WOC in Business: Reina Prado
After holding a 21 year teaching career, Reina Prado has made the leap to a full-fledged business woman and entrepreneur. We sat down with Reina to hear more about her journey with her baking company, Good Mexican Girl, and her work as a holistic practitioner under the name Healing Queen.
The evolution of Healing Queen and Good Mexican Girl go hand in hand, can you tell us about the connection between both businesses?
It’s a bit of a long story! But, I was living and working in DC for a fellowship back in 2004. I met a lot of wonderful creative folks that were into yoga and body work there. At the time, I was very interested in those things, and I always had a fascination with the head (I have always tried to understand my head), so I was looking for a practice that focused on cranial sacral practices. In Mexico, we’re called sobaderos/hueseros, and I met a local woman named Olivia who did that work in Mexico. She became a good friend and mentor to me, and knew the exact type of practice I was looking to learn more about.
I ended up having to move back to LA because my Mom had a surgery. I came back home and started taking care of her; making all her meals, and handling all her post surgery care because I had to be “a good Mexican girl.” I thought to myself, when did I become this person? I always thought I was gonna leave home and have a career, and here I was living a very domestic life. The whole idea of a super innocent, very funny, coming-of-age in her forties character came about -- like I Love Lucy. In that process, I started baking and started Good Mexican Girl in 2011, doing pop-ups and selling at mercados.
While all this was happening, I found the Life Energy Institute in Topanga and started learning about their practices. A lot of the work there is hands on -- as you’re doing the work, you’re feeling the energy. It was very transformative because I used to do poetry and performance art over 10 years ago. This type of work allowed me to combine the modalities of both practices. For example, my Love Limpia stems from a poem I used to perform called La Santa Pervesa. I also did a performance once called Take A Piece Of My Heart where I asked people to pin love notes to my dress. People tend to have an idea of what kind of love they want, but I think a lot of people are afraid to claim their love because they may have experienced a time where they tried to do that and they were rejected -- that’s both painful and traumatic. I’ve learned to incorporate different past practices into the present to help others heal.
Your perspective on linear growth is not traditional, can you explain to us your thoughts on that?
From a very young age, we’re taught and prepared to follow a particular line (go to school and do become successful). So that’s what a lot of people end up doing -- they go to school, have their career, and their life is “complete.” But because I’m an artist, I’ve never been quite good with following that line. Sometimes, though it’s uncomfortable, circumstances come up that are going to make you question, okay, are you really gonna take that step or not? I worked in education for 21 years as a professor at Cal State LA in their Liberal Studies department and at different colleges, and I personally had to make the decision to take the next step for myself in a different direction.
You need to give yourself that space to make that step, there is no timeline, you’ll know when it’s right for you, and everyone will give their opinion even if you don’t ask for it. Kind of like when a woman is pregnant, and everyone offers you they’re pregnancy story — I didn’t ask for that! People are ready to offer advice and suggestions, but what’s most important is to feel ready for yourself.
Where can we find your Good Mexican Girl cookies?
I’m currently working on obtaining more wholesale orders, but for now, you can get them online at goodmexicangirl.com, Capuyo Cafe in Boyle Heights or follow me on instagram under @goodmexicangirl to see where I’ll be at next!
What advice would you give to someone trying to get their business off the ground?
It really is about taking that leap of faith -- when you do, you get to write your own map. Sometimes, there are roads that are well explored, but why recreate them when you don’t have to? At the end of the day, you want to share you -- your gift, your vision. When things show up and affirm for you, you name it and you claim it.
Whatever your practice is, even if just in your personal care, meditation, prayer, morning journaling, yoga, whatever you do, just be consistent to that project. It’s all about the foundation, that’s really how you show up for yourself, and then you are able to show up to your business or your people.
It’s all about perspective and when we can take a step back — that’s when the anxiety comes down.