A self-described “octopus woman,” Rakia Reynolds, BBA ‘01, is a mother, wife, entrepreneur, strategist, storyteller, marketer and fashionista, often all at once.
Performing this work-life balancing act and re-defining what it means to work for herself has been a learning experience for Reynolds. When she is not caring for her family, Reynolds is running her public relations agency, Skai Blue Media, which is based in Philadelphia. Working with brands like Comcast NBCUniversal, Dell, the Home Shopping Network (HSN), United By Blue, Ted Baker and others including Serena Williams’ clothing brand, is not exhausting for Reynolds. It’s invigorating her.
“The most successful people are the ones who find the secret sauce where work doesn’t feel like work,” says Reynolds in a 2017 interview with Marie Claire. “You wake up before your alarm goes off. You know the elevator pitch of your company without having to practice. You know what your career path is if you and yourself thinking about it at night.”
In addition to her role as founder and CEO of Skai Blue Media, she is currently serving as the face of Small Business for Dell, speaking at conferences and online about the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation in small business technology. Reynolds also currently serves as the president of the Philadelphia chapter of Women in Film & Television and the event’s chair of the National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications.
She makes it a habit to give advice to aspiring entrepreneurs and students. Her top recommendation is to build a trusted circle, or team, to lean on. She calls it a “FriendTor” advisory board. FriendTor is a term coined by her former chief of staff, Almaz Crowe. “These people are your unpaid trusted source for honest feedback and confidants for tough decisions ranging from how to be decisive in your decision-making to how to pick the right investor. They’re those who will help you to find your true north when things look like they are going south,” she explains. Reynold’s credits her FriendTors and her family for making her success a possibility.
Reynolds will not stop until she makes each and every one of her dreams a reality. “I want everything,” Reynolds says. “And I really don’t let anything stop me when it comes to having everything, because I really believe that that’s an attainable goal.”