Teresa owns Amatai, an artisan craft business where she makes decorative pieces out of clay, wood, and macramé. After two years of participating in the Women’s Empowerment Project, attending counseling sessions, and leaning on the support of Programa Velasco staff, here are 5 things Teresa has learned about her business:
1. Everything’s better as a family
Teresa never imagined that her business would bring her family together, but it did. Teresa, her sister Ceci, and Teresa’s son Pablo each have assigned responsibilities and are paid for their work at Amatai. Ceci makes ceramics and paints both ceramic and wooden pieces. Teresa makes pieces out of macramé and wood, while Pablo promotes the business on social media.
2. I can support myself with my business
In the WEP, Teresa learned that you can’t really call something a business if it’s not making a profit. The WEP experience taught Teresa practical skills like bookkeeping, determining the cost of goods, and setting a fair price for her products. Once she put it all into practice, Teresa was able to see that she was indeed making a profit.
3. We’re more than just our trauma
Teresa’s taken all of her bad childhood memories and put them in the past, where they belong. She took advantage of Programa Velasco’s counseling sessions to heal, and the experiences that tormented her for so long no longer hold her back.
4. I’m capable of being an entrepreneur
When she started in the WEP, Teresa sold her products only to the people closest to her. It was a challenge to expand her clientele because Teresa didn’t feel very confident talking to new people. However, after several counseling sessions, the WEP personal empowerment workshops, and some technical assistance, Teresa felt sure of herself as an entrepreneur and expanded her sales channels.
5. My branding and my work are important
Teresa is still working on fully believing that she and her brand deserve to be where they are today. However, one thing that’s helped her with this has been engaging in brand design. Every time she sees her branding on a business card, a graphic, or a promotional banner, she can’t believe how far she’s come. Her brand reminds her that she’s built something really good, and there’s more to come.
This is a short summary of what Teresa discovered during her participation in the WEP. It’s just a glance at what women entrepreneurs can achieve when they have a support network that facilitates access to opportunities that have been denied before. This Women’s History Month become part of the community that is changing one woman’s history at a time and sponsor $25/month for her participation in the Women’s Empowerment Project.