Regina Merson fell in love with makeup watching telenovelas in her native Mexico and observing her the women in her family get ready to go out at night. Her love of makeup developed into a passion, as she went on to graduate from Yale University, and later the University of Chicago’s law school, eventually becoming a bankruptcy lawyer. After six years as a lawyer, Merson found herself wanting more out of life in every way possible. That’s when she hit the reset button.
The entrepreneur left law with a vague idea to start a career in beauty. “I was an immigrant. My parents had invested so much time in [my education]; I’d gone to college, I’d gone to law school, and I was six years into this amazing, really wonderful legal career that was the opportunity of a lifetime. I just had a really hard time figuring out how to dislodge myself from that” says Merson to PEOPLE CHICA of her career transition. Then it hit her.
“The thing that I kept going back to was in my day-to-day rituals, what I enjoyed the most, which was doing my makeup,” she says. “As a Latina, [makeup] was very important me. I had this lightbulb moment of ‘Would it be so bad if I left law and go do something in makeup?'”
Proving not to be bad at all, Merson founded a makeup brand titled Reina Rebelde, inspired by her Latin background. And although her family was scared of her leaving her stable career, the entrepreneur found the motivation to push forward. “As Latino parents, there’s a sense of being a little risk-averse,” she shares of her parents with them asking, “Why would you take this risk?”
She adds, “The doubt within myself came at times where there were more no’s than yes’s coming from the people in my community. When I started going out trying to find manufacturers and people to help me to get the line started, there were a lot of people that thought, ‘This is a great idea but who are you to do it?’ and my answer was always, ‘Who am I not to do it?'”
Now, the Mexican-American finds her line at Target, in-stores and online, and has grown a Latinx community on social media that feels connected to her brand, which has always been her goal. “The whole genesis of the brand was to really elevate the Latina experience, but also speak to all these inherent dualities in us,” says Merson.
Get to know more about Regina Merson in her episode of Los Creadores, featured above!