This paring exposed Rachel to an upbringing that included both the richness and pride of Chicano culture as a first generation Latina on her dad's side, and the refinement and optimism that felt - oh so American, on her mom's side. Together, they instilled in her a true example of what the journey to achieving success looks and feels like. Her father went on to become an entrepreneur in the metal polishing industry. At the same time, her mother climbed the corporate ladder, breaking the glass ceiling into corporate management during a time when Mexican women in the workplace were likely seen answering phones or mopping floors.
"My dad was mowing the lawn on a Sunday morning as he regularly did, wearing dark blue dickies and a white tank top... when a couple in a new Mercedes Benz pulled up and asked how much he charges to mow lawns... he replied 'This lawn I mow for free, because it's my house - but for you, I'll do it for $500.' We laughed it off but the lesson stuck." - Rachel Medina
But with great ambition comes great sacrifice and in Rachel's case that meant spending a lot of time with her grandparents while her parents worked - something that would prove to be a key in shaping the woman and mother she would eventually become.
The old adage that it takes a village to raise a child, proved true in her case. But thanks to the influence of her grandparents, Rachel gained a unique perspective on life, womanhood, family and her heritage, with the wisdom from generations past. Now that they are gone, it's absolutely priceless. Rachel was blessed to have had all four of her grandparents in her life until the age of 40.
Rachel was an average student who was less interested in academics and more interested in the social aspects that school had to offer. Once in high school, she joined the MECHA club where she got her first taste of leadership. She quickly became MECHA club president, and held a district wide record of the highest number of members in a club that year. She believed that if school could provide a more interesting and entertaining experience, more kids would shift their mindset from having to go to school to wanting to go to school. Soon she moved to create the first multicultural concert at her high school sponsored by Lowrider Magazine.
"At the event, I stood in front of the gym with bleachers filled to capacity. I introduced myself, the MECHA club and our vision for a more unifying and entertaining high school experience. I queued the DJ, the base dropped, and up and coming rappers took the floor surrounded by lowrider bikes in dramatic fashion complete with fog and strobe lights - the crowed let out a collective cheer! That's when I knew I had the ability to not only imagine an idea that had not been done before, but that I could also bring it to fruition." - Rachel Medina
That same year, Rachel went on to win Miss photogenetic in the local pageant. It was that experience that got her featured for the first time in area news papers, and televised meet and greets with the city Mayor.
The pride her parents and grandparents felt to have their daughter and granddaughter known throughout the town in such a positive and exciting way, was short-lived when they received the news that Rachel, just 17 years old, was now pregnant. She was married at age 17, and by 18 she brought her first son into the world. While many people around her thought that was the end of her potential, time would prove otherwise.
Rachel went on to college to major in Broadcast Journalism, and was an on air reporter for the local news station on public access television. Although a door opened for her at a coveted private University's film division, the birth of her second son would pull her in a different direction; a career in Advertising.
"My friend was a pageant girl, and one day asked me to go with her to her audition for an upcoming pageant in our city. Once there, she went off to do her thing while I enjoyed punch and cookies off to the side. Then when it came time for the premier sponsor to choose the girl they wanted to represent them in the pageant, they pointed towards me. All I heard over the loud speaker was ' She's not wearing a name tag, but we choose the young lady back there in the green dress! With a mouth full of chocolate chip cookies, I smiled and mumbled... Okay. That's when I learned the power of showing up and saying YES even when I felt I wasn't ready." - Rachel Medina
THE BUSINESS WOMAN
Against all odds, Rachel made her debut in the business world at the ambitious age of 23. A mother of two, married 5 years, she was determined to turn this commission only opportunity at one of the nations largest Automotive Magazines into a winning ticket. One year later she hit her goal of making a six figure annual income.
Once again Rachel had proven to herself that setting an intention and diligently working towards a desired outcome, can and will bare fruit.
That experience opened doors for her at Magazines across the country, including the nation's top Bridal Magazine, Regional Lifestyle Magazines, Home Décor Magazines, and eventually paving the way for her to launch her very own Regional Fashion and Entertainment Magazine.
"I Remember sitting in my car in front of a dealership so afraid to walk in and introduce myself. It was my first day in sales and I almost turned around and went home. But I thought - If I am going to be away from my kids to chase a paycheck, it may as well be the biggest check I can get! So I felt the fear - and did it anyway." - Rachel Medina
By age 34 Rachel was the proud owner and Publisher of a Magazine that drew the attention of brands such as bebe, Guess, and fashion boutiques throughout the region. The pinnacle moment was a full scale fashion show at one of the states largest malls, with 15 models, several brand sponsors, and over 2000 people in attendance. Soon after, Rachel was interviewed by CNN headline news as part of a local segment, and it seemed as though the potential of the brand and publication were limitless. Financially, Rachel felt the economic undertow of the financial crash that had taken place a couple years earlier, when her marriage of nearly 20 years came to an abrupt and sudden end. Overcome with uncertainty, Rachel closed the business and focused on rebuilding a new normal as a single mother and sole provider.
Determined to do whatever it takes to keep a roof over her son's heads and food on their table, Rachel took a job as a Publisher at a Magazine she didn't love - and that didn't love her. And when her term as Publisher came to an end, Rachel was faced with starting over once again. But that night she thought long and hard about the times when she set her intentions, created a goal, and pushed until it came to fruition. She came to establish a few things; she refused to work with anyone who didn't share her core values, she no longer wanted to sit in rush hour traffic, and she wanted to spend more time creating memories with her sons. 24 hours later, Rachel had created a sell sheet, a simple website, and called her very first prospect - who bought an ad for a thousand dollars. And just like that, JustHome was born and Rachel was an entrepreneur once more. One year later, Rachel and her team grew JustHome into a million dollar company - with everyone working from home.
"The irony was that as much as I dreaded that job and questioned myself and even questioned God each and every day as to WHY I was stuck there, nearly every single person on my team who helped build Just Home from scratch - were people I met while working there. We still feel the miracle of that till this day." - Rachel Medina
Today, Rachel Medina is the Founder and CEO of JustHome LLC, an online listing site featuring home improvement contractors, as well as a digital Magazine publisher with a subscriber base in Southern California. She is also the host of the Rachel Unpacked podcast, a lifestyle show for women focusing on Positive Mindset, Wealth-Building and a Life in Faith.
In addition to JustHome, Rachel has launched the JustHome Store, an e-commerce furniture store with thousands of home goods ranging from sofas to bedroom sets, kids furniture, home décor accents and more. A natural next step for the serial entrepreneur making waives in the home improvement marketing industry.
Rachel has often lent her experience and her team's incredible talents to those closest to her who also aspire to launch businesses and brands of their very own. In doing so, Rachel and her team have become even more confident in their abilities and the power their team culture and synergy truly has. This dream team has aided in the co-creation of brands such as GoGirl Magazine, ChainXChange, and Carportunities. Rachel aims to give all aspiring entrepreneurs access to these same winning tools by creating easily accessible virtual business courses that people from all backgrounds can afford to learn from at their own pace. In addition to building businesses, Rachel has had the opportunity to share her story through public speaking in places such as the Women's Chino Prison, University of Irvine, and breakout sessions at local women's empowerment events. She aspires to encourage others to design a clear vision for their own lives and believe that if they take the leap - a net will surly appear.
[Rachel Medina has been featured in SDvoyager Magazine, The Brunch Club webcast, CNN headline news, Dr. Marissa Pei Show, UCI ANTrepreneur Podcast]
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