Today we’d like to introduce you to Reina Hagatna.
Reina, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am a competitive powerlifter, a VP for a bank, co-founder of Vegan Bae and also the designer and owner of Reina Rei Apparel.
I was born in Agana, Guam and raised by strong parents of African and Caribbean descent. When you grow up in such a cultured environment, food plays a major part in your life. I grew up cooking arroz con gandules, kadon pika and greens with hammocks, mac and cheese, and excessive amounts of salt and pork. It can lead to bad eating habits which ultimately led to me being overweight.
I found powerlifting and learned how to use strength and a vegan diet to get me to my goals. Along the way, I developed an awesome following on Facebook and Instagram for my physique, my vegan bae tips and my lifting. My unexpected popularity motivated me to look at more ways to impact my community while staying close to my goals.
I started Reina Rei Apparel, an African inspired apparel line made with excellent quality and perfect for men and women of all shapes and sizes. I choose to showcase my line on beautiful natural haired African men and women. I make an effort to make sure all aspects of our people are represented.
I am passionate about making a deep-rooted impact in the lives of African, Caribbean, African-American and melanated people through my extensive knowledge of financial literacy, health, and fitness. My clothing line is just the beginning.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Getting into the apparel business has definitely had its ups and downs. I’m thankful for my career in banking because it taught me how to negotiate, how to invest, how to communicate, how to take my time and listen.
My skills in business while also having a salary that could help fund my goals really saved me a lot of bumps in the road.
I’ve had manufacturers try to send me the wrong fabric, that’s cheaper and still charge for the better quality I requested.
I’ve had people try to convince me not to invest so much to create my Apparel, yet still encourage me to sell at a higher price point
I’ve truly had to stay committed to my goals and not let anyone deter me from it. Which is delivering a high-quality product that’s worthy of its price point and connects with who you are culturally.
Reina Rei Apparel – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Reina Rei Apparel is a company that embodies African Caribbean culture while also being practical with squat proof, no see-through leggings and unisex jogger suits for couples or friends…
As a new company, we keep developing, designing and truly involving our community while doing it.
Reina Rei Apparel was named after myself. Reina, which is my name, means Queen in Spanish. Rey (spelled Rei for the line) means King in Spanish. The line is all about uplifting your true and natural self as a Queen and a King. Making the business name Spanish was another way for me to connect my Afrolatinx roots to my business.
I continue to stay true to my morals while developing this line. Such as working with models that have natural bodies and hair. showing love, sisterhood, brotherhood and unity in every shot. I make a conscious effort to include all shades of African people and to not let one size or complexion be left out.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The most important thing to me is that I did it. If I failed tomorrow and if Reina Rei Apparel was no more… I still did it.
I still stepped out of my comfort zone, took a risk and gave it my all while doing it my way. I’m extremely proud of that and I’m sure regardless of how amazing this business does, it will always be my proudest moment.
- Instagram: @REINA.REI.APPAREL, @ BORICUAREINA7
- Website: Reinarei.com
- Email: Contact@reinarei.com
- Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Reina-Rei-Apparel-123753092351252/