It didn’t take me long to realize I wanted to start my own business after taking the “Start Now!" course at the Academy for Creating Enterprise. "Start Now!" is a course that teaches the principles for correctly running a business. I applied every concept I learned into my business.
I love to sell, and I am good at it. I also love accessorizing. During the “Start Now!” course, I saw an opportunity to combine these passions to start a business. I also wanted to create a business that was innovative, new to the accessory world, and embodied my native culture. In my city, there are many artisans who weave a unique fabric using Chambira fibers. Chambira comes from a spiny palm that is native to Peru. The artisans in my city weave the Chambira fibers completely by hand. As most jewelry is no longer handmade, I wanted to use my business to promote these aspects of my culture -- providing a product that was both innovative and financially beneficial for many people in my community.
One challenge my business faces is competition. I was the first to make watch straps out of Chambira. I imagine other women who want to start a business will do the same thing. Unfortunately, this will increase our competition. However, the Academy taught me the importance of offering quality in our product and customer service. We hope applying these principles and trusting in the Lord will create a positive experience for our clients and set us apart from other competitors.
During my time at the Academy, we learned about starting small and thinking big. In this particular course, you start with a simple paper clip. I used this clip to grow my money until I had enough to make 20 pairs of earrings. The earrings sold very quickly and I used the money we earned to invest in more than 250 pairs of earrings. This rapid growth taught me the importance of starting small and thinking big. This growth also helps me feel calmer and prevents me from making rash decisions that could negatively impact my business.
My business just celebrated our year anniversary this September! I thank the Academy for helping me think outside of the box and innovate. I am also happy that self-reliance has become a part of who I am. Above all, I love the artisans I work with.
The Academy didn’t just teach me how to take the first step -- Academy courses also taught me basic business rules to follow to avoid making bad decisions. Although I am a beginner, I have a substantial income. However, the most beautiful thing is seeing the artisans I work with gain their own money and improve their quality of life.
Our products are beautiful! In addition to watch straps, we also sell bracelets, ankle bracelets, necklaces, and watches. We are considering selling commemorative pins and keychains in the future.
This year, I participated in the Academy Awards program. I was awarded first prize in the Youth of the Year category. I feel very grateful for everything I have accomplished.