She Started Her Own Mexican-Inspired Makeup Line But Regrets She Didn’t Quit Her Day Job Sooner
Regina Merson put herself through law school and had a stable job as a bankruptcy attorney in Dallas, Texas. Yet, during her time as an attorney, Merson felt unfulfilled and decided to look elsewhere for her career satisfaction. Merson then decided that she wanted something more creative and cultural so she started her own makeup line called Reina Rebelde. Merson talked to mitú and told us about her decision to abruptly change course and start a very different career.
Regina Merson is an immigrant, Latina entrepreneur who risked a lot to chase a dream.
Merson was a bankruptcy attorney for 6 years in Dallas, Texas but she was never really fulfilled in her career. After a lot of thought, and a round of lay-offs at her law firm, Merson decided to chase her dream of creating a culturally relevant and distinguishable makeup line.
While her law career was something she wanted, she was never fulfilled creatively and she realized it was something that mattered to her.
“After years of soul searching, I realized that what I really wanted was something that was intellectually challenging and creative, and it was that creative piece that was not being fulfilled by my legal career,” Merson told mitú. “Makeup had always been a constant theme in my life. It was something I always felt a personal passion for, and I realized that my love of makeup would be the catalyst to help feed my creative side. Yet, making sure I connected with my roots and did something to participate and contribute positively to my community of fellow Latinas and my native country of Mexico was very important to me.”
Merson was also determined to showcase her Mexican heritage in all aspects of her product.
“Every aspect of Reina Rebelde is designed and inspired by my Mexican heritage as well as the essence of this unique Latina woman and the many dualities we have in our lives,” Merson explained to mitú. “From the packaging, which features butterflies and skulls —Mexican symbols for the spiritual transformation that we undergo in our lifecycle, to the interior of the box with the vibrant red and pink Mexican roses that speak to our inherent love of life, color, and our own cultural and personal vibrancy. To our “chica,” who was designed by a talented tattoo artist in East Los Angeles, and she is meant to be a pictorial representation of our customer.”
“We want our Reinas Rebeldes to see a reflection of themselves physically as well as spiritually in our Chica,” Merson told mitú.
Merson says that she worked diligently to make sure that her culture permeates all aspects of her brand from the packaging to the colors to the images and even the names. You can find colors named “Oaxaca,” “La Doña,” and “Brava.”
Now that Merson has made the change in career, she does wish she would have jumped sooner.
Merson told mitú that she got conflicted advice for different people who thought it was either too out there or that she should just jump right into it. As an immigrant, she was hesitant to push her luck and leave a comfortable job for an overly-saturated market she knew very little about.
“At some point in the process, I realized that Reina Rebelde was not just a business idea (I had many of those), it was something that went much deeper for me,” Merson explained to mitú. “The concept made me feel so alive and passionate, and the more I worked on it, the more it took over my life in the form of constant ah-ha moments. It literally haunted me for a couple of years in the form of daydreams and night dreams. It was always at the forefront of my mind and present in everything I did. And yet I didn’t take the plunge sooner. What I learned that was most valuable was to listen to my intuition — that is exactly what was operating in full force telling me to make this big life move.”
Her advice to other Latina entrepreneurs looking to break out: find your own path.
Merson admits that she tried things her own way and ignored some advice that led to some painful lessons but she also said that some of the advice that she did follow didn’t work out. The best advice she has for other Latinas blazing their own career paths is to do what makes sense to you and don’t fell like you need to follow someone else’s examples to achieve the success you want.
But, above all else, Merson understands that the more important thing to do is to feel passionate and excited about whatever you are choosing to do.
“I feel so privileged and proud to be Mexican, and to be rooted in this amazing heritage and culture. My love affair with my culture and my homeland continues to get richer and more profound with time and experience,” Merson told mitú. “I credit this pride with giving me the passion to get this business going — which is just to say, whether it is your relationship with your culture or something else, make sure you feel tremendous passion for whatever you do — it’s an energy that mobilizes and sustains you in ways that nothing else can!”
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