We had the good fortune of connecting with Katrina Calderon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katrina, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The thought process behind starting my business Regal Fierce Media (RFM) in 2019 was to create an all-in-one media team to help local business owners with their marketing to grow their business. RFM provides social media management (organic and paid), video production (tv commercials, reels, short video content), photography (headshots, team photos, product photography), advertising (digital ads, print, radio), website services. Working in the nonprofit as a Marketing Manager I met with a lot of teams who needed media support but never could find reliable people to be their go to media team. After being asked by several teams to help with their marketing I knew it was time for me to consider starting my media company to help serve more companies vs just one. Thankfully my previous job was very support of me taking this path and made it very easy for me to transition into starting my own media company Regal Fierce Media in 2019. I could use all my skills within project management, event planning, marketing, communications to start a strong team of media people to support business owners in Arizona.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’m a true product of the Tucson, AZ community! As a 27 year old entrepreneur my passion, determination, and grit stems from those in the community who believed in me enough to share their advice and guidance with me. Every since I was a freshman in HS is knew I wanted to be a UA Wildcat. I was the first one in my family to graduate from a university and thankfully graduate with zero debt thanks to local scholarship programs. I was a freshman in HS when I met my first mentor Raul Aguirre who told me his story about being a Latino who started his own media agency in Tucson. I was so inspired that he could be successful for simply just being himself and sharing his skills. I told him I wanted to be the CEO of my own business one day too. He told me he wanted to help me be successful in half the time it took him. And that’s exactly what we did together! I did everything I could to grow my network while I was in college, was asked to be a guest speaker for my scholarship events, did a ton of volunteer work and interships. After 4 years I graduated from the UA with a BA in Communications and minor in leadership studies and practices.
I took that degree to start working at a local nonprofit Youth On Their Own. I started out as an executive assistant to the CEO and within 2 years I was promoted to their first Marketing Manager. After a total of 4 years working at YOTO I had grew my network and a track record for being successful in marketing, advertising, event planning. With all that experience I knew I loved helping companies with marketing and project management.
While working at YOTO I saw there was a huge need for a reliable media team to support these local businesses. In 2019, I pitched starting a media team to my husband Daniel and friend Luke who both have photo & video production skills. They loved the idea and said Hell Yeah! At this point this was a side business that we all worked on after work and on the weekends. By 2020 we had our official launch party. By March 2020 the world shut down from Covid-19. Our team didn’t give up on our little business we kept looking for clients and kept working on our business. During this time everyone needed to take their business online and really start to update their online presence. So our business grew from one client to 5 clients. By 2021 I was presented with an opportunity to continue working my full-time job or go full-time in Regal Fierce Media. So all three of us business partners left our full-time jobs and devoted all our time and energy to growing Regal Fierce Media! We ourselves became fierce leaders during one of the scariest times in the world. We were there to help business owner enhance their online presence so they can continue to grow their businesses to reach more clients online. RFM provides social media management (organic and paid), video production (tv commercials, reels, short video content), photography (headshots, team photos, product photography), advertising (digital ads, print, radio), website services.
During that time we were still trying to find grants and loans but it wasn’t so easy for us because we were a new business. We missed out on the ppp loan because it was so new people didn’t know how to help us. However, we found out about the new BIPOC community managed loan fund which provides BIPOC business owners with a loan of up to $10,000 0% for 5 years. We applied for this amazing loan opportunity and thankfully we were selected. We used that loan money to purchase new production equipment By the end of the year we have grown our business by 600%. It was the best decision we ever made to start to put full-time energy into our business and not giving up on our dreams. We are proud to be thriving in 2022 to work with some amazing companies in Tucson, AZ. What sets us apart from other agencies in Tucson is our genuine connection with all our clients. We want to see everyone win and if we can help you we will! If we know of any business resources that helped us we love to share those with others. We love sharing our media skills and knowledge with anyone who can benefit. We serve clients at any level and treat them like they are all million dollar clients. Our biggest compliment is how comfortable and confident we make our clients feel when we work together. They know when they reach out to the RFM team everything will be taken care of without a doubt.
I hope that our story teaches people that if you really believe in yourself, your business idea, and share it with other that there is so much more on the other side. I know it may be overwhelming finding resources or people to talk to but part of being an entrepreneur at any level is using your resources all around you and if you don’t have any around you go find the people you need to talk to. Keep that fierce mentality and keep moving forward even when it feels like its too much. One step in the right direction will always get you one step closer to your goals.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve lived in Tucson, AZ my whole life and I still have not been everywhere! I would recommend that we check out some of Tucson local breakfast spots starting with Barista Del Barrio because their delicious horchata iced coffee and breakfast burritos! Another breakfast spot I would recommend is Buen Día breakfast and lunch spot they have some of the best cinnamon coffee and breakfast menu! Blue Willow is another spot that I love to have their potato and chorizo omelette! Baja Cafe is another wonderful place we would recommend trying out.
For lunch I would recommend trying the burger of the month that Chef Lindy cooks up at Thunder Bacon Burger, Sushi Garden is another great place, Ikkyu for their delicious Raman. El Nene for their delicious Tacos and Sonoran hot dogs!
For drinks we really love the vibe at Crooked Tooth, the Delta for their unique menu, Thunder Bacon Burger for their happy hour specials, the Donut Bar has delicious donut and beers!
Things to do in Tucson highly recommend riding scooters downtown checking out all the local spots so many down 4th ave. Stop and take pictures in front of all the murals that local artists painted throughout the years.
Visit and hike Mount Lemmon (so many wonderful spots to check out)! Drive through gates pass and check out the views of the beautiful desert area. We highly recommend hiking up in Sedona as well! I would recommend jumping in my parents pool, Tucson is so hot most of the year!
Overall, Tucson is beautiful so many things to choose from but we love to eat, lounge, make content, and have fun! There is plenty to do in Tucson all year long. Always wear sunscreen and drink water!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is a wonderful way to start! My story/ journey has a list of wonderful people who have helped me get to where I am today. The first person I will always shoutout is my very first mentor Raul Aguirre, CEO of REA Media. I want to thank him for believing in me and helping become the young latina entrepreneur I am today. Kellie Terhune Neely who has been a major cheerleader in my corner all through college and even now as I have started my business. Dominic Ortega who treats me like his daughter and loves to help bring me to community events to help introduce me to Tucson’s influential leaders. My friend Robyn Austin who has been a major support system. She is there to help encourage me and motivate me as I take on new projects and challenges. She is one of the best writers I know and I am so thankful to have her in our corner. My friend Deb Salaiz who has been there for me and treats me life family. She is one of my biggest cheerleaders and supporters. Most importantly I want to thank my family – my mom Cynthia Wolfe, step-dad Thomas Wolfe, my siblings Alexis, Guero, Christian. My Husband, Daniel Calderon for always believing in me and supporting me through it all. I’m thankful he believed in my so much to leave his full-time job to start Regal Fierce Media. Along with our other business partner Luke Ralston! I’m thankful that he believes in our vision and plan. He is invaluable person that we are thankful to have on our dream team. Overall, I am thankful for the Tucson community for all their support as we grow our business to help support more clients with their marketing!
Facebook: Regal Fierce Media
Regal Fierce Media