Skinspirational: Rina Patel, Founder of The Thinkers

After living in India post grad, Rina began reflecting on her own experiences in education. How does self care intersect with education? When do we learn to create effective relationships? The Thinkers is her answer to these life questions and more.

rina patel the thinkers

What is your desert island skincare product?

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream.

Coffee or Tea?

Tea! Typically non-caffeinated herbal.

What’s your favorite app right now?

Hm, that’s tricky. To be honest, it’s Tiny Mobile Banking app. It lets me deposit checks and I’m in money making mode right now.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Curious, generous, and intentional.

Curious: I’ve always been interested in how we make decisions. Why do we bring suffering to ourselves? I’m definitely a macro thinker. I obsessively want to know how different parts of the world work. That outlook has led me to traveling. 

Generous: Service has always been a huge part of my life; my parents are very service oriented, so that value has trickled down to me too. In 2011, I started a nonprofit to help disabled people in rural villages. Service and creating things for the world has always been a part of me.

Intentional: I’m very deliberate about the people that I surround myself with. That careful intentionality also plays a part in my day-to-day decisions. I ask myself how things impact my work, and especially my time. I’m very intentional about how I occupy my time because life is both so long and short. 

You founded The Thinkers. Tell me about that journey.

In 2017 I moved back to the US from India where I had been living since 2015. Looking back, The Thinkers started before the company was ever official. I was working on it way before, in 2014 when I felt dissatisfied with economic and education systems. At that time, I’d never been exposed to sustainable grassroots change. I started thinking about how relationships could be a powerful tool for change, and those ideas became the basis of The Thinkers.

Those thoughts led me to reflect upon my own experience with education. I was never an A student but was always interested in doing what I cared about. When I was in India, I was learning from people as opposed to how I thought I should live. 

When I moved back in 2017, I focused on creating a space where young people could create an authentic self, expanding education from just the classroom sense. As we evolved, I realized that our focus is life skills and preparing people to live in the future.

Now, we educate for life in the 21st century. We teach communication, healthy relationships, future design, time management, productivity among other components. Mentorship is also an important part. We connect students with people 10-15 years ahead to give them a look into career pathways. Currently we’re building a video course library for all life skills so it can be universally accessible online.

Wow. Tell me about how you dealt with the challenges that are part of building a company.

Despite talking and working with many people, I often feel like I’m doing this alone. My support system has been so valuable – but there’s always self doubt when making big decisions. Trusting myself has been challenging. When making those tough decisions I have to remind myself that the only way to find out the right path is to try something. 

With all this pressure of driving The Thinkers, how do you self care? 

I do a morning meditation practice everyday; if I don’t, I lose my marbles. Generally, I try to sweat everyday. Even with the influx of work, I try to take at least part of the weekend to rest.  With shelter in place, I’ve been having dinner with my parents every night and we pray as a family.

What’s your skincare practice? 

I use baking soda as an exfoliator in the shower in the morning along with a brown sugar coconut scrub after. Once I get out of the shower, I apply Kiehl’s Ultra Moisturizing Cream and swipe ghee on my lips to moisturize.

What is your favorite skincare product?

I’ve actually started using tea tree oil in place of deodorant and I love it. Its natural properties zaps the bacteria that causes odor.

Who is your skinspiration?

Nathalie Kelly. She’s an actress who recently began advocating for more natural lifestyles. She follows an Ayurvedic natural way of living, and I just feel like she’s an earth woman that I can relate to.  

Check Out Rina’s Skincare Routine for Dry Skin!

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