I met Falesha Raquel when I was conducting auditions for my play, Every Year (still on its way). She was the only that came in to audition having memorized her lines and with accessories based on the character description. So she definitely the role.
During rehearsals and photoshoots we did, we came to find out that she had a past musical career with videos on YouTube and that she owned her very own belly dancing company.
And over the years, I have seen her trailblazing her way to success with her real estate endeavors, which transitioned now into home building. And now, if you check her out, you’ll see that she wrote a book.
Get to know one of the dopest individuals I’ve had a chance to meet and honestly, she truly is a woman crushing it.
Thank you for coming through.
Thank you for having me.
All right. Awesome. So, um, we will start with the beginning. Everything has a beginning.
So when you think of the story of your life, what would the beginning look like for you?
The beginning of my life... Wow. So pretty much... I was raised by my single mother. She's Filipino. My dad is Jamaican. They met in high school, fell in love, had me and then parted soon after that. And it's been such an amazing journey. But it really started off rough, especially being raised on a single income household with myself and my brother. You know, the typical. Mom working two full time jobs to make ends meet and me having to step up and play that role to be there for my brother as he's growing up. So, yeah, pretty rough patch, but I know a lot of you can relate.
Cool. Cool. Cool. So...
Shout out Jane Street! (laughter) I’m from Jane Street. 787! Went to St. James Elementary School and Bishop Allen Academy High School.
(laughter) Nice. So, um, what were your aspirations when you were a child?
Um, so when I was a child, I've always known what I wanted to be... I knew I wanted to be on television or media somehow. I wanted to be either a singer, a dancer. I wanted to be an influencer, entrepreneur, an actress. Something of the sort where I can kind of influence the masses and lead and motivate people. And I've done that pretty much all my life stemming back from my very first performance. And a few of my friends, especially one of my closest friends, in my childhood, will probably remember, at lunchtime, we used to do a performance, every recess at 12 o'clock. This is going back from grade 5, 6, 7... I think even grade 8 too. At recess we would put on a live show, to the point where it landed me a main role as Sandy from Grease, in grade eight to play her lead role, but my friends and I would always entertain our school with our performances.
Nice! So far, as I've known you, you've been a singer, a model, actress, you own your own dance company, real estate, now you’re in construction and have a book out. Anything else you feel like conquering?
You know, to be honest, I live my life as I feel God has planned for me. You know, a lot of the time people say, Why do you do so much? You don't really have to dance anymore because you're a realtor, or you don't have to do real estate like that anymore. Because you're in construction, you can kind of boss people around. The truth is I love everything that I do. And whatever just feels right, if I have an idea, I act on it. I don't hold back. If I fail, I fail. I pick up and I keep going. I failed so many times. But I also have a lot of wins. Lots of wins. I believe in lessons not failures. Continuously find ways to ground yourself and reflect and stay humble. I feel like sometimes if we lose that sense of humbleness, God is just going to reel you back in and wake you up and shake you and be like, “you remember who's boss” kind of thing. You know what I mean? So, for me, um, yeah, I want to do whatever the opportunities that come my way, I'm going to act on them. And that's how I've lived my life. And that's how I'll continue to live my life. I started my dance company when I was 15 years old. The reason why I started it was because I was always a dancer, but I felt like I just couldn't fit in with the ballerinas. right because my teachers back then would tell me ballet is a requirement. And I was like, Oh, no, it's not. I want to be something different. And they weren't with it then. And so I was like, You know what, if I can't have my way, I'll just create it. And that's what happened. And that's exactly what has happened throughout the process of my life. If I felt like there was a hurdle, there, stopping me. And I was getting like, you know, the NO’s, I would turn that into fine, I'll create my own. That’s how I've just been pushing forward and with the great support of my friends, family, colleagues and assistants, it's really allowed me to be the force that I am. I'm just bringing the people that are with me along the way and along the journey and that's it.
That is actually pretty dope. To be perfectly honest, that's how this thing came to be as well with Women Crushing It Wednesdays.
Yeah, do you! And that's what I'm saying. Right? I think many of us fight this internal battle of the what-ifs. They're afraid to look a certain way in front of people, or they're afraid to fail in front of people. And, you know, I think we got to stop that. And we just got to push forward and do our own thing. People are always gonna judge you, not agree with you, not like you for whatever reason. So be it. But misery loves that comfort. Right? Progression equals happiest I feel when you're doing you. You know, at least I can speak for myself, right? Like when I'm doing me, and no one's stopping me. And I have all these ideas. And I want to try all these ideas. And they're crazy. And my husband's looking at me, like, What is wrong with you? Slow down, hold on, hold on. But I'm happiest when I'm executing on them. And it's the progression of that. And, you know, there's a very famous quote, and I think it was Tony Roberts actually who said this, and it's like, success really isn't a destination, but it's the journey. Right? And it doesn't matter. You know, where you're at right now. You could have... I always say, you know, to people, because they always say when are you going to stop? You can have $3 million, or $3 billion. Right now, let's just hypothetically say you had that right now. Then what? You can only eat so much and drink so much. Buy as much clothes, right? Yeah, like meeting a bunch of celebrities and having as many yachts and cars. But then what? then what after that? Yeah, so that's how I live. I always think, if I had a billion dollars right now, then what? I would still be pushing forward and trying new things and doing new things. And trying to figure out what I like and what I don't like trying. Right, and that's pretty much my advice. People, just do you! Whatever you feel in your heart. Do you! Don't worry about the masses, they're always gonna judge. Haters gonna hate. Always.
I like it! So, um, let's pick on the haters. So there’s this criticism that comes with people who take on different projects, especially when in different fields. I've been getting criticism because I started off as a writer. I'm doing photography. Sometimes folks forget that I'm a writer. Sometimes folks would get that I do photography as well. But all in all, it's Robert Mulolo in the end. So they say Jack of all trades, master of none. If someone was to say, Jill of all trades, master of none. What would be your response to those critics?
Ah, you know, it's so funny, because let me tell you something. Yeah. Just last week. All right. I was driving one of my company trucks. And my brand is all over it. So it'll say Falesha Homes, which is the brand and then it says Real Estate, Renovations, Custom Homes, Permits and Landscaping. Alright, so I go in, and I go and pay and I'm talking to some of the guys there, you know, that work there. And they're just like, Falesha, it looks like you couldn't figure out what to put on your trucks. So you just throw everything on it. But the way he said it was kind of like he was hating like he wasn't with it, you know? And I was like, You know what, these are just all the things I do. And if it resonates with you, then cool. That's what it is right? He turned around and then he's like, Okay, cool. It just looks Kinda like funny, you know? And I was like, “yeah, some gonna love it, some gonna hate it. If you're going to hate it, cool”. And it is what it is. His coworker turns around like, Oh, I see that you have staging on there. I'm looking for some staging. Actually, can I get your card? His coworker... In front of him. Point proven. So I just got business and you're hating when your coworker is there asking me for my business card now because he wants to get some staging done. So again, it's not even the fact of being the master of none. And I don't really even consider myself a jack of all trades, because there's a lot of things that I really can't do. Right. But I enjoy all the things that I do. I own multiple companies, properties and vehicles. I'm not the best at, you know, certain things in construction or fixing any of my cars. You know? I own the company. I'm a good business woman. That's what it is. So I think people just get mixed up in the riffraff and yeah (laughter)...
All right. Um, you mentioned your husband. How do you manage being a wife and entrepreneur? Like, what are the difficulties you experience?
Oh, wow. So I've been with my husband for 15 years. love you babe.. shout out Shane Weazy! Hard Knocks Entertainment! (laughter) I love him to pieces. Um, I would say, you know, I think a lot of entrepreneurs, they definitely struggle with balance. And what we've done... Because we recognize this early in our careers, because he owns a company as well. And we're both entrepreneurs. And so we said, you know, if we're going to really want to spend time together, we're gonna have to start putting this actually in our schedule, and making days for each other. We come home every night, you know, we're together, we eat dinner. That's where we kind of debrief on our day. Now, more so over the course of COVID, he's been helping me more with the construction side of things. So with Falesha Homes, so we get to spend a little bit more time together, which is awesome. But still the balance, right? You really got to keep the balance, and you got to keep the communication and the transparency. You know, and I think a lot of the times in marriage people shy away from having uncomfortable conversations. You know, and for those who know me, I'm pretty, outspoken. Like, my assistant will tell you I don't hold anything back. Sometimes I say things and people are just like, Why would you say that? How? That's why oh, my God Who says that? And I'm like, I'm just feeling that. So I just have to say it, you know, so that's my personality. And that's what works. For my friendships, with my family, in my marriage, I'm just straight up. So if I need help with something, I'll just say or if I'm feeling a certain way, I'll just say it. You know, if I'm feeling to express my emotions, you know, people in my family, they call me Miss I Love You. I'm always like, I love you. I love you so much. Like, I just wear my heart on my sleeve. Yeah, so balance guys, balance is key for marriage. And you don't want too much of your spouse. But you also don't want to be away from them too long. Also, right? Too much, then I'm sure a lot of people can relate with the whole COVID being locked down with their spouses, they just started going head to head with them and they want to shake them, right. So too much? is not good. And too little is not good. Balance. And you got to be, you know, as an individual, you got to work on yourself. No one's gonna make you happy. You know what I'm saying? So at the end of the day, like, I'll still make sure that I'm putting 100 into myself. I don't let myself go. And I keep my own happiness. Yeah, we both go through our ruts, that's normal. Like I go through a period of time also in a year, where I have that winter blues type thing. But I can call it out. I'm like, babe, I'm going through something right now. I tell my assistant, I'm going through something. She’ll say Yep, we know. I'm like, Okay, cool. Can you guys just support me right now? And then it's a mental thing, right? And people, they just shy away from talking about these things. But everyone has their... I call it my rut. The Falesha rut. And it will last for about a month, maybe two sometimes. But I pull myself together and then I’m okay, I'm good. I'm good. Just keep praying. You know?.
What is a misconception people have about you?
That I'm a diva. Big time! Oh my god! Oh god! Oh, you're a diva, you can't do that, you can't get dirty.
How do they think of you as a diva with the whole construction thing?
Exactly! That's why I have to show them. I never used to really do videos like behind the scenes. But I'm like, you know, I really need to start showing people that I can actually do these things. Because I think people have the perception of me as always just wearing heels. People know me also as a dancer, because I've been a belly dancer, an international belly dancer for years which I’ll never give up. I love dance. Diva Diverse will live on, you know. But I always get that. You're a diva. Don't hurt yourself. Oh, don't carry that. Oh, you don't know about that. And I'm just like, Nah, you really don't know me? You really don't.
What would you want people to know about you?
Um, I want people to know about me that... I think a lot of people find me intimidating. I've gotten that like a few times. Or, like, with my colleagues, I'll ask, so what's your feedback on me? And they'll say, number one, you're crazy. You do a lot. And number two, you are mad intimidating. I want people to know, life is fast for everyone. Life is just fast. And when you own multiple companies, life just seems like it's like a blink of an eye every day. I am a very sociable people person. And I like when people ask me questions. I like when people DM me, and they want advice, or they want guidance, or they want me to help them with their real estate needs, other construction needs or whatever it is. So for those people who think they don't want to reach out to me because they find me intimidating, or they think that I perceive them in a different way... I'm not judgy like that. As I said, I've come from a single parent household. And, I'm just like everyone else. We're the same. Everyone's striving for the same thing. So that bothers me a little bit when I ask people and they say to me that I’m intimidating. I'm like, But how? Really? No way.
You know, something I find, especially with business owners that I've interviewed, people find them to be intimidating without having engaged them in the first place. I feel they fear more the title of boss or CEO more than they fear the person themselves, because they see you doing things, they see the manifestation of what it is that you've been working on. And it's just like, this is fear. This is scary, right there. It's like they cower themselves away, because they are not on the same level.
But you know what, like, ask the questions. I didn't get here because, you know, I was blessed. Like, I mean, I am blessed. Yes, but I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. That was never it. I've failed so many times. And the reason why I wrote a book is so that people would hopefully read it and get some inspiration from it and can see where I came from, to where I'm at now. That was the purpose. But some people, obviously, may not be readers, and I understand that. So if that's the case, and you want to know something, reach out, DM me, email or text me, you know, like, I want to help, especially for the culture. You know, there's so many people already doing certain things in the entertainment industry. And it's amazing, and I love that so much. But if I can be here to help people and guide them, and give them information on how to go about things and educate on the topic of financial literacy. Great! I don't just specialize with luxurious living when it comes to real estate. I'm not about that. You know, if you're looking for a lease, and you tell me, I need something for a grand a month. Can you help me, Falesha? Sure. No problem. I got your back. Let me show you what's up. Or Falesha, I'm looking for something that's $2.5 million. Can you help me? No problem. You know, it's not a matter of having that luxurious, rich people, category niche type thing. I'm here for the culture. You know, I'm raising two cultures here. I'm trying to rise up my Filipinos and rise up my black side too, right. Yeah, so power to the people.
What's next for you?
Huh? Well, this season has kicked off. And I've been super busy on the construction side of things. I just recently got my broker license, guys. And I’m the latest feature on 680 news and City News that airs twice a week.
Thank you. So we'll see where that takes me. A lot of people have been like Oh, when are you guys gonna have kids? I'm hoping God will bless me with some kiddies in the near future. We'll see what happens. That'd be a nice chapter to live through.
It'd be nice. Yeah, it would be nice. You know what? I was gonna ask another question. It was gonna be my last but I just thought of something. And I listened to this thing yesterday recently. They talked about an article that came out saying that the reason why a lot of women are not dating or not getting married, is because too many men are broke. They said, the thing is, nothing has changed with men, it's just that women have elevated themselves where they work and make so much more money than the men. What would you say to the women that are in your position? They called it dating down.Should they “date down” or should they aspire to basically get with someone who makes more than they do?
Um, you know, it's different for everyone. Now, what I would say to that is, you can be with somebody who makes a lot of money, and hate them. Just hate their personality. You know what I mean, they might have this big egotistical personality, that you just can't shake. Or you can have somebody who is an average person who's down and loving and gives you everything, but doesn't make half as much money as you. At the end of the day, I think people need to just realize that when you come home after a long, stressful working day, it's good to just take off that hat, hang it and be comfortable with the person you're with. And have dinner together and relax. And you know, be transparent and be you, be real, you know, and be vulnerable. But if you can't do that with somebody then what's the point of even being with them? It can't just be because of the money they make. I mean if you're doing that, because you have some marketing behind it like these celebrities do where they marry someone just to bring them up. Sure. You know, do you! But personally speaking for me, this is the advice I would give my friends, my family. Find that spouse, that partner that you truly love. Don't even watch the money. You know, if you're worried about that, then sign a prenup. It's only valid for 10 years by the way, need to throw that out there. (laughter)
All right, so sign a prenup, but at the end of the day, I do have a lot of successful women that don't have children and they don't want children. They are successful and they do make more money. And it's really a personal choice. For me. I think leaving a legacy is great. And that's one of the reasons also why you know people always ask why do you go by Falesha Raquel and not like your married name? And I'm always like, history.
, not the last name that we were given by slave masters. You know, so, yeah.
That’s dope. What is a piece of advice you would give to someone following in your footsteps?
Following in my footsteps is... Don't give up on your dreams, keep pushing. You know, keep pushing. I know a lot of people say that. But don't take that lightly. When people say no, even in your heart if you know it's a yes, keep pushing. I hear no all the time. There are times where my entire team looks at me and says no, Falesha, no. And but in my heart, I'm like, Guys, no, I feel it, I feel it. And I just push through. And they look at me like I'm crazy. And I push through and you know, at the end of the day, I did it. And it feels right. And most of the time it works out. So sometimes people can't really see your vision. Your vision is your vision. Your gift is your gift. Your skills are your skills. This is what you were blessed with. Listen to yourself. And if it feels right, go for it. Don't stop. Keep God first.