any new beginning, especially one you’re really passionate about, and I think it’s so important to use that energy to your benefit.
- What advice do you have for women trying to start their own businesses?
Make sure you have a true passion for what it is you want to do. Having your own business is very hard. The journey is paved with so many roadblocks and obstacles along the way, and it is that fire in your gut that will help keep you going in the harder moments. And really important is to try to connect with other female entrepreneurs and get their support as a mentor. It is great to talk to people who have been through the process because, no matter the industry, the road is very similar.
- What’s your favorite quote?
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” – Joseph Campbell