How I Met (Your Brand) is designed to connect people and ideas; spotlighting diverse perspectives, using the power of stories to fuel innovation and bring communities together.
Meet Jennifer Redondo-Marquez and Rose Buado
Entrepreneurs and Authors of In Her Purpose: 40 Principles of Asian Women Redefining Success on Their Own Terms
Tell us about yourself.
Jenn: Upon graduating from the University of California, Berkeley (Go Bears!), I started my corporate career in management consulting and eventually made my way into Silicon Valley’s tech industry. I have spent over a decade working in Operations/Supply Chain and R&D/Hardware Engineering. I have a passion for solving complex problems, bridging the gap between strategy and execution, and turning ideas into action and results. I am also excited about empowering women and the future generation, which is where co-founding In Her Purpose comes in. I also love traveling and basketball, especially the Los Angeles Lakers!
Rose: I am a multipreneur: I am a start-up mentor and success coach for high-performing women entrepreneurs, CEO of RVNB, an artist management agency, managing popular Fil-Am a cappella group, The Filharmonic, and I am also a co-partner of Cassidy’s Corner Cafe. Although I’ve held titles such as Vice President of Media, Marketing Strategist and Ad Executive, my most rewarding job is being a mom of two, wife, and co-founder of In Her Purpose.
“I often found myself to be the only woman or person of color in the room. As I matured in my career, I was searching for someone that looked like me, someone I could relate to.”
What is the concept behind In Her Purpose, and tell us how it all started? What sparked the idea?
Jenn: It stemmed from my search for a mentor. I have been in the corporate world for over 15 years, a decade of that spent in Silicon Valley. I often found myself to be the only woman or person of color in the room. As I matured in my career, I was searching for someone that looked like me, someone I could relate to. That’s when I turned to Rose, my older cousin, who was working as a Vice President at an advertising agency. We are part of the few in our family to venture outside the medical field or military. Rose was someone that I could turn to. At the time she was also managing The Filharmonic. Touring with the band gave her the opportunity to meet women in high positions of influence, who happen to look like us. That’s how she was able to introduce me to Sheila Marcelo, the founder and former CEO of Care.com.
Rose: After meeting these women, I wanted to learn even more about them. Of course, I googled them and found nothing! So I started to search more broad keywords like “successful Asian women” and all I could find was a book on “How to Date or Marry an Asian Woman”. That was my aha moment! I wanted to fix this problem by writing a book on successful Asian women! That’s when I approached Jenn about my idea and she encouraged me to do it now!
“The mission of IHP is to provide a space for individuals to share their stories, inspire, collaborate, connect, and innovate. We offer career guidance and professional growth programs to help people reimagine how they look at their career, business, and life purpose.”
In Her Purpose (IHP) was born out of our curiosity and yearning to find successful women — other Asians who looked like us. IHP started out as a book, to inspire others to live in their purpose. But…. it has become so much more than that. It’s our foundation. We are lifting the content off the pages for real-life applications. It’s ideal, not just an idea.
The mission of IHP is to provide a space for individuals to share their stories, inspire, collaborate, connect, and innovate. We offer career guidance and professional growth programs to help people reimagine how they look at their career, business, and life purpose.
“We started with our own network, which is why you find a majority of the IHP women are Filipina.”
There are 40 stories of strong Asian women who are redefining success on their own terms. What was the selection process like?
We started with our own network, which is why you find a majority of the IHP women are Filipina. Once we started to tell people about our project, we were being introduced to women left and right. Our initial goal was 20 and we doubled our lofty goal! We also did some research via Instagram! We slid through their DMs!
We chose women of Asian descent who were living in the United States. We also picked women working in non-traditional roles within the Asian culture. Surprisingly, we only have one nurse in the book! Most important, we chose women who were thriving in their chosen industries. We wanted bosses, movers, shakers. Hence, the subtitle of our book: 40 Asian Women Redefining Success on Their Own Terms.
What was your favorite part about putting this book together?
Working together to achieve #1 Best Seller and #1 New Release on Amazon and being able to share this labor of love with everyone has been the most rewarding part of this journey! We are especially grateful for all of the messages we are receiving about the positive impact that the book has had on them! Being able to expand our family by 38 amazing women has also been pretty amazing. It is an honor to be surrounded by these women doing amazing things. Not to mention, we have 38 women supporting us and cheering us on. We have learned so much from each of them. Throughout the year and a half, we definitely experienced major growth! We had to figure out how to write a book, which is something neither of us knew how to do. We also had to learn how to operate in this “new normal” and even launched a company during Covid!
“Working together to achieve #1 Best Seller and #1 New Release on Amazon and being able to share this labor of love with everyone has been the most rewarding part of this journey!”
Are you involved in any community organizations? What’s the most fulfilling part about it?
Jenn: I serve as a mentor for Filipino Americans in Silicon Valley Tech (FASTER) and Kollective Hustle. I am also the former Chairwoman of the Board of Directors for the Mommy and Me Cancer Foundation. The most fulfilling part about my involvement is being able to give back to the community and to be able to help other women. Mentors play a critical role in one’s success. I wish I had access to mentors and resources when I was their age, which is why I make it a point to give back and serve.
Rose: I serve on the Board of Directors for Cassidy’s Corner Cafe and I am part of the International Association of Women (IAW) which is a community that provides a personal forum for women to grow their career, promote their business, product or service, share ideas and expand their network. IAW’s in-person and virtual events allow members to learn from and share experiences with other women around the world and the community who are recognized experts in their fields.
“The most fulfilling part about my involvement is being able to give back to the community and to be able to help other women. Mentors play a critical role in one’s success. I wish I had access to mentors and resources when I was their age, which is why I make it a point to give back and serve.”
Tell us about your career journey, and how does it reflect your personal values?
Jenn: I was raised by a U.S. military officer and a registered nurse, but I later learned that entrepreneurship is in my family’s blood. Both sets of my grandparents started businesses from nothing in the Philippines. So it makes sense that I was attracted to the business world. Growing up, I was obsessed with Monopoly and even found rolling coins to be therapeutic. Despite my parents wishes, I entered corporate America. I started out my career at Accenture’s Management Consulting group where I worked on global projects for clients such as Chevron, Gap Inc., Aetna and more. Eventually, I moved into Silicon Valley’s tech industry, where I’ve spent over a decade in Operations/Supply Chain and R&D/Hardware Engineering.
Money is something that I have always valued, though, I quickly learned that money isn’t everything. I left a job for more money and a higher title, but I was even more miserable! That’s when it became very clear to me that I value money for what it allows me to do in life, which is to spend time with my family and friends. It gives me the ability to travel to new places and experiences. I also learned the importance of working on a product that will help or change others’ lives in a positive way. What I work on has to be aligned with my values: don’t settle for less than excellence, have self-honesty to admit when I am wrong and the courage to change, and to create innovative products that are truly important and meaningful.
“Money is something that I have always valued, though, I quickly learned that money isn’t everything. I left a job for more money and a higher title, but I was even more miserable! That’s when it became very clear to me that I value money for what it allows me to do in life, which is to spend time with my family and friends.”
Rose: I am a wife, a mother, a serial entrepreneur and a certified professional life coach. I started my first business while in college teaching social dance which eventually grew into a full blown events company. However, I didn’t know what I had, I only created a company for extra income during school. I ended up pursuing the corporate life after obtaining a Bachelor of the Arts degree from California State University, Long Beach. I found myself in advertising, selling infomercial ad space to corporate brands in Los Angeles. I wasn’t satisfied and felt that I was missing something. I wanted to move up in the ad world, earn a higher paycheck, and what most ad executives want: a better title. I stayed in the media business for 15 years, eventually earning a Vice President role. I thought I would be fulfilled once I achieved all the things I wanted, but unfortunately, I still felt empty and drained.
Outside of my day job, I did side projects to balance out my boredom. I filled my weekends with event planning and helping other people turn their business ideas into reality. People started hearing about how I started my own company and that’s when they came to me with questions on how to start theirs.
Then something happened, I had this amazing opportunity to use all my experience to launch musicians into the entertainment industry, releasing their albums, booking their gigs and building their media presence. I finally enjoyed working and the best part was it didn’t even feel like work!
Looking back at every business or person I helped, I devoted myself to supporting them by figuring out a pathway to achieve their dream! It’s what I value, being able to help, serve and support others find and follow their true purpose.
“I stayed in the media business for 15 years, eventually earning a Vice President role. I thought I would be fulfilled once I achieved all the things I wanted, but unfortunately, I still felt empty and drained.”
Who were your mentors, and how did they help you?
Jenn: While in college, I relied heavily on David Boyd and Jenn Clarin Desai. They both studied business and were working in corporate America, which is what I wanted to do. They encouraged me to get involved in professional organizations and taught me the importance of obtaining internships (even if they were unpaid to start). Once I landed a full-time position, David advised me to spend money as if I were still a college student. Just because I was earning more money than I’ve ever had in my life, that was not an excuse to splurge and go on a shopping spree. Jenn also gave me my first opportunity to start and run my first business in 2006.
I also received a lot of guidance from John and Jessielyn Balidio. They taught me the importance of paying off my school loans, investing in myself, 401K, and real estate. They all taught me personal finance and how to create generational wealth, which no one teaches us in school or at home!
Rose: My mother was a great mentor. She taught me how to respect myself, how to get things done and how to keep moving when life got challenging. My Aunt Carmen inspired me to own my own business. She hired me when she started her first business and I saw how hard she worked to grow it. I think through both of their actions, I was able to watch and learn. I’ll continue to honor both of them as I move through my entrepreneurial journey.
“The day I finally decided to leave my corporate job and go full force entrepreneur in 2017. I remember nervously walking into my CEO’s office and telling him that I loved working for him, with the team and thanked him for the opportunity but it was time for me to pursue my own company. It took me 7 years to work up the confidence to do that!”
What has been the most transformational part of your career so far?
Jenn: Leaving my comfort zone to try a startup and quickly learning that the grass is not always greener has been the most transformational part of my career. It was a really tough time for me, but I found solace in writing In Her Purpose. The interviews and writing about these phenomenal women really helped me push through. I also believe I was meant to join the start up to meet Marissa Yao (Vice President of Sustainability). She coached me through some really difficult times and pushed me to grow past my frustrations and emotions. She’s definitely a mentor that I will forever be grateful for. I continue to nurture that relationship even though we are both no longer with the company.
Rose: The day I finally decided to leave my corporate job and go full force entrepreneur in 2017. I remember nervously walking into my CEO’s office and telling him that I loved working for him, with the team and thanked him for the opportunity but it was time for me to pursue my own company. It took me 7 years to work up the confidence to do that!
If you could meet your 20-year old self, how would you describe who you are today?
Jenn: You did it! You’ve checked off almost every box: graduate college, good job, married, house and other investments. By society’s standards you are successful and you have made it. Aside from that, you’ve been able to travel almost every world continent! Not to mention, you also wrote a book! You are leaving a legacy — not just for your family, but the future generation to read and learn about “herstory”. You have created a community and culture to motivate and help empower young women such as yourself.
Rose: Oh wow! You’re a mom, raising two kids and helping others follow their dreams of turning purpose into profit. On top of that, you are working in music! I’m so happy you were able to pursue what we’ve always dreamt of doing!
“I have been a part of a couple of layoffs throughout my career, which pushed me into places where I didn’t imagine ever going to until I was forced to. Getting laid off the first time forced me to enter into a new industry. Being a part of the tech boom served me well, especially during the 2009 economic recession.”
What lessons did you learn from your biggest failures, and how did it contribute to a greater success?
Jenn: I am not sure if being laid off would be considered my biggest failure because it’s not entirely my fault. I have been a part of a couple of layoffs throughout my career, which pushed me into places where I didn’t imagine ever going to until I was forced to. Getting laid off the first time forced me to enter into a new industry. Being a part of the tech boom served me well, especially during the 2009 economic recession. During that time, I was living in a bubble. While people were losing their jobs and homes, I bought my first house. The second time around, I ventured out and tried the startup life, which is something I’ve always been curious about. I was able to learn a lot about myself, and it also gave me the time and opportunity to write and finish In Her Purpose, which I otherwise would not have been able to do.
Rose: I laugh now just thinking about it. When I started a new position in media, I was unexpectedly requested to participate in a client meeting – literally 5 mins before it started. I had to present the outcome of the clients advertising campaign – which I knew nothing about! I was handed a report and I was supposed to explain it to the client. There must have been ten people in the room. It was nerve wracking and intimidating! What I learned from this situation was, always be prepared! Ask questions before you jump into a client meeting and review your documents!
“Always know everything eventually works out, however, if you find yourself in a difficult moment, take a step back and breathe. Then remember you can’t control other people, you can only control your reaction to them.”
What’s the best advice you’ve received on navigating difficult moments?
Jenn: Keep going and keep the end goal in mind. You will figure it out and you will get through it like you always do. It will be worth it in the end!
If all else fails, call your mom and ask her to pray really hard! LOL
Rose: Always know everything eventually works out, however, if you find yourself in a difficult moment, take a step back and breathe. Then remember you can’t control other people, you can only control your reaction to them.
“It’s really dangerous when you get too comfortable because you’re not growing or learning anything anymore. Don’t ever settle for less!”
If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
Jenn: I would not have stayed too long in one place — whether that is a job or relationship. It’s really dangerous when you get too comfortable because you’re not growing or learning anything anymore. Don’t ever settle for less! I also would have told myself to be a little more aggressive and to take more risks, rather than sticking to what my parents or society deemed to be the “right” thing to do. If I pursued and just tried everything I wanted to do, I would have failed faster and more often. I would have discovered whether or not that was something I was good/not good at, and whether I liked/disliked something.
Rose: I would have taken my first businesses seriously and really focused on growing it. Instead, I thought that corporate was the right path to take.
“… wealth doesn’t just equate to money, but all aspects in life: mental, physical, and spiritual health. Health is wealth!”
What’s your self-care routine?
Jenn: I have a morning routine: I wake up and thank God for another day. I read a daily devotion and a daily affirmation. I make my bed and then I workout to get my body moving and blood flowing. I hit the shower and spend time with my skincare regimen: toner, eye cream, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Now that we are quarantined, I have a little more time so I use a gua sha tool to move my lymph and remove toxins. I also drink a lot of water, herbal teas, and green smoothies and juices. At night, I like to take an epsom salt bath to relax my muscles and remove toxins. It also helps me relax and wind down from the day.
Rose: I give thanks to God in the morning and night. I do a 30 or 60 minute workout depending on which day it is. I drink freshly squeezed green juice in the mornings. I hike on the weekends and I clean and declutter my home and office weekly. Yes, CLEANING. I enjoy it, I love the fresh feeling of a clean home, it makes me more productive and happy. Do you find that weird?
What’s your favorite affirmation?
Jenn: “I receive all the wealth life presents to me.” It’s one of the cards in my deck of daily affirmations that I won during a yoga finance session with @cleoyogafinance. She did a virtual event hosted by @heyberna at the beginning of Covid. I like this affirmation in particular because wealth doesn’t just equate to money, but all aspects in life: mental, physical, and spiritual health. Health is wealth!
Rose: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
When do you feel most inspired?
Jenn: I feel most inspired when I am passionate and excited about a person, place, or thing. If I get good vibes, I move with the energy and go with the flow.
Rose: After speaking with like-minded, goal oriented people. I love their energy and I get inspired to learn more and grow too!
When do you feel most powerful?
Jenn: I feel most powerful when I am surrounded and supported by my tribe! Giselle Töngi-Walters has a quote in our book: “Find or create your own tribe. They will lift you up when you can’t do something. They are going to tell you to go for it when you think it’s impossible.”
Rose: After church, when the Pastor gives a very inspiring and motivational message. Also, after a really good SoulCycle class. The teachers really know how to fill your heart!
“Getting Shit Done (G.S.D)! Accomplishing whatever it is that I want to do or what I set out to do. Success is being able to not just talk about it, but be about it.”
What’s your definition of success?
Jenn: Getting Shit Done (G.S.D)! Accomplishing whatever it is that I want to do or what I set out to do. Success is being able to not just talk about it, but be about it.
Rose: Being able to do what you love in life and not be defined by your career but by your good actions and intent.
“Being able to do what you love in life and not be defined by your career but by your good actions and intent.”
What can we expect from you in the next couple of years?
We plan to continue to grow In Her Purpose, not just the community, but also the brand and company. We launched our first book, In Her Purpose: 40 Principles of Asian Women Redefining Success on Their Own Terms, along with career guidance and professional growth programs to help people reimagine how they look at their career, business and life purpose. We hope to expand and further develop ways to help others find their purpose and passion.
There have been some questions about a second volume of In Her Purpose. It’s something that we are certainly open to so if you have any women that you’d like to recommend, please send them our way!
In addition to our book and programs, we are taking on some really interesting projects with some of the IHP women. It’s too early to say just yet, but stay tuned on some of the amazing things that we are creating!
“We hope to expand and further develop ways to help others find their purpose and passion.”
Connect with Jennifer Redondo-Marquez and Rose Buado.
Jennifer Redondo-Marquez: @JENNRED24
Rose Buado: @ROSE_BUADO
In Her Purpose: @INHERPURPOSE
Buy the book on Amazon: IN HER PURPOSE