One of the reasons I founded Mocha Lifestyle was to connect with women such as Catrina Medina, the owner of Reina Medina. Every one of us has a story and I wanted to learn hers. In the Spanish language, “Reina” means “Queen” and a woman who created products laced with 24 carat gold and encouraged her customers to indulge in a royal treatment of self-care, was someone I truly wanted to know.
Tell us about yourself?
I was born and raised in the Bronx, New York by a single mom in the ‘80s. I knew at a young age I was interested in many things, from being a ballerina, to being a flautist in an orchestra. However, because of a generational mindset and lack of opportunities, I saw my dreams fade away. I found myself going the traditional route of husband, job, and family. Over the years, I had ideas and ventures I wanted to pursue, such as interior design and event planning; but I was afraid of what might happen and didn’t want to live outside the box. Years went by, a failed marriage, two beautiful kids, and with nothing to lose I decided to give my dreams a shot!
Can you tell us about your business?
Where do I start? Wow! Reina Medina, I love the products. This company is for women, men and children – anyone who wants to exfoliate and moisturize not only their lips, but their body as well. The company was founded in 2019 and we currently have six flavors in our Lipscrubs and Bodyscrubs.
We are currently in the process of launching a lip gloss line and will soon have a collection of Men Bodyscrubs. The company is based in New York, but we ship across the USA and overseas. By the way, you guys HAVE to try the Warm Vanilla and Cherry Vanilla, they are my favorite! All the scrubs have 24kt Gold glitter in them. Most people see that it shimmers so pretty, but don’t understand that there are also health benefits of the Gold glitter. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help calm the skin and ease the redness.
How did you get started?
I did not like what was out there. I tried everything from the high-end brands to the dollar store brands, but it didn’t feel right, it didn’t taste right. Have you ever had that chalky sticky feel and aftertaste? It just did not feel right! At first, I wanted to make something for myself. I liked it, then one of my friends tried it and she liked it. I thought to myself that this is something that everyone can use, then Reina Medina was born.
When did you decide that it was the right time to start a business and what led to that decision?
I was at home raising my 9-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter with no support system and I knew working a 9-5 job was not going to work for me. At that moment, I thought of all the other businesses I missed out on; the interior decorating, the event planning, and I knew that now was the time. There was no turning back because I had nothing to lose. No matter the ups and downs or doors that may close, I will push through any obstacle to start my business this time. I knew my lipscrubs was the beginning to a new chapter in my life.
What do you want to ultimately see happen with Reina Medina?
Like any company, you want to be successful, you want to achieve a lot of goals and you want to change some things, but I just want to read a quote from one of our customers who suffers from Lupus,
“Thank you for doing what you do because I get embarrassed when my skin breaks out and now my arms look so healthy as if I never had any blisters due to sun…Your product is very good.”
This touched me! This is what I want for the company. If my products can help people and their ailments, then that will make me happy.
What advice would you give another woman, specifically a BIPOC woman, looking to turn her passion into a business?
Honestly, I don’t have any cliche advice like the ones you always hear: “You can do it” or “Just try”. But I can ask you to do a challenge! Give yourself a 90-day challenge. The first 30 days RESEARCH whatever it is you want to do, whatever your passion is. The second 30 days I want you to START whatever your passion is, just DIVE IN! The third 30 days is to PUSH yourself, CHALLENGE yourself and figure out ways to make it happen.
Is there anything else that you wish to share?
Growing up in a society that does not allow you to think outside the box, but teaches you to follow the structure of the 9-5, I say that no matter what it is you want to do in life or no matter what you want to be in life, GET UP and MAKE IT happen! It is NEVER too late!