By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times
ReBirth is more than just the name of Rashida Reese’s company—it’s also a way of life.
“Ultimately, I came up with ReBirth [because] it’s the rebirth of my career, it’s the rebirth of the way I want to do business,” she said.
Reese, 44, is owner of Birmingham-based ReBirth Marketing and Consulting LLC, an advertising and marketing agency she opened in January 2018. The business, which has two full-time employees and one part-time, helps clients (currently, about seven) figure out how to reach their goals by building a one- to five-year roadmap.
“It is up to us to make sure we’re communicating what their brand means to their target audience, so I feel like we’re the center for them,” she said. “Without marketing and advertising, people lose. … It’s important for us to make sure we communicate that consistent brand-building [message] to each client’s target audience, so people don’t forget them.”
ReBirth serves as a marketing department for every client, Reese explained: “We discuss their goals and develop a plan. … If they want to have better brand recognition, we build out a plan. If a client wants to have more presence in the market, we build out a plan for that … and help them execute it.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered but not slowed Reese’s approach to business.
“You have to stay visible during a pandemic, especially if you serve clients or serve the community, and we’ve made sure that our clients have stayed at the forefront,” she said. “The pandemic has not affected us because we’ve been pretty busy and continue to stay busy because we know that if people go dark, people won’t remember them. The ones who stay visible and present are the ones people remember most.”
Reese grew up in Birmingham’s Smithfield area with her parents and three sisters; Rashida is the second oldest.
“Family is very important to me,” Reese said. “My older sister is five years older than I am, my youngest sister is five years younger that I am, and my [next younger] sister and I are 18 months apart, … so we’re very close.
“My parents are still together and have been married 45 years, and they taught us the importance of family values. All I’ve known all of my life is family over everything.”
Reese attended Norwood Elementary School and Gardendale High School. After graduation, she attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), where she studied communication management and marketing before deciding to leave school and venture into the work world.
“I decided I was just going to work because in your 20s you feel as though you’re on top of the world and know it all,” she said. “I was making pretty good money to be a single woman [working as a bank teller], and I ended up quitting school. On my journey, as I moved up [in my banking career], I was unfortunately turned down for a promotion because I didn’t have a degree. That prompted me to go back to school at UAB.”
After being out of school for about three and a half years, Reese returned to college and graduated in 2003.
“It was a very strenuous time, but at the end of the day it was a goal, and once I set my mind to something nothing stops me from achieving those goals,” she said. “One thing I pride myself on is discipline, and when I say I’m going to do something, I do it.”
After graduating from UAB, Reese worked in sales at ABC 33/40 (WBMA-TV) and NBC 13 (WVTM-TV). “That’s when I really fell in love with digital media,” she said. “I was getting into an age where you’re being innovative and finding new ways for people to capture someone’s attention. I fell in love with the power of how innovation can change the game for all of us.”
From NBC 13, Reese took a position at AL.com, where she was digital director, and then to Yellow Pages, where she got the idea for ReBirth.
“I was only [at Yellow Pages] for a year because we were purchased by another company. In an acquisition, leadership is pretty much the first to go. I was trying to figure out my next step and [realized that] … I was going to continue to go through the same cycle—work for a company that gets bought out and be in the same position. Although I love media, something continued to resonate in my head: ‘You can do this on your own.’”
“I always thought I would own my own business, but I’d always been in leadership and had a lot on my plate. When you’re in leadership, you are managing people,” she said. “I have a family, too. I’m a mom with two boys who are busy and in every sport. … So, even though I [wanted to have my own business] in my heart, I didn’t set aside the time to plan out [my business].”
Once on her own, Reese didn’t waste time getting started.
“I was like, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to make this work, but I’m going to make this work.’ I started having conversations with people, telling them what I was doing, and immediately started getting clients,” she said. “Of course, I used social media to get the word out. I did a few videos on the basics of marketing, such as what to have on a website and how to brand yourself on social media. … I’ve been doing this for a long time, so I was credible enough for people to know I had the experience and I could do their marketing if they needed me to.”
While Reese sets aside time for her business, she also makes time for her sons, Quinton Barnett Reese, 14, and Ryan Reese, 13, who are 18 months apart and both active in football, basketball, and baseball.
When it comes to balancing work, her personal life, and motherhood, Reese said, “I must be intentional with my time to create the necessary balance. I love being with my boys because you can’t get those precious moments back. They work so hard academically and athletically, so my goal is to never miss their important events.”
She puts their activities on her calendar first and then prioritizes her responsibilities based on a combined family schedule.
“In our home, we have one key phrase: ‘No excuses! Just do it!’ So, I must walk the walk if I’m going to talk the talk,” she said.
To learn more about ReBirth Marketing and Consulting, visit www.rebirth.marketing or call 205-915-2926.