Today we’d like to introduce you to Marisol Rerucha.
Marisol, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Chingona: the feminine version of a bad*ss. A bad*ss is someone who is smart, protective, handles her business, acts with dignity and is powerful.
I am a proud San Diegan and Chicana. I am a mother and grandmother of women. I am a wife. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a career educator and advocate, writer, and artist who is embracing her creative energy. I am inspired by my ancestors and future ancestors, to walk in this world connecting to others through any and all means. I always thought that connection came through my work in education and have discovered the beauty of connection through art.
This Chingona Sews all started with the dream of creating a quilt for my daughters (ages 24, 22 and 12) made from the clothing of their childhood. I’ve spent the last 19 years focused on my career. I was a middle and high school English teacher, a k-6 vice principal and principal, a director of an alternative charter high school, and now serve as a county office administrator leading career readiness and career technical education in juvenile detention facilities and community schools. I always knew that writing was my creative expression but while focusing on my career and raising our girls with my husband it was something I neglected.
Last year, my sister-in-law introduced me to sewing using her Janome machine with Hello Kitty decals. After buying my own machine, I made my first purse and was in awe at how amazing it felt to actually see the fruits of my labors. To see the tangible evidence of my work loved and appreciated by family and friends sparked the idea of starting a small business. Each item is designed and made in my home surrounded by love and laughter. When I’m sewing, any of my family and friends members can be found sitting at the table, giving me advice on fabric, zipper, and hardware choices. Sewing is a blessing in my life that has opened the door to drawing and reignited my commitment to writing and opened a window into drawing.
I embrace being a Chingona as I’m actively balancing having a full life with my family and friends. My hope is to become a full-time entrepreneur where I can balance being an educational consultant, a writer (coordinating La Comadre San Diego Blog), a creative/artist and owner of This Chingona Sews.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The greatest obstacle I have faced in life has been myself. No doubt. Somewhere in life, I bought the idea that I was not ” ______ enough”. A great blessing in my life is that I also bought the idea that life offers me an opportunity for growth and learning in every single moment. My greatest learning has come from that heart-wrenching pain that knocks you to your knees convulsing in despair. I’ve walked that fine line and looked over the edge of the abyss. The blessing is the voice in my head that told me that there was learning from this experience that would not only make me stronger but allow me to connect with others. I also learned the power of gratitude for all the things that are good. It has taken me years to embrace my light which has been made possible by many angels, in the form of friends and loved ones, who have poured love, wisdom, advice, and support into me.
At 44 years old, this old friend, “not _____ enough” visits me every once in while, especially on the days that I’m feeling overwhelmed, or doubting myself. On this days, I reach out to my loved ones.
My advice to young women starting out? I suggest they reflect on this: thinking about your future children, or a child whom you love, describe you want them to be in this world… what do you want for them? How do you want them to feel about themselves? How do you want them to treat others? What kind of people do you want to be involved in their lives? Who do you want them to date or marry?” Once there is a solid picture of who they want their kids to be, I encourage them to accept this quote, shared by one of my college professors, “Be who you want your kids to be.”
After this here’s some other advice:
– Build your community and tribe of soulmates – this network will support and grow your business.
– Be reflective, accept your beauty/light and take ownership for your areas of growth-this will help you identify who you may need to hire (I was once told, “Work your strengths and hide your weakness.”)
– Don’t lie to yourself or others – seeing yourself and others clearly allow for transparency in business.
– Practice gratitude every day – this is important especially with partners, employees, and customers.
– Find a mentor and be a mentor – entrepreneurship/work is challenging and we need guides that come to us in the form of mentors and mentees as we learn so much from both.
– Embrace “failure” this is where the greatest learning happens – practice reflection with self and employees especially when your business is struggling or you feel stuck.
– Look for beauty in all things and live in gratitude – it’s just a better way to live and work.
Please tell us about This Chingona Sews.
Community is a central value of This Chingona Sews. We specialize in handcrafted fabric accessories for women of all ages that are fun and embrace San Diego’s international border culture. This side hustle is still in its infancy and is mainly known for beautiful purses. We have been able to sell at a few markets such as Barrio Logan Flea Market, Made in Paradise Hills, and Sherman Heights Community Center. We are fortunate to have loyal customers who place orders wanting to gift a loved one with a one-of-a-kind handcrafted bag.
This Chingona Sews is a family business with my husband and daughters supporting our product design, production, and business development. My good friend, Alyssa Osian, at BISO Designs, has been instrumental in our startup and designed our logo, labels, business cards and signage. We also partner and share space at the markets. My Chingona Tribe includes woman entrepreneurs who have helped guide me and are my cheerleaders.
I am proud of the quality of work that we produce and am absolutely honored when someone connects with our products.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
I am a reader. This short list is books that have an impact on my life, my development, and my work:
“The Book of Joy” by Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
“Lead Like a Pirate” by Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf
“Daring Greatly” by Brenee Brown
“You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero
“You Are A Badass at Making Money” by Jen Sincero
“Good to Great” by Jim Collins
“Women, Food and God” by Geneen Roth
“Como aqua para chocolate” by Laura Esquivel
“Classroom Instruction That Works” by Robert Marzano
“Women’s Number 1 Detective Agency” series by Alexander McCall
“Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thischingonasews/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thischingonasews/?modal=composer¬if_id=1522071326375149¬if_t=aymt_make_page_post_tip&ref=notif
- Twitter: @mreruchie
Camerina Rerucha, Emilia Rerucha, Sophia Rerucha, Ashlyn Burgess, Alyssa Osian