Doing this Women Crushing It Wednesdays has given me the opportunity to meet many incredible people who are doing incredible things.
And one of them happens to be Rachael Baptiste.
Like a cape crusader, she finds herself behind the scenes of several projects working things to fruition.
She's a true boss who knows what she wants.
Her story is very important and will inspire many.
Your Woman Crushing It this Wednesday is Rachael Baptiste.
First question is? Do you know it off the top of your head?
I do. It’s the same question that I ask all the women that come in. It's a very easy question. Every superhero has an origin story.
What is yours?
That's a really fantastic question. Um… My origin story is kind of like Bruce Wayne. Of course, I didn’t lose both of my parents. I only lost my mom when I was very young and was well educated in primary, elementary school and high school. I was raised by my father who did a great job. Obviously I went through my trials and tribulations as a woman and as a young lady and my grandma also assisted in raising me as well. Through my upbringing, I was able to get involved in music. I've been singing in church, I do background vocals and album work, to this day. I was able to establish my company six years ago through gaps I saw in the gospel community, but God had it so that Crown Management was a management company for the entire music world. It was primarily artist management, and then I pivoted my business during the pandemic to be just project and operations for Businesses, Research and The Arts. One day very soon, I'll have my batmobile, I guess. That's that's the plan, right?
All right, cool. Well, growing up, what did you aspire to be?
I wanted to be a doctor when I was younger. My mom passed away when I was super young. She was a phlebotomist. She pricked her finger on a dirty needle of somebody who had leukemia. So that's how she got sick. I wanted to be that growing up for a very long time, because I wanted to be able to find the cure for leukemia. Then I changed to wanting to be a lawyer because of my communication skills and my ability to mediate a lot of situations growing up. And then it changed to singer because I thought that I could probably do this for real you know. And then I wanted to know about what happens behind the curtain? Who's the Wizard of Oz? Who does that? That was more important to me. So I learned that and then I realized that I can do anything. I can organize very well. I am very particular. I make sure everything is put together and facilitate an entire process for whoever I worked for. So that was really important to me. So that's kind of my evolution.
You wanted to be a doctor and found yourself through a few career paths. What shifted your projection?
Oh, yeah. I think I've always had a spiritual background. My faith is very important to me. That's a non-negotiable and it's part of my DNA. And so I'm obedient to that. But, I think it's fine to change your mind. Even though my Caribbean parents put huge emphasis on telling me to go to school, which I appreciate, respect and admire, there was always one part of me that they would consider rebellious. I always knew what I wanted and I always knew who I was. I don't think there's anything wrong with changing your mind. That's the colorfulness of being a human and having the human experience. Everybody would tell me that I could sing really well and I was involved in a lot of things growing up. That's always going to be a part of me, I don't really see it as a hobby. It's something that I still do engage in, even though I'm a project manager by trade. And as you mature, as you grow up, things do change. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
So you seem to be behind the scenes on projects. And you singing backgrounds as well, and everything. Why not push yourself to be at the forefront?
Oh, I’m not interested in that. (laughs) I know what that life looks like. It's not a life I want for me, and I'm okay with that. Now, there's people who are called into moments where you have to do that, but it's not something that I desire to be. Some people know their place, and they kill it. There are moments like this where I have to be at the forefront, and I'm able to hold my own. I'm okay with playing the background because usually those are the ones that create the most change to be honest. They're always in the Grammy speeches or their names are etched in stone. They're the ones that are on stage behind the person receiving the award, they're going to be seen regardless. Even the rich billionaires that we have around, you don't really see or hear much from them. You know who they are and they're actually like moving weight. The people who don't say too much, they move the most mountains. I’d like to be that type of person. I want to be that inconspicuous person. That's the type of woman I want to be. So I'm excited to do that.
So, what made you decide to go into management?
I was singing backgrounds and I was tired of getting patty and cocoa bread as payment for the work I did. Then I realized that the gospel music industry in Toronto was very community based, but it was not industry based. There’s no industry here. There's no infrastructure for industry. Whereas in the States, it's different. They have very strict principles. I've seen travel and tech riders for a lot of gospel artists in The States and it's not a game. They're very serious about what they do. That's how they feed their families and pay their mortgage. So instead of just talking about it, I decided to be about it. So I started working in music, and then God led me to start my company. That's how Crown Management came to be. I was just obedient to the voice of God. So we're 7 years now. The pivot, of course, during the pandemic, but still have a vein of the arts proportion in my business. I just had to endure a lot of things in order to get to this place of wisdom. I still work on different teams, I still work in conjunction with Sony, Sony ATV, and different companies. As the entrepreneur's life would have it, I can dip into the 9-5 work when I need to and sometimes that does happen as an entrepreneur. You will have to dip back into certain things because of the economy or whatever else, I can do that no problem. My father is an entrepreneur, he's actually worked in PPE my entire life. So I grew up around that, so when the pandemic dropped, I had all this stuff at my house already. So I watched my dad do that his whole life so it's just something that I've seen growing up.
Where do you see Crown going?
Oh, that's a good question. I want to have art houses in major cities or major firms with the three veins of course, whether that be businesses, research or the arts. So big departments that want to roll out a project at the firm. I still want to have an art portion. So whether it's a big studio. I want to have state of the art recording studios. I definitely want Crown to be a major firm and I want to be able to train other project managers so that it's a really big agency.
So who was a hero for you, growing up and do you see much of their qualities in you?
I think it would be my mothe. Even though she passed away when I was very young. Now, being in my womanhood, I'm learning how she was as a woman. A lot of people say that I look like her, I walk like her, talk like her and have the same energy as her. She was a very hard worker, very ambitious, very determined, diligent, all of those great things. So I think that’s somebody who I want to be. Very mindful, Very cognizant of her health, even though that did happen to her. She was always like making sure she was on rest, but she also worked very hard too. Now that's somebody that I definitely want to aspire to be... My mother. I think she was a dope woman. All the stories that I hear. She was amazing. My uncles who are married to the sisters of the family, they're saying she was the best sister in law. So, yeah, that's definitely who I aspire to be.
Nice. What is a misconception that people have about you?
Misconception? That's a really good question. A big misconception about me is that I should be feared. Because even though I'm very blunt, and straightforward, I say things with my whole chest. And I don't do things in the dark. The light is very exposing. Love and Light is very uncomfortable. It's not blankets and rosy sheets and comfy socks. That's not what love and light is. Love is correction. Love is insight. Love is accountability. Light... When you stand in the light, it shines on your dark places and exposes things that you might not want people to see. So love and light is very triggering. It's not always soft. So when people speak of love and light, no, you're in a frequency of peace. That's not love and light. You're just calm. That's it and that's fine. Just knowing where you're at and acknowledging that and not only intellectually acknowledging that, but actually feeling it and being it. So I'm that type of person where I'm perceived as somebody to be feared because working behind the scenes, you see a lot. A lot of things you can't speak on, because you're protecting a lot of people or you're protecting yourself or the brand or the organization. So a lot of people will say, don't piss her off. Because if Rachael gets the mic, it's over! (laughs) But you know, I'm the type of person where I'm very straightforward and very direct. And I believe in the evolution of humans and life. I don't participate in illusions. So because I walk in that sense of power, sometimes it scares people who are not. I'm not somebody to be feared. As long as you walk in, in your truth and vulnerability, we're good. However dysfunctional or healthy that is. Because I can't participate in illusions with you. I'm going to call it out. It's part of me that I'm working on softening.
I don't know if you answered this question just now. But I want to ask you regardless, so, what do you want people to know about you?
What do I want people to know about me? That's a good question. I feel like I'm an open book, you just have to ask. But I know that I do things intentionally from a pure heart. And again, I say things with my chest. So if you are in your own bubble, and you want to stay there, cool, but I'm not the woman for you. Because I'm gonna call out the blind spots. That's the type of person I am and it's not to come out of a spirit of criticism, but of love, protection and safety. That's really important. And knowing that people have varying paths, people have varying core values that I need to be honoured. I think core values need to be honored and respected, but our ethics are what need to align. That's what makes any relationship work. I'm nobody to be feared. I'm cool. I'm jokes. Very open and transparent. I think I have good jokes. I make people laugh. But um, yeah, that's me.
You might have a side hustle as a comedian.
I know that's coming in. I should do stand up.
You touched on relationships. Have you found that bluntness and that love and light… Do you find it hard to make relationships work?
That's really good. Anything that's for you is for you. Any relationship needs to be built on trust and honesty. It's funny, I had a conversation the other day where somebody asked me, how do you separate truth from honesty, because I'm finding that those are two different things. So I could be honest and tell you that your hat is blue. But the truth is, that hat doesn't fit you. It doesn't fit your face. It just doesn't. That's just an example. But that's the difference. So to be in a relationship with somebody who doesn't want to go through the valley of the shadow of their demons to figure out the core of who they are, the relationship is not gonna work, especially with me. Because I've made sure I've done my work. Trust me. If my life was a play on the big screen today... Embarrassed!! Very bad. Like, that's everybody. And we all make mistakes, and we all do those things that make us want to hide. But I've done enough work to reform and to reprogram my subconscious, so I'm not continuing my destructive patterns. So that I'm not apologizing to my kids when I have them. I don't cap about doing my work, I don't lie about that. I plunged myself into different modes of therapy, prayer and fasting, and my spirit work. But yeah, in relationships, my bluntness, there's some guys that really appreciate that. I was raised by my father. So sometimes I give off masculine energy. And so I've learned when I'm with the right man that I'm much softer. So I might still be blunt and, and very straightforward and assertive, but there's a way in which I do it. And it'll be more leading into my feminine side, which I think is really important. Guys are protect and provide. And you say what you need to say. So to have somebody like that, who's a woman, who's able to really have your back and able to tell you when you're fucking up... any man with a true sense of self would appreciate that. I'm not a trophy that you dust off when you feel like it. I'm not that woman. I'm not for you then. And that's okay! That's something that I've learned this year. It’s radical acceptance. And I'm the type of person who understands that there's some people who are just really loving genuine people, and they've done their work. Then there's some people who've gone through some crazy shit and they hold on to that crazy shit, and become very terrible people to others. Even then, I'm still in radical acceptance of that. What I won't do is be in agreeance, with the behavior. So you can't be in my life. You can't be around me. It will be unhealthy for the both of us to meet certain relationship standards and exhaustion is not my ministry. So this year, for me, has been super radical acceptance of every person on every journey, categorizing those people, categorizing if they can be in certain levels of proximity to me, and that's it. And it's no shade.
What legacy do you want to leave?
Like Beyonce, and Jay Z. Where my great great grandkids are eating and they're good, you know. They look at pictures of their grandmother and say she was dope. She was super wise and fun. You see videos of her and see that she made her mistakes and she was not a perfect woman at all. She made some crazy things happen! However, she was very mindful. She came to know herself. She was very boundary oriented and stood her ground. She stood in the face of fear. Money will always be there. The principles are what stay forever. It's beyond the point. That's me. My wisdom will last forever. That's legacy.
Let’s say you meet an 18 year old Rachael, what advice would you give her?
Take a break before you go to York. Fight your parents on that specifically. Explore life. Really know what you want to do. Don't go to York for English, which is what I did. (laughs) Go for music or go for your project management. Do that first. When you're ready, work as hard as you can. Save your money! Be conscious of budgeting. Vision board what you want your life to look like every five years from then. And don't talk to weird men. (laughter)Because they're weird. And anybody that's around your age doesn't know what they want. So don't worry about it. Enjoy your life, be single, date, but don't get serious. My first serious relationship started when I was 19-20. So that shouldn't have happened but I learned a lot. So I accept the lessons. Again, radical acceptance.