Nadia Martinez started her business, Kallie & Co., as a way to earn an income while moving around the country as a military spouse. But she also wanted it to serve those in her home country of Mexico in a really meaningful way. That combination has led to a really interesting business concept that serves both shoppers and artisans. Read more about Kallie & Co. in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Sells handcrafted goods created by Mexican artisans.
Martinez told Small Business Trends, “Products include Women’s footwear, sterling silver .925 Jewelry and Rebozo handbags, clutches.”
Offering products that are both stylish and ethical.
The company’s products are sourced from independent Mexican artisans. So shoppers can support entrepreneurs that have ethical, fair trade, and cruelty-free practices without sacrificing style.
How the Business Got Started
As a way to earn an income while traveling the country.
Martinez is married to a U.S. Marine. So she needed a job that was “portable,” since they relocated so often. She also wanted to give back to her Mexican community through fair labor opportunities. So she created Kallie & Co in her laundry room in 2014.
Rebuilding the company after losing it all in 2017.
Martinez says, “I had to find ways to reinvent what I had built and become profitable in order to stay in business. I launched a wholesale program that gave me the opportunity to increase the company’s revenue, increase sales volume.”
Offering a limited number of Mexican handcrafts at a time.
Martinez explains, “Our main focus is slow fashion; therefore, we don’t release too many designs at once. This can be particularly discouraging for audience members who are used to fast fashion. We have however done a good job at communicating our audience members that we don’t mind them not shopping every month or every three months, we focus on quality not quantity.”
Consistency is key.
Martinez says, “It doesn’t matter if you’ve collapsed in business, and you must start from scratch…Consistency is the key in all success. It is also okay to be different, and not follow the same trend as everyone else.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Growing the team and increasing inventory.
Martinez explains, “Growing the team in Mexico, here in the USA and more inventory which will ultimately allow us to help more women in need and support more charities.”
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Images: Kallie & Co, Nadia Martinez
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