Picture this: You're walking into a cozy café on a cool Fall evening. The smell of freshly brewed coffee wafts through the air as you take a seat in a plush armchair by the fireplace. As you settle in, a vibrant and confident woman walks in and takes a seat across from you. It's Nadine, the CEO of a successful business that started as her passion.
Nadine's story is like a puzzle, made up of many different pieces that come together to form a beautiful and complete picture. In this Q&A session, we will explore the journey Nadine took to turn her trauma and turned it into treasure creating businesses from the lessons she learned along the way. Join us on this exciting and interactive journey, where you'll be inspired to follow your dreams and pursue your passions as Nadine did and continues to do daily.
Over a cup of steaming hot cocoa, Nadine will share her story with you. She'll take you on a journey from a little girl growing up in a home with a single mom to the successful entrepreneur she is today. As she speaks, you can feel her passion and determination radiating from her every word. She'll tell you about the challenges she faced and how she overcame them, turning her dreams into a reality.
So, grab your favorite drink, find a cozy spot, and get ready to dive into the puzzle of passion and learn how Nadine turned her dream into a reality. Get ready to be inspired as Nadine reveals the secrets to her success and shows you that anything is possible when you have the drive and determination to make your dreams come true.
Let’s get started!
Q: What was it like growing up in a home with a single mom?
A: Growing up in our apartment was like being at the Grand Central Station! Our home was always packed with family and friends, and there was never a dull moment. My sisters and I were constantly bickering over clothes and embarrassing each other, but looking back on it now, those were some of the best times of my life. Despite the chaos, there was always an unspoken sense of safety and security that my mom provided. Even though we didn't have much, we had an abundance of love and laughter.
Q: Your mom sounds like she had a huge influence on you. What did you admire most about her?
A: Absolutely, my mom was my biggest inspiration growing up. She didn't have the easiest life, but she never gave up. Watching her overcome her addiction and fight for her family was the greatest work she ever did. She instilled in me the "never quit" mentality that I carry with me every day. Her love for her daughters and her drive to be there for us no matter what are something I'll always admire and strive to emulate in my own life and work.
Q: What were your mom's best traits and how have they continued within you today?
Her greatest trait were compassion and her personability. She was a genuine woman and had a way with people. All of my friends would say they wished they had a mom like mine. How she How she treated others spoke volumes. She created a haven in our home. She taught me to always see the best in every situation and person. But she also taught us how to be strong and cautious of the negativity in this world. She was extremely street savvy and educated us on how us how to navigate life in the heart of the ghetto. We grew up in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, which is not the same beautiful/trendy LES of today. She put great emphasis on walking with caution, especially when navigating this crazy world. If you know me, I too love people and people will say I have a way with others just like my mom did. If I see you on the street, I’m gonna take you home and fight with my husband about it later. With that heart comes hurt and you have to guard your heart in this world. Broken people hurt people. That mindset has contributed to how I move in my business today.
Q: How did your mom handle stress from when you were a young girl to a teenager? Were you affected by her stress? How do you cope with stress today as an entrepreneur?
When I was a young girl, my mom handled stress poorly. She dealt with hurt and pain by escaping through drugs. That affected me and my sisters tremendously. There was a point in our lives when we were raised by a drug addict. She wasn’t fully capable of caring for us during that time. Thankfully the protection of God always surrounded us. Not having her mother as a sober parent during that time was difficult. And then when she went to rehab, there was a sense of abandonment I felt. It was a lot. Along with adopting the good aspects of my mother, I adopted these bad ways of coping as well. Today, I cope with my stress by bringing my problems to God, but there was a time when my coping mechanism was cocaine.
Q: When you were young was your mom able to treat you to luxuries? If the answer is no, how did it make you feel? Did you envy your friends? Why and how do you do it different being a parent to your boys?
If my mom was here today, she would say the luxury was that we were fed, we had a roof over our heads, and were alive. She was a true, “tell it like it is” Latina mother. We didn’t have luxuries but we managed to always look fly. The luxury to us (my sisters, friends, and cousins who were like sisters) was to look good. Who had the best hairstyle and wore the latest fashion trends? That’s what we cared about. We would rip our clothes up and put bleach to add style to our clothing. We didn't care about traveling, big houses, fancy restaurants, and all that.
Not having anything growing up, I naturally want to give my boys everything. But I also show them how hard I work to be able to provide that for them. I also am intentional about preventing that sense of entitlement.
Q: Did your mom work? What did you observe in her that led you to create the businesses you have today?
As mentioned, she didn’t have a career. Her work was her home. Due to her life choices and her upbringing, a career wasn’t in the cards for her. Her choices destroyed her future in terms of having a career. Witnessing that made me realize I don’t want that for myself. At a very young age, I wanted more. I knew that the life and environment I was born into wasn’t where I was going to stay.
What would you have wanted to hear from your mom that you never heard?
Nay, I know that behind your stubbornness and defiance there is character-building happening and I just know that you will use that one day to do something great with your life. Make use of it, capitalize on it, and make me proud, mamita!
Q: Being the person you are today, how would you have wanted your childhood to be different?
I truly feel like everything was meant to be the way it was. Although a lot of it was unfortunate, that story was written way before I was born. Everything I went through was for a purpose. I hope that when people hear my story, they will feel inspired–inspired to fight harder, never give up, and to overcome.
Is there anything you would change about your journey? If not, how has it shaped you, made you more spiritual, or created more fire within you?
I wouldn’t change anything about my journey because it truly has shaped who I am today. I believe that each year, each obstacle, and each learning experience was to bring me to where I am now. God knew that I could get through it… He gave me the strength to do so and allows me to see how He has protected me through it all!
Q: Did you have a calling to God as a teen?
I experienced God and full self-awareness when I lost my mother. This was my very first true experience with God. In a moment where I should have felt complete chaos and devastation, I truly felt peace. I was going to miss my mother tremendously, but I just knew we would be ok. At the time, my sister’s father wanted to move her to Maryland. This is when, at the age of 21, I decided to be my sister’s caregiver so that she could stay home where things were familiar. I couldn’t allow her to be uprooted from all she knew after losing a part of herself. So, I took on this new responsibility that kicked started my journey of becoming an entrepreneur so that I could support us.
Q: What advice would you give your 16 self today?
You were created for a bigger purpose. You don’t have to repeat history. You have the power within you to break generational curses. If you only knew that everything you would go through is meant to prepare you to be the boss babe you are today!!
Q: How would your sister describe you during this time?
First, she would describe me as a total B. I. T. C. H.
Of course, the love was always there…we are family. But we didn’t get along at this time. It wasn’t until she had her first son that our relationship just blossomed. Now, we can’t go a day without talking!
She would describe me as a typical teen. Partying, having fun, and hanging out with friends. But often says that she always noticed, since we were very young, that I was always a leader!
Continue to put these puzzle pieces together with us over the next several months and allow this story to inspire and unfold in a way that will motivate you to capture all your dreams.
Nadine's story is a testament to the power of resilience and the impact a strong role model can have on a person's life. Despite the challenges she faced growing up, Nadine was able to learn valuable lessons from her mother's strengths and struggles and has since gone on to channel those lessons into her success as an entrepreneur.
From her mom's work ethic to her compassion, Nadine's mother continues to be an inspiration in her life. We hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Nadine's story, and stay tuned for more inspiring insights from her journey.