It is Women’s History Month and we are proud to be co-founded by a fabulous woman. Lisset is a Colombian native who opened the doors to Colombiana in 2012. We asked her a few questions about how she started her own business and any advice she has for others wanting to do the same.
What inspires you everyday to keep pursuing your dreams?
What inspires me everyday is knowing that I have built this company from scratch and seeing it blossom to what it is now. I love being able to provide jobs to so many people, mostly minority Latina women who is just starting up in the U.S and find it hard to get a job. Aside from this, I love being able to provide jobs to people not only in the U.S, but my home country, Colombia. To be able to help women all over the world gain confidence in themselves and look better everyday and most importantly, the power to be able to give back - I'm a huge animal lover, and I support several dog foundations. Later on I'd like to run a foundation to be able to help animals on a wider scale.
If you weren't an entrepreneur, what would your dream job be?
I'd be a an odontologist, I always found it fascinating.
What advice would you give to women who are wanting to make a business?
I would teach them to not be afraid, the worst thing that can happen is to fail and that is nothing to be afraid of. Learn from the failure, and use it to grow. In the beginning there will be many obstacles, but know that the journey is worth it. We as women have the same capabilities as men to make our dreams happen.
What struggles did you deal with when starting up your business and how do you get through them?
Definitely my age, I was only 19 years old when we started Colombiana and many suppliers believed we wouldn't make it, So many of them turned us down and refused to work with us. Over time, when they saw what we were accomplishing, they changed their minds. The lack of experience is very expensive, and the lack of capital to work with as well. But we eventually passed all obstacles, and continue to go through them to this day. Obstacles in business never end, but use them to grow and learn!
What would you like to say to everyone who buys from Colombiana?
I'd like to say THANK YOU for your support, everyday we come in to work we think of our customers, what's best for them and how can we make a product worthy of their loyalty. Thank you for being our loyal customers, thanks to you we are able to keep providing more jobs!