Entrepreneur Lorena Flores loves her hometown of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. So she decided to launch her own small business reselling Mexican-based artisan crafts in order to spread the artistic culture of her native land.
Flores is the proud founder and CEO of Flor de Lis, LLC in Fairfax, Virginia. She formally registered the home-based business in October 2014.
Flor de Lis resells a variety of artisan crafts, primarily specializing in offering unique Talavera pottery made in Mexico.
“I import these items and resell them on Amazon,” Flores explains. “The artisans in Mexico design them near Guadalajara.”
The entrepreneur immigrated to the United States about 7 years ago after her father took a job with the government. Her goal is to spread the Mexican culture to others who may be unfamiliar with its beauty.
“I wanted to create a Mexican-inspired brand to provide more awareness about the qualities of the arts in my home country because it’s not really presented in the media,” she says.
Flor de Lis has a menu full of creative offerings, including traditional pottery pieces, lamps, wall decorations, plates, and figurines.
“The products sell themselves and are totally authentic to Mexico,” she explains. “I also offer fair pricing, unlike some of the department stores and other competitors out there.”
Gaining an Edge over Other Small Business Owners
There are countless brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers that offer artisan crafts. However, Flores is confident that her small business has an edge over her competitors because of the quality of the products and where they actually come from.
“Other companies have very different price points. There is also a lot more selling by volume versus selling pieces individually. Plus, there are not many authentic sellers in the U.S. So I feel like I don’t have too much competition.”
Marketing Strategies for Startups
To make others aware of Flor de Lis and its online offerings, Flores relies heavily on social media marketing. She uses Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to spread the word about her pottery items. She also has a website.
Like fellow entrepreneurs, Flores admits she has had to overcome some tough hurdles in her efforts of starting a business and maintaining it over time. She says the process of finding a customs broker was probably the biggest challenge because of the laws on importing goods from another country into the U.S. Fortunately, she has surrounded herself with a support system of individuals and professionals who have helped her achieve startup success.
Tips for Entrepreneurs
She offers some insightful tips for entrepreneurs interested in taking the dive into starting a business for themselves.
“Follow your passions. When you have a passion in your life, everything else comes naturally. I also think starting a business should be more about the community and how you can make a difference in your community.”
She admits that self-employment requires a good amount of self-discipline. But, in her words, the freedom comes with the ability to be more creative.
As a client of 1-800Accountant, Flores says she has been very happy with the small business accounting support she has received from the nationwide firm.
“1-800Accountant offers me a great support system in my quest of being a successful small business owner,” she says. “If I have any tax and accounting questions, all I have to do is call or e-mail you guys so I’m not running around like a chicken with its head cut off.”
Photo credit: The photograph of the cylindrical vase included in this blog post was provided by Flor de Lis, LLC and is used with permission.