Sucess Stories - Bazar Mantuano
Descarga la versión en Español Aquí.
As we discussed it in our last blog, leaving your home country and starting a new life in another, with a different culture is always hard. However, every day new immigrant stories are created by those who leave everything behind to explore new horizons and achieve their dreams. You can be one of them as well. Here, some dose of inspiración for you!
Our immigrant friend and successful Venezuelan entrepreneur María Fernanda Huizi talked to us from her Guatemala’s home how she went from being a regular employee to a passionate entrepreneur.
What has been the hardest part of being an immigrant?
The most difficult thing is to leave behind family, friends, places ... those streets that bring you memories, and you don’t know when you’ll walk on them again, your home ... specially in this time that we - Venezuelans - have a kind of voluntary exile and want to "Go back Home "as the Cáceres’ song refers, but it is difficult and complicated with our country’s current political situation.
What motivated you to change and start your business?
Basically, it was the desire to manage my own time, and to devote more to my family and my children.
After working in a couple of companies, I decided to start my own network marketing business, knowing that I would sacrifice the income at that moment, but I could dedicate more time to my son, who at that time was 6 years old.
I still run that business, and in parallel I started –a little more than a year ago - a project that I love, Bazaar Mantuano. It was born (still a small baby) with the intention of bringing and showing other good things about our country, which has a lot of creative and artistic talent. This is how I came to find brands such as Demasiado, Hot Chocolate Design, Master Piece, Lissette Villamizar, Tp3 Accesorios Deportivos, Arte Wayúu, among others. Currently we export to the United States, Mexico and Spain, but my main focus is to bring Venezuelan products to Guatemala.
What routines do you practice to keep your goals aligned and not to lose your initial plan?
You have to be extremely organized, and I confess that I’ve had my ups and downs, like all of us at some point. When you don’t have a "formal" office job, you usually become a torero, who does all the diligence of those who are at an office ... But I've been overcoming those obstacles quite efficiently [laughs].
My keyword: PLANNING ... It is some of the lessons that I learned with running the online marketing company. Mark in your journal the things you cannot ignore. Prioritize. When you are a full-time mom, there is a specific time to take the kids to school, and you know that, at that time, you can’t spend time on your business or venture.
In my other business, setting clear objectives by period is important, organize my Bazaar calendars, which are one of my sales channels. At the end of the day, everything points towards your agenda, the famous checklists, which help you not to forget anything. I have a very good memory but I have learned that I can’t leave everything under its responsibility ☺ .
What has been the most difficult thing to do / overcome / achieve in this journey and what has been the most satisfactory?
The most difficult thing: making mistakes in some of my product lines. Although they are excellent products, the sales channels I use now are not the most appropriate.
The most satisfying: that people love our different Venezuelan products, receiving comments, such as: "How beautiful is everything! How original! It's so different!" - That makes me feel very proud of our talent... Bazar Mantuano is full of love and pride for that beautiful but missed land.
What does Success mean to you - what makes you feel satisfied in your business?
What I mentioned above, of course! - One day at a hair salon, I was wearing a backpack from @artewayuuvenezolano and a girl told me "Did you buy that at Mantuano, right?" - And I thought "Uff! What a success! ". Then there is the more rational part of it, like generating an income to continue growing your dream, rather than paying bills, although that is always necessary [more laughs].
For women who have an idea, a spark or an inspiration - what advice do you give them?
Shape your ideas with a plan and go for them! Whenever we fight for our goals, we will be closer to our personal success. Mistakes and failures are good lessons and they are one more step to reach the top!
María Fernanda Huizi has a degree in International Studies and a Master Scientiarum in Foreign Trade, with an extensive career in the private sector in Venezuela. She currently lives in Guatemala with her family and is dedicated to both her network marketing business and the sale of handmade Venezuelan items in Guatemala. You can follow her on Instagram via @mafehuizi, @bazarmantuano and @artewayuuvenezolano.
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