Rachel and I randomly linked up through a good friend of mines, Jah Finesse who also created the graphic below. I’m so glad I got an opportunity to interview her because I love how we are both young millennials that is helping and being a voice for young creatives.
Meet Rachel Gordon, a 22 year old entrepreneur from Philadelphia that came to Los Angeles to follow her dreams in the fashion, lifestyle, and the entertainment industry. When you think of PR you might think of a grimy, dull and fake industry. Well, while still in college Rachel realized that she wanted to make PR her life, “Personally Rachel” that eventually turned into Personally Rachel Group.
According to Rachel the difference between a regular PR firm and Personally Rachel is that, “I wanted to be a voice for young creative forward thinkers like myself which is why I aim my services, creativity, and energy at other millennials” –Rachel.
I had a chance to talk to Rachel about her PR firm, her goals, influences, women in the industry, everyday fashion essentials and more!
Q: Why did you decide to start a PR firm?
A: My brand in general really began as a blog in college. I got to a point where I wasn’t passionate about it anymore and I wanted to put that energy into something more fulfilling. I was studying PR in school and couldn’t wait to get to my classes to come up with more ideas. When I realized I wanted to make PR my life – “Personally Rachel” turned into Personally Rachel Group. I wanted to be a voice for young creative forward thinkers like myself which is why I aim my services, creativity, and energy at other millennials.
Q: What made you come to LA to pursue your goals?
A: I wanted to come to LA to pursue my “9-5 job,” goals. I’ve worked in fashion and lifestyle up until this point but I wanted to break into the entertainment industry a bit more, in a more creative way than simply traditional PR. I also really wanted to build my network out here to push my brand.
Q: How has your environment influenced your PR firm?
A: I’m a very east coast type of girl and boss. I move fast, intentionally, and get it done. In that way, being in a city like NY has grown and groomed me well. I’ve also grown up around different types of people and surroundings. I’ve watched the established business people in the suburbs and how they carry themselves in a room full of CEOs and investors but I’ve also been able to watch hustlers in the inner city forge their way and make something from nothing. Being in LA, I think that is an advantage. My hustle is a little more potent.
Q: How has your home-town influenced your PR firm?
A: Outside of just the attitude and drive it’s created in me, it inspires me. Philadelphia is a city full of young creatives. It allows me to brainstorm more in depth about the types of clients I want to propose, the kinds of collaborations I want to forge, and the level I need to work at.
Q: What do you like the most about what you do?
A: I live for helping people feel fulfilled, in any capacity. It brings me joy like nothing else has. As phony or grimy as PR seems to some, I try to “use my PR powers for good,” and help someone’s dreams come to fruition.
Q: What do you like the least about what you do?
A: It’s hard for me at times to have to say no. I want to help accomplish goals with everyone and unfortunately sometimes, as a business woman – you have to say no because time is indeed money. I think there’s a balance that I’m still learning.
Q: What are your future goals in regards to your business?
A: I hope to go full-time with PRG in the next few years. Being totally bi-coastal with two offices will be the dream!
Q: Who are some of your influences?
A: My dad – he’s such a dedicated visionary and leader and he was able to do so before social media was a “thing.”
Queen Bey – aside from being ridiculously talented, I admire her work ethic and vision. She continues to set the bar high for not just everyone else but for herself and prides herself on continuing to surpass her own bar.
Draya: Some people look at me strange when I say that because of where she came from, but I don’t look at reality T.V. or being a stripper. I’m seeing her for who she’s grown into. She utilized her platform to launch a million dollar business, leveraging social and digital. I’m enjoying watching her growth because she’s inking deals left and right but still learning in a very real way. It’s great to see a woman of color, doing it for herself – not afraid to try something she’s never done before and if she makes a mistake – she tries again. I admire her resilience and I’m 100% supporting her.
Q: What is it like being a women of color in the PR field?
A: It’s interesting. We are needed – we have so much to offer outside of our intelligence but our experiences, backgrounds, and culture are helping to shape all industries, PR is no different. At times, especially in the entertainment industry of PR, men can test you to see how far you are willing to go. I’ve been in certain situations where I had to walk away in order to maintain my integrity. But nothing, no job, no check, no client is worth compromising that.
Q: What advice would you give to women of color or women in general that is trying to be in the PR business or in any related field?
A: I always say make yourself a sponge. Absorb, absorb, absorb! Find mentors, watch your influences, and study them. Aligning yourself with likeminded women is also key. I find it pushes me, inspires me in moments when I’m creatively shut-off, and centers me. I would reiterate – prove yourself through your work and nothing else. Resilience is my motto – do not give up. Those no’s will turn into yes’s when you believe in your purpose unapologetically. I don’t fail, I learn and win.
Q: How do you stay focused and motivated through hard times?
A: It’s honestly something I’m still learning how to do. But when things get hard I do acknowledge what I’m feeling – give myself the time to realize its life and things happen, not always as planned but then I change gears and put myself into drive. The high I get from accomplishing things on my to-do list or finishing a project, always lifts my spirits.
Q: How would you describe your style of work and how does one go about working with you?
A: It’s super creative. We recently nailed down a process we go through but I’m always aware that one formula doesn’t work for every situation. So we try to approach everything with fresh creative eyes + mindset based on what’s going on in the industry and what’s NOT – and find a happy medium. People can connect with me through our site where we have a contact form, our insta, my personal insta + email. I love hearing about new brands and businesses so I’m always keeping my ears and eyes open.
Q: Since you’ve worked in fashion, what are your top 5 everyday essentials?
A: It’s probably a mix of beauty, fashion + lifestyle because for me they all go hand in hand!
- A notebook: I have about four active notebooks at any given time and if I don’t have one on me I’ll jot things down in my notes in my iPhone but it’s essential for random ideas and my many to do lists.
- Oversized anything: i love big hoodies, big t shirts, and oversized boyfriend jeans – I’m small (5’2.5”) and it makes me feel comfy while being stylish
- A big purse: Very few times you’ll catch me with a small bag simply because I need everything with me at all times
- Two pairs of shoes: i live for heels but I move fast and need to be comfortable so I usually have a backup pair of sneakers or sandals on standby – the hardest part is finding two pairs that Match whatever look I’m wearing
- A gel mani: I’ve always been told a good mani is the best representation of a woman. Never chipped – plus who doesn’t love a shiny fresh coat of polish?
Q: What are you social media handles?
A: IG: @Prgnewyork // @Personallyrachel