Jamie Reyes and Claudia Huizar met at San Diego State University on their first day of college in 2008. The young, vibrant girls were both pursuing a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations. They spent the next four years studying hard and taking in as much information as they could from the PR program, while still finding time for a little fun. When the girls finally graduated, they met for coffee and decided that it was now or never to start their own public relations business. So in 2013, Luxuria PR was formed. Their approach was simple; create stories and trends with a company's brand at the centerpiece.
It was then that the girls started the arduous process of cold calling businesses day and night until finally they got a "yes." As time went on, they continued to grow their business and client base. Today they build and manage brand reputation through strategic storytelling and digital presence for very successful businesses including Maxim Healthcare Services, iTan, RoadRunner Sports and Beauty by Dolly.
Q: Best part about doing business in San Diego?
Jamie: The best part about doing business in San Diego is the beautiful people (and of course, the weather!). San Diego is such a diverse city, and it has given us the opportunity to explore different cultures and business customs without the travel in between. Getting ourselves familiar with business practices from other places in the world is very eye opening, and I think it makes us well-rounded business people.
Claudia: San Diego has its own distinct SoCal culture and we are thrilled to be a part of it. We're always impressed by the startup community in San Diego, especially businesses with leading female founders. The women of San Diego are building thriving businesses and inspire us every day. We are honored to be among them.
Q: What advice would you give to your 10-year-old self?
Jamie: If I could give advice to my 10-year-old self, I would tell her to speak up more! I was never really an outspoken child, and looking back I felt like I should have made it more of a priority that my voice be heard. I think it's very important for girls to know that it is okay to speak up and that their ideas and opinions do matter.
Claudia: I would advise my 10-year-old self to explore the world of math and science. I probably would have never ended up in that industry, but I think it's empowering for young girls to take interest in male dominated industries. It's important for young girls to know and feel that there are no limits to their aspirations and endeavors.
Q: Describe your most perfect day in San Diego?
Jamie: My most perfect day in San Diego is waking up in the morning and heading over to my favorite coffee shop, Holsem. Then I'll spend some time at Fashion Valley Mall to do some impulsive shopping, then meet up with my mom for dinner (typically sushi). Afterward, I'll head over to Little Italy to have gelato at Pappalecco. I like to people watch and just relax. I'll end my night with a movie at home with my two dogs Ariel and Maddy.
Claudia: My most perfect day in San Diego starts off by sleeping in with my rescue dog and white-fluff mix, Alejandro. Then, I like to make some fresh Jalisco-style salsa for my homemade chilaquiles and drink some cafe con leche with my sister. Alejandro and I then visit Del Mar's Dog Beach, where I watch him chase after Golden Retrievers. He's a small dog with a big heart. I love to end the day with a good cheeseburger from Rocky's in Crown Point, topped with lots and lots of ketchup, and some refreshing San Diego craft beer.
Q: What client are you most proud of and why?
Jamie: The client that I am most proud of is Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, a nonprofit that transforms the lives of disadvantaged infants, children and teens with physical deformities. We get the opportunity to meet some of the Fresh Start kids from all over the world, and their positive attitude and outlook in life is moving. Despite whatever medical condition they may have, they are always so joyful and enthusiastic, and it makes me think about how grateful we all should be for what we have.
Claudia: I'm also proud of Fresh Start Surgical Gifts. I love meeting the families and seeing the children become more confident and happy in everyday life. It's exciting when we earn a big feature for Fresh Start Surgical Gifts because we know it will make the difference in the lives of children. I'm also thrilled to have finally completed my application to be an unpaid volunteer during Surgery Weekends.
Q: CEO or company you admire and why?
Jamie: The CEO I admire most is Michael Gotfredson of Road Runner Sports. I met him back in college, and I'll never forget the day he guest lectured in my marketing class because he was so incredible and inspiring. Mike shared his story on how he started his business in his garage, and the real-life challenges that came along with his rise to success. Mike's speech was just so raw and blunt, and I remember walking out of that class thinking, "God, I cannot wait to start a business." He taught me that the most important thing you'll earn from being an entrepreneur isn't the money; it's the freedom. He couldn't have been any more right. Today, Road Runner Sports is a client of ours.
Claudia: I love kick-ass women! My father is a farmworker and he always told me amazing stories about Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America. I'm not familiar with her leadership now, but as a young girl I loved knowing that a woman influenced civil rights for hard working families in the United States.
Q: Advice you would give to other young female entrepreneurs?
Jamie: My advice to other female entrepreneurs is that you can achieve greatness not only as a "female entrepreneur," but as an entrepreneur in its entirety. When you have to present at a meeting filled with C-level businessmen, never underestimate yourself and your ability to share your valuable intellect.
Claudia: Young female entrepreneurs should never doubt their ability to create and deliver value in any business. Sometimes it can be intimidating to sit in a boardroom full of men, but we should never be worried about asking for a reasonable budget and compensation. Never under price any proposal; be fair and never doubt your value.
Q: Three things you would take to a deserted island?
Jamie: The three things I would take to a deserted island are a box of See's Candies, iced coffee and an iPad. What more can I ask for?
Claudia: Let's go tomorrow. I would take my dog Alejandro; an on-call aesthetician/masseuse for unlimited manis, pedis and facials; and Clase Azul Tequila (my favorite).