Kimberly Xunux – A 3 Month Update With An Entrepreneur
November 25, 2020
We are so excited to update you on the first recipient of our Entrepreneurship Grant in partnership with the Education for the Children Foundation. We are incredibly pleased to report that after just 3 months of work, Kimberly has already begun to turn a small profit. As of September and onward, Kimberly is focusing on making artisanal masks to wear during the pandemic, and this new market has helped her increase her profit while she continues to make a name for herself in designing and fixing clothes.
Kimberly still needs a steady income, so she works full time at a bakery and continues her trade school classes on the weekend. She wants to leave the bakery as soon as she can generate a steady income for herself and her family, and her dream is to run her business full time. This is a dream we are sure she will accomplish as she is a tireless and passionate young woman. A small business takes a lot of dedication, hard work, and patience. However, we are pleased to see that her profit is increasing as she establishes herself.
Kimberly attends regular check-in meetings with the careers counselor and the head of the scholarship program at the EFTC in order to discuss her progress and needs. We realized early on that mentorship was fundamental to success, so the EFTC organized a meeting with a local seamstress who has been working for several decades in the field. She met with her to discuss setting fair prices, how to approach bartering without losing the client, and when to be flexible and understanding on prices. After gaining an in-depth look at Kimberly´s progress through her 1st report, we have realized that like all young entrepreneurs, she needs further orientation into how to keep track of her expenses, prices, profit, loss, and time, so she will also be connected with another mentor in the field to talk about marketing herself and discuss strategies for growing her client base.
Let’s find out what it takes to be an entrepreneur!
What have been your accomplishments thus far?
I am very satisfied with my work thus far because I have managed to deliver my orders on time, produce quality products, and I have become faster in my work. I have learned how to make new things. Creating the artisanal masks has been really interesting because through doing that project, I learned that creating a new product takes a lot more than simply sewing the masks. In that project, I had to learn about setting prices and shipping merchandise as well as how to work with a new type of cloth.
What have been your challenges thus far?
Client satisfaction has been a big challenge for me. Sometimes the client wants something that I know won’t work. I have to figure out how to incorporate their ideas while also depending on my own knowledge of my trade. I try to explain everything to them clearly, and so far they have been happy with my work even if it isn’t exactly what they imagined at the start. Another challenging thing has been setting my prices because people always want to barter with me. I have tried to balance my expectations and set prices that cover my time and the cost of the material because I understand that the pandemic has made things difficult for everyone. I know that as I become more experienced, I will be able to increase my prices a little more and will work faster.
What have you learned during the last 3 months?
What I have learned is that one should not be selfish, and should help someone who wants to get ahead, which in the end will also help my business thrive. What I am referring to is my sister, she also studied fashion design and many years ago we promised each other we would work together when possible. A month ago I gave her the opportunity to work for my business since I have had a lot of work and she hasn’t, also as much as I wanted to I could not cope with doing it all myself. So, I made the decision to help her by giving her work and she in turn is helping me to achieve the goals of my work. I have also learned how to do new
things, had new ideas and new strategies. I have learned to sew faster and multitask too.
What recommendations do you have for the future entrepreneurs in EFTC´s program?
- – When you earn your first payment for doing what you love you will feel very happy, don’t forget to tell yourself “yes, I can!”
- – Nobody else will give you the opportunity you are receiving now, take advantage of
- – Keep good track of your expenses and profits so you don’t end up losing money
- – You will be your own boss, nobody will order you around. It’s nice!
- – In the fight for your dreams, you prosper little by little, but you never give up.
- – How could EFTC support you better with your small business?
- – The orientation and mentorship sessions I have received so far have been helpful. One thing I would like more help on is how to market myself and my work. I think I need more help with this because I get nervous or I am not sure what to say. Sometimes I am a bit serious and I think having a friendly presentation prepared would help me.
What are your goals for the next 3 months?
- – I will continue working on masks because they are obligatory here so there is a lot of demand still
- – I would like to contact schools and businesses to see if I make their uniforms for them. I think this will be the next market I try to break into
- – Keep looking for new material providers with lower prices in order to increase my profit
- – I would like to complete some clothing designs in the next three months. It is hard to find clients, because my work is unknown, but I will keep advertising my services until I find clients!
We are so excited that Kimberly already has several mask orders pending. Because of the demand, Kimberly has started paying her older sister Marta to help her.
Kimberly says it best: