Rachel Wims is the 23 year old giving us serious CEO #goals
Rachel Wims is a 23 year old boss mogul who proves that being serious about your goals and working hard can turn into what, could one day be, a multi-million dollar PR company.
Her business, Molly Tan, was born from doing projects for her friends and then realizing that she could monetize on it in a big way. Newly relocated to LA, we asked Rachel about her background, her inspo for creating her own company, and the biggest struggles of being a young, black woman in the industry.
Check it out below!
What got you thinking about starting your own company at such a young age?
I always wanted to start my own company because both my parents are entrepreneurs, but growing up, I wasn’t quite sure what my niche was. I started pulling together my best strengths and assets, and my company Molly Tan was born. At first, it was a writers house, due to my love for writing, but as more clients came to me with different needs, I turned Molly Tan into an artist development agency. I would have to say, it’s been a pretty fun ride.
How did you begin your start in the music industry?
When I was 18, it was a lot of trial-and-error and working my way up the ladder. I ended up working the BET Awards, where I met my current boss Bilal ‘Bizzy’ Jospeh. I was 19 at the time, and there was really no turning back from that point.
What’s a tip for making your mark at an internship and finding your strengths?
There were a lot of times during my internship where I had nothing to do. It drove me absolutely insane! I have this work ethic that causes me not to be able to sit still, so eventually I just took the initiative and started to create my own tasks, jobs, and events for the artists I worked for. Finding your strengths consists of a lot of trial and error.
For me, I learned what I liked, what I didn’t like, what I was good at, and what I wasn’t so great at by asking to try different roles or assignments and assessing which ones went great and which ones flopped.
And that’s how you got the idea to go forward and turn this into a business?
Absolutely. Business is the definition of supply and need. After a while, I was approached by a number of people in reference to developing their brands, business, and talents—so I supplied the need. The more clients I got, the more confidence I had to go ahead and make Molly Tan a full-fledged agency.
So basically, anything they can do you, you can do better. Tell us more about Molly Tan.
Well I wouldn’t say anything they can do I can do better; in some regards that can be the case, but I also think partnerships are essential to success. Molly Tan is an artist development company that specializes in building and branding and marketing artists. But we’re not limited to just artists.
We have a wide roster of clients ranging from celebrity chefs to government officials. Molly Tan houses a lot of projects, ranging from writing scripts and books to creative directing and marketing — you name it. We are always on the look out for new clients, new projects, and new opportunities.
When did you start the company?
All together, it took me about a year to come up with the prime purpose of the company. We officially just started at the top of this year and have had overwhelming success.
In addition to being the President and CEO of Molly Tan, you are also the President and CEO of your family’s non-profit the Victims’ Rights Foundation. Tell us more about that.
My father started the Victims Rights Foundation (VRF) 22 years ago, with a mission to help victims of crime. As I got older, I was allowed to start my own projects. At the age of 13, we went on a mission trip to Kenya where we were working on providing clean water for the citizens of Lare, Kogelo, and Narobi. At the Senator Barack Obama Secondary School, I was able to raise over $10,000.00 to help build the Math and Science Building, which in turn, they named after me in my honor.
We have been able to provide yearly supplies of sanitary items for the girls in order to increase their chances to obtain higher education, and we also have been able to provide scholarships to college for the “Top Boy” and “Top Girl” of the graduating class.
What advice would you give to girls that want to make their own business?
Find something you are extremely passionate about and go for it. I learned in college that I like to write, network, and create things, and I made a business out of that. I would definitely say to stay very authentic to yourself and your brand you’ll be able to succeed anywhere. You aren’t going to make money or be a successful CEO in a business you’re not good at.
What are some traits it takes to be professional?
You’ve got to have thick skin. I used to let little things bother me. When I first started working in the industry, a lot of things were difficult for me. I had to navigate through all these emotions and feelings I never understood. There were a lot of learning curves. I had to figure out how to adjust. But I kept faith because I knew it was something I always wanted to do.
I looked myself in the mirror and I asked, “are you going to sink or are you going to swim?” I decided to swim.
Do you think that there’s challenges to being a woman CEO?
I think that there are always challenges being a woman in the industry, especially a woman of color, and it doesn’t help that I look 16 (laughs). I always think of the mighty mouse story — he’s a small mouse, very timid, but in the end he ends up being stronger than everyone else. I take that same energy and channel it into my work.
The negativity and setbacks fuels me to work twice as hard, and twice as fast. My mother always told me that to be a woman in whatever industry, I had to be twice as good, and work twice as hard than my counterparts — I hope that I’m making her proud.
What do you when a door closes?
I don’t believe in doors closing, and I don’t take no for an answer. I will attack every door until it opens. If someone tells me no, I’ll go to other resources to figure out how to get it done. I always have plan A, B, C, D, E, F, and G until I run out to Z. Then I have AA, BB, CC.
For more information on Rachel’s non-profit or to donate, click here.
To follow Rachel’s CEO adventures on IG, click here.
Photos courtesy of Rachel Wims