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Exploring Life & Business with Patricia Roca of The Coral Group

Today we’d like to introduce you to Patricia Roca.

Hi Patricia, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
For 25 years, I had been working in Corporate America in healthcare marketing. The last six years of my life, I’ve been dedicated to a women’s health brand that supports the breast cancer community. I’ve always been so passionate about the work. It’s hard not to be: I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many patients that were brand ambassadors with such inspiring stories. My mother is also a breast cancer survivor of over 20 years, so I’ve always had an enormous amount of respect for the community and am always inspired by their resilience and courage. Then, in 2019, I was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. It changed everything. Immediately, I had to determine what my treatment plan would be. I went from one day where everything was perfectly normal to the next day where I was discussing surgical options that could impact my overall life expectancy. Thankfully, I was so fortunate to have so much knowledge about what my options were because of the years I spent working within the community. Their courage, strength, and passion helped me push forward. I was able to advocate for myself and make decisions that were 100% for me. But I also started to look at the work I was doing on a much deeper level. Breast cancer doesn’t go away after treatment and/or surgery. You live with it for the rest of your life. Your life changes completely. Every little ache and pain after that is a stress factory. You have to learn how to deal with your relationships differently. Dating is a whole new world. Self-love can be a daily struggle.

Yet you also learn to appreciate your life and see the blessing of it all. One of my favorite books I read while I was recovering from surgery was Heal Breast Cancer Naturally: 7 Essential Steps to Beating Breast Cancer by Dr. Véronique Desaulniers. She says you have the find the hidden blessing of everything that’s happening to you. And I believe that 100%. Had I not been diagnosed with cancer, I don’t know if I would have had a reason to pause and be still enough to reflect on my life, especially from a career standpoint. I was able to ask myself if I was really happy, if I was doing the most that I could do, or if I was just happily complacent and simply going through motions. I asked myself what if? and why not? Something about being diagnosed with cancer makes you realize how short life is and how important it is to take chances in life. These questions and the reflections that came with them led me to start The Coral Group in April 2021 – with a former colleague and friend, Lola Martinez. The Coral Group is a small marketing agency focused on women’s’ health. Part of what I love about starting this company is that we get to choose everything: the work we bring in, the people we work with, the projects we take on. Most importantly, we learn something new every day: about each other, about our team, about our clients, and about business in general.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’m still learning how to manage stress and not sweat the small stuff in life so that I can stay healthy. I also have to find the energy every day to be the best manager and cheerleader possible, even when I’m having a bad day. I love marketing–and I also love teaching and mentoring people on my team and seeing them grow. Now that I’m also running a business, it can be a struggle to manage all of these things, but I am motivated every day to do my best, and I love every minute of it.

While we don’t have it 100% figured out yet, I am so proud that we persevere every single day; inspiring each other along the way to be better – better colleagues, better partners, better managers, better people. And that excites me more than any agency for which I’ve worked.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
The Coral Group is a boutique marketing agency. We have team members that have decades of experience who have worked at traditional agencies their entire careers. We decided it was time to go for it and start The Coral Group! We also have team members who are new to the industry, that bring entirely new and fresh perspectives on the work that we do, which is so awesome. At the end of the day, we have a team of people who are super passionate about what they do, and super smart. There is a lot of learning and lots to figure out along the way when you’re part of a start-up– always. I can honestly say, we do our very best every single day, and I’m so proud of that.

We like to say– we are the antidote to the traditional advertising agency. Female-owned and led, founded with the goal of shaking things up in the best possible way.

What was your favorite childhood memory?
I have a big family and we are pretty close, so my childhood memories involve all of my siblings. But in particular, I have many memories with my younger sister, Lissette. We used to love to listen to music in our rooms, making up dance routines and just being silly.

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Image Credits:

@jamesdiazphotography for the ones at NYFW #Cancerland x Metavivor Fashion Show with the step & repeat in the background

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