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Meet Rafael Cabrera of RISE Hydration in Studio City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rafael Cabrera.

Rafael, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
It all started on February 8th, 2017 when I packed my Dodge Challenger with all my personal belongings and started my drive from my hometown of Union City, New Jersey to Los Angeles, California. I arrived in Studio City just four days later excited and ready to tackle the task at hand. I was in Los Angeles for my first passion, Acting. Acting has always followed me in life from doing every play I could through middle school and high school to attending the New York Film Academy (Manhattan Campus) after college. I love performing. I was now in the entertainment capital of the world and ready to share my talent and work hard. I booked a headshot session the day after getting to Studio City and quickly dove right into every opportunity I could find available. I began researching every actor website and self-submitting to every single role I saw fit. Soon after getting commercial and theatrical representation I realized that there is no such thing as a typical Actor life or schedule. Auditions could come in at any time and could be as soon as the same day or scheduled for a week out. This led me to the realization that I couldn’t have just any regular job, or I would end up getting fired within a week or even worse have to choose between a paycheck and an audition.

Being completely dedicated to acting, I knew that I did not want to put myself in this situation. The job that I had left behind to move to LA was a business loan consultant in NYC. I would actively seek businesses that could benefit from a loan for inventory or to help their margins. Doing this taught me a lot about how businesses work and sparked interest in starting my own business. Knowing it wasn’t my true passion, I never acted on this interest. Being in Los Angeles, pursuing acting, I was now at a crossroads where I needed income but flexibility for auditions and bookings, I knew it was the perfect opportunity.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
My biggest obstacle has been getting in meetings with business owners and selling my product. One of my biggest challenges has been initiating a conversation. It was a burden I needed to force myself to work through. Once I had a conversation going, it was easy but starting the conversation has always been and still is difficult. Another challenge has been reaching the owners of various gas stations and food trucks. This was very difficult as employees are instructed to withhold information on when the owner would be in store or even if the owner was there at that current moment. It is understandable and I knew I just needed to find my way around this obstacle, which I quickly did; persistence. If I didn’t get past this obstacle, I would have no business, so I made sure to continue to follow up until I got in front of the decision makers.

Please tell us about your business.
RISE Hydration was established in 2017. With the “healthy living” trend in Los Angeles, I knew I needed to start a business with a product line that could capitalize on this current trend. I also wanted to sell an honest product that would help and contribute to good health. After moving to Los Angeles, I realized that water is key to everything in life and certain waters were more beneficial than others. I could taste the difference between waters and knew that some were better than others. This is how ‘RISE’ Hydration was born. I wanted to create a brand of water that was easily accessible to all people and was good, beneficial water. I studied the benefits of keeping your body pH balanced and how it can help your body perform at its peak optimal level. This is the inspiration behind RISE water. It’s a perfect pH balanced water with added electrolytes. It’s smooth, refreshing and crisp. If you talk to true water drinkers, you’ll know that not all water tastes the same. About two months later and many many tastings of different formulas RISE was perfected and bottled.

I first pitched my water to food trucks that would just resell “Costco/Walmart” brand water. I explained the benefits of having pH water and how profit margins would be greater than just dumping cheap water onto their customers. Slowly ‘RISE’ caught fire and was requested at more and more food trucks. I got a call from a gas station asking if I could supply them with ‘RISE’ to be sold in their store. This was a game changer and a very monumental moment for the business. Going to this gas station and seeing my water in the refrigerator section was my proudest moment.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Funny as it may seem the person who deserves credit and who has motivated me the most is someone I’ve never met. It’s Jeff Olson the writer of “The Slight Edge”. This book has inspired me and clarify when I needed it most. I’ve read it cover to cover more than a dozen times and each time it’s more refreshing than the last.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 12400 Ventura Blvd Suite 1005,
    Studio City, CA, 91604
  • Website:
  • Phone: 201-233-1993
  • Email:

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