We are highlighting a previous episode of the ¿Quién Tú Eres? podcast, where we explore the conflict we often face between "professionalism" & being our authentic selves.
In this episode, we have a conversation with Julissa Prado, Founder and CEO of Rizos Curls, a haircare line made with love and aimed at embracing and celebrating the beauty of curls, coils, and waves everywhere!
After preparing a variety of haircare products and being the “curl whisperer” in her community, Julissa decided to launch Rizos Curls. Now Rizos Curls has become a leading force in the beauty industry and gained a global following of #RizosReinas, and her products have been shipped to over 57 countries.
In this conversation, we focus on getting to know Julissa, her emotions, her anxieties, and the pressure she felt to take advantage of opportunities in life. She opens up to us about her corporate experiences before she launched her company and what led her to build an organizational culture rooted in representation and fun.
These are some of the episode highlights:
“I just wanted to make sure that I performed in a way that made them want to hire more people like me in the future.” -Julissa Prado
Being the child of immigrant parents who struggled, worked hard, and made a lot of sacrifices for her, Julissa grew up with the pressure of having to take advantage of opportunities as an act of gratitude. This pressure sometimes was accompanied by an underlying fear of struggle that made her grow up as an overachiever to ensure that she will land a good job and do well in life. And this sense of responsibility, this pressure to do well by others, was something she carried with her throughout the years.
In her first corporate job where she was leading a team of 13 people in her early twenties, Julissa felt she had to show up as her best not only for herself but for everyone else that looked like her. She felt that if she didn’t do things right, she could hinder the path of opportunities for other Latinos and Latinas.
“I was in a very corporate environment where I saw people getting written up for not covering their tattoos.” -Julissa Prado
To give high performance and represent herself as respectable, Julissa stopped being herself and began to present this corporate version of herself wearing her hair straight and keeping to herself.
In this environment, Julissa saw how people would get written up for not covering their tattoos when having tattoos had nothing to do with their abilities to perform well and do a great job. But because such things were considered “unprofessional”, she decided it was best to blend in to not get in trouble.
“Typically fun is viewed as unprofessional/unproductive. In our office, I want to instill that fun is actually what equals success.” -Julissa Prado
In the end, these experiences in corporate America and every emotion and pressure Julissa went through led her to a brand new path, a path she paved for herself by creating her own haircare products.
Because she remembers how fun was considered unprofessional and unproductive in corporate America, Julissa understands now the huge impact and importance of implementing more spaces for fun and creativity in her company and her personal life. She knows that when we have fun, we produce quality and this, in turn, leads us to success.
Julissa follows what brings her joy and encourages us to have fun as a way of embracing our authenticity! Listen to this episode to learn more:
Have a story to share? Let us know here for an opportunity to be featured in the podcast!