Canada Post 2019 E-Commerce Innovation Awards
Here is our complete submission for the Best Online Start-Up Award. If we are selected to move on to the next round we will be notified in early June.
How are you a “game changer”? Did you enter new market, create a new product, offer a new service, or transform an existing business model?
We found a way to bring authentic Mexican artisan products here to Canada and turn around and offer them to customers all over the world. We have capitalized on a niche market of people who love Mexico and its rich culture and who want to have a little piece of it in their home. The items we offer can often only be sourced while physically in Mexico and are difficult for travellers to bring back home with them. We offer more than 500 different items and in a very short time have successfully opened up a retail storefront as well as a fully functioning ecommerce website that tears down all geological boundaries, opening up a worldwide marketplace for us. Our personal connections with our partner artisans allows us to carefully design, select and curate our collections. We purchase directly from the makers and we show our customers photos and video footage of our artisan’s workshops, materials and production techniques. We are offering items that are difficult to attain and doing so in a transparent manner that makes our customers feel good about their purchases. We take input from our customer base for items that they would like to see in our shop as well as personalized requests for specific items. Our business is more than just a store, we are evolving into a movement and a community that connects people, products and ideas. My husband is originally from Mexico, he has been a Canadian citizen for years now, I am proudly Canadian myself and we have a beautiful 2 year old daughter. We have a deep connection and love for the Mexican culture and the handcrafts it produces. We wanted to build a business that was based on this passion that we know others share as well. We want to live the Canadian dream, be entrepreneurs and set a wonderful example for our daughter. Being a multicultural couple with a multicultural daughter here in Canada we can’t think of a better business and future for ourselves. We feel that we have developed a unique business and our success over the last year affirms this.
Why you? In a short paragraph, tell us how your company has established itself as an early leader in your market.
We know that every entrepreneur and business owner works hard and pours their heart and soul into their project and we are no different. Having said that, we also put a large emphasis on working effectively and efficiently since the conception of our company. With a young and adventurous daughter time is certainly of the essence and we needed to build our business in a way that allowed us to achieve success quickly. We are entirely self taught in retail selling, ecommerce, photography and social media. We took to the good old internet and just started reading articles, blogs, anything we could find that applied to our business. We opened up a successful Etsy shop in which our monthly sales revenue is now ten times what it was one year ago. We applied, were rejected and appealed to Amazon to finally become an approved seller in their Handmade category in which we now fulfill orders on a daily basis. We studied the online search algorithms specific to each marketplace we entered and figured out how to present our products to the right audience. Prior to opening our retail storefront we hustled in our local community trying to find venues and outlets that would allow us to offer and sell our products. We approached local businesses and formed lasting partnerships that were crucial in the beginning and that are still benefiting us today. We offer a collection of products that are in high demand but there are large barriers to being able to present our products to the customers who want them. We have overcome many of these obstacles by properly educating ourselves and applying that knowledge in each marketplace we tackle. We are young, open minded and digitally oriented. We truly believe that knowledge in any form and an understanding and application of technology are the keys to our future success. Being a small business our resources are limited and we have found a way to utilize what we have to the best of our ability. We really don’t believe there is any other Canadian company offering what we offer in the same way that we do and we are determined to achieve continued growth and success.