With all the negative news around immigration, it’s sometimes hard to remember that our nation was built by a “melting pot” of people who left their homes and created successful lives in the United States.
Reena Goodwin of Deerfield Twp. is a next generation immigrant to the U.S. Her parents came to the Cincinnati area from Jordan along with other family members.
“My dad’s family started Gold Star Chili in 1965,” Goodwin said. “He graduated from the University of Dayton with a degree in engineering.”
Goodwin grew up watching her parents build an entirely new life in a strange, new country. She was raised knowing how important education is to success, and she ended up attending Ohio State University after begging her parents to let her study journalism.
“My dad was always getting pulled back into the business his cousins started,” Goodwin said. “But I decided to go a different route.”
Goodwin started working for Sony Music as a college marketing representative. She promoted up-and-coming artists on college campuses.
“I loved the job,” Goodwin said. “It was grass roots marketing mostly.”
After graduating from college in 2006, Goodwin was offered an opportunity to interview with Columbia Records and relocate to New York City. At just 22 years old, she was excited to start building her career in the field. But in 2008, a recession caused many companies to cut budgets and consequently, people.
“I lost my job and wasn’t sure what I would do next,” Goodwin said.
Living in New York City is expensive, and Goodwin said she interviewed with 11 different companies, hoping to land another job that would allow her to continue her career path. Unfortunately, when she didn’t get any offers, she ended up moving back home to Ohio.
“I was home for about a year when I landed a job at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland,” Goodwin said.
Hired to create a social media strategy and to manage public relations for the museum, Goodwin started over. She ended up staying in Cleveland for the next 13 years, pursuing different job opportunities and developing her skill in content creation. But the pull of entrepreneurship was strong, especially since she grew up watching her parents and family building a business.
Facteur PR, Goodwin’s agency, was founded in 2016 as a “side hustle.” But by 2018, Goodwin and her husband, Jody, had their first daughter, Simone, and Goodwin craved some flexibility.
Credit: Suzuran Photography
Credit: Suzuran Photography
“I was also a DJ so I had my hands in multiple things,” Goodwin said. “I started building the agency and had enough work to finally quit my full time job.
Today, Facteur PR has seven employees, all of whom are women. She is proud of her female and minority owned business and said it is growing. Her company is working with clients in Cleveland and she is building the business in the Cincinnati/Dayton areas, supporting beauty, home, wellness and lifestyle brands.
“My family moved to Warren County about a year ago and we love it!” Goodwin said. “We are so pleased to be here and be able to boomerang back to a place that just keeps evolving.”
Going from a two person household to four, after her second daughter, Elodie, was born, Goodwin said the family craved more space and northern Warren County fit the bill.
“For our family, it’s perfect,” Goodwin said. “We love to visit museums and zoos and it’s great to have so many options.”
And that includes Dayton, which has many entertainment options available to families, including the Boonshoft Museum of Natural History and the outdoor venues like Five Rivers Metroparks. Goodwin said she is looking at taking a class at Sinclair Community College this year as well.
Goodwin’s husband is originally from Dallas, and also has his own business in woodworking, building custom home décor items and furniture.
“I grew up in a household watching my parents work hard in a small business,” Godwin said. “But I also learned to put my energy into the type of work I’m most excited about.”
Still working out of her home, Goodwin said she is looking for a physical office space now that the worst of the global pandemic is over. And her family is looking at ways to save money on expenses, including selling their second car, which they no longer need.
“Our business has been able to not only survive during the pandemic but also thrive,” Goodwin said. “We’ve all learned to approach our work more efficiently and creatively in remote spaces. But I also like meeting people in person and I’m glad we are getting back to that.”
For more information, log on to Facteurpr.com