Everything Girls Love’s platform is simple, finding a balance between a healthy work and family life. We pride ourselves in being able to have it all, an amazing career, a loving family, and a bomb social life. Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to interview Raygrid Calderon, a driven and talented mother. Calderon, the eldest of 5 siblings, raised in Washington Heights by her Dominican family, attended school in the Bronx. Somewhere between adolescence and adulthood, Calderon, knew she wanted more; and in order to obtain those dreams, she had to network. Raygrid Calderon is the CEO of Dreemkacher Eclectic and creator of mobile app, Dreemkacher. Dreamkacher singlehandedly brings you in closer contact with other people who are looking to network. From this, Calderon’s goal is to help create healthy business relationships by connecting people all across the world.
EGL: At what age did you start coding?
Calderon: It all started when my parents first purchased a computer. At that time, I was only 13 years old and wasn’t familiar with technology but somehow managed to install and set up all the programs. And from there (I) taught myself to develop websites. After having my first hands-on experience that’s when my love for technology started. Although I got a degree in creative writing and journalism, my passion for technology never went away. I am a self taught programmer. Not being able to take courses at the time I bought books, watched how to videos and even was tutored by a current tech student to begin my journey.
EGL: How long did it take you to create the app?
Calderon: The idea came to me mid 2012 and launched early 2013. I jumped right in and gave it absolutely everything. With the great support system I had, I was able to do just that. Fast forward after receiving accreditation from Sprite, the Lebron James Entrepreneur Campaign I decided to relaunch the app with a new interface and features.
EGL: Are there a lot of woman in the world of tech?
Calderon: I never noticed the lack of women in tech because I exclusively worked with other women in the industry; but when I started attending conventions, conferences and doing public speaking events, it was then I noticed the lack of women in the field. To my surprise I recently found out that the world of tech is made up of 25% of women and only 10% are women of color and 1% are Latina.
EGL: How was it developing an app and being a full-time mom?
Calderon: It wasn’t easy but we all know that nothing worth it is easy. Finding time to attend and cater to my children’s very active schedule, studying and finding space to program was no easy task but my goal was to create a strict weekly schedule dedicated to solely accomplishing the task at hand. I think that as women, especially mothers we possess a certain trait to carry the world on our shoulders and make it seem effortless.
EGL: Was it always a dream of yours to work in the tech field?
Calderon: It was not a dream of mine. It wasn’t until 2012 when I saw myself going through a few hurdles and found myself wanting more from life but most importantly more from myself. I had an innovative idea and in order to manifest it I needed to go into a field that I was not traditionally prepared for.
EGL: How did you come up with the name for your app and what does it mean to you?
Calderon: The word “dreamcatcher” was always something that made sense to me considering the app has two parts and are described as a dreamer and a catcher but due to legalities I could not keep the mane. As I was taking a creative break to think of a new name for my company and app. During a visit to my grandmother, she handed me old mail she was holding from my deceased father. To my surprise when I opened the box inside was a dreamcatcher. That is when I said to myself that this was a sign to move forward with my initial plan.
EGL: While developing the app, what obstacles did you face?
Calderon: The beginning stages were rather difficult but everything served a purpose to aligning myself where I needed to be. Being denied funds and not having assistance in the tech field, I took it upon myself to teach myself everything I needed to start. From development to marketing. That helped for my relaunch happening this summer in the long run.
What we can take away from Calderon is that through all of the trial and error, perseverance always wins. We hope that her story of finding a balance between career and life inspires you to never put your dreams on hold!
Interview By: Cynthia L