Patricia | Zone Tamalli | Toluca

Patricia in the Mujeres Moviendo México Center in Toluca

Patricia in the Mujeres Moviendo México Center in Toluca

Patricia decided to become and entrepreneur when she realized that she was no longer satisfied by her job at a marketing company. Her brother had started a business selling tamales; Patricia helped him out in the afternoons as a hobby. Inspired by this experience, she founded ZoneTamalli, her own business established in the city of Toluca.  Her greatest difficulties at the beginning were lack of seed capital and competition, so she decided to use her savings and decided to face the competition.

 

She was one of the first women to obtain a scholarship to attend training workshops on Development of Business Skills from Women Moving Mexico (Mujeres Moviendo México).  Patty says that attending these courses were a life changing decision. Patricia says that it was here where she learned to run a business, and trust her skills as a businesswoman.

 

Women Moving Mexico encouraged her to believe she could take her product anywhere and to add value to it. Patricia says that thanks to the program she has significantly improves her decision-making skills. Additionally, she was learned to manage her business expenses and is now paying taxes.  Patricia is very proud to be paying taxes since she has learned by experience that this is how the government can help more people, especially women entrepreneurs and businesswomen.

 

Currently, Patricia is on the brink of receiving 80,000 pesos awarded by INADEM (National Institute for Entrepreneurs) in the 2.2. Competition. With these funds she plans to improve her business infrastructure by acquiring mixers and machinery. She would like to increase production levels without loosing the artisanal touch or sacrificing quality. Additionally, she was just approved as a supplier and distributer on a national scale by Liverpool, a major retailer in Mexico. This month Patricia will be travelling to Querétaro, Puebla, Veracruz, Pachuca and Mexico City with samples for Liverpool in order to have her products commercialized. She is also talking to universities in Toluca to introduce her products into their dinning halls.

 

Patricia has been invited to participate INADEMs 4.4. Competition, an offer which she has to reject since she is not ready to export her products yet, even though her cousin would like to set up a franchise of her business in the United States. She is about UNADEMs 1.3 competition to improve her marketing and receive mentorship.

 

Patricia admits that she is a proactive woman with a restless mind and is very happy to have been able to participate in the workshops offered by Women Moving Mexico since she has also learned to turn her thought into positive ideas for her business. 

Patricia and her family in Zone Tamalli

Patricia and her family in Zone Tamalli

Rita | Delicia Jerezana | Jerez, Zac.

LIFE STORY: RITA DE LUNA CALDERÓN

 

 

I was born into a humble and hard working family. I am the oldest of five siblings. My parents were born in communities and families poorer than my own. This meant that they did not have the opportunity to go to school and have a better quality of life but only to live out in the field, working hard, sometimes feeling hungry and cold, having to endure the difficulties caused by harsh weather.

 

Thanks to them, who thought of their children and did not want us to live as they did, we were provided more opportunities in life when they decided to move to a nearby town to offer us something better so that as my father said “we didn’t have to suffer as much as they did”. 

 

Nevertheless, being the oldest child I was not allowed to go to school because I had to help my mother with household chores.  I have always been an entrepreneur, I say this with pride because since I was a little girl I worked not only in what I was made to do but also I looked for other work and did not give up just because I wasn’t allowed to go to school. I would sneak behind my fathers back to go school and he would find me and bring me back home to help my mom, but by persistently sneaking back I managed attend classes until the end of fifth grade.

 

As I grew up I became quite embarrassed, I was thirteen years old and still in elementary school so I decided to quit. At fifteen I managed to get my elementary school diploma through an open program that lasted three months. I enrolled in nighttime high school meant for working students and finished at nineteen. I then completed a technical degree.  It was at this point when I decided to go out make a life for myself since by then we were doing alright, my parents had a business and home of their own so all our basic needs were met.  I wanted to know what I was capable of doing so I decided to go to another city and fight for something, though at the time I didn’t know exactly what that was.  

A lot of doors opened for me, from my first day of work. At six months I was promoted and I lasted ten years at that company. I got married and had two children; both my husband and I worked a lot and had little free time to spend with our family. That was when I decided to look for other opportunities. I moved back to my hometown where I started to work for my parents. When I realized that this is not was I wanted, I decided to start a business of my own.

 

That was how I decided to make my own products; the first one was “pinole” (a typical pre-Hispanic drink made of toasted ground corn, cocoa, sugar and cinnamon), which I began selling to family and friends. The product was well liked and I was receiving orders periodically. I saw the opportunity to expand the business and began looking for clients in corner shops, street markets, butcher shops and cheese shops. Something very important happened then: I was invited to send my product to an exposition in Mexico City, it was sold out in only a day! That’s when I knew what I wanted: to start a family business though which we could all make a living but most importantly to preserve Mexican traditions. Almost nobody was making pinole anymore, this rarity made it very well liked.

 

It hasn’t been easy. I’ve run into a lot of walls and have had to overcome many difficulties. The first was when I became a widow, left to care for three young girls on my own. Additionally, it’s hard to find financial aid since as sad as it is to admit you have to have contacts, be acquainted with the right people to have access to these opportunities. Nevertheless, my project has grown, my daughters help me but I’ve also managed to provide employment for others both directly and indirectly.

 

Nowadays we are a company chain that has come together thanks to our dedication and commitment to keep this company afloat. With time we have innovated and expanded our product line, our new products have been accepted very well by our clients. Production remains artisanal, our products are made of 100% natural ingredients with no preservatives. We’ve also though of people with diabetes and developed products catered to their needs. We’re moving forward. We’re constantly trying to stay competitive by offering better products, keeping in mind of course that their originality and success is tied to their traditional origins.  I want my products to continue to awaken people’s desire for traditional tastes and to be known by the emerging generation.

 

There is still a lot left to accomplish. I’d like for the business to keep growing, to rescue other traditional products by commercializing them and having them known by people in faraway places. I believe that I have not given up trying and never will. There is a lot to do; it is my ambition to prove that just because we are a family of woman we don’t have to leave our home and our children to go out to work. We can do this here at home, and do it well; we can set an example for many women who have the need to go out to work but are not allowed to do so by their husbands.  I would like for those women to look at us and see that it can be done, that even though we’ve has a lot of stumbles and falls we always get up and move forward. I’ve been working from home for over ten years now. I like my job; it has given me a great deal of satisfaction and allowed me to accomplish many goals, I know that I’ll accomplish many more because I have the will to move forward. I hope that my work will help more women decide to change their lives and though hard work provide better opportunities for their children, to feel empowered, important and valued…. but most of all to feel proud to be women. 

I started making 20 to 40 pounds of pinole, now I make half to one ton of pinole. I also make pipían powder and paste, horchata and metate chocolate. Everything is offered in different presentations to attend meet the diverse needs and budgets of our target market. I am well established, even though my workshop is small my products are exported and that drives me to never stop moving forward.  

Rita De Luna Calderón

María Cenobia | Salsas Tolosa | Guadalupe, Zac.

BUSINESS OWNER: SALSAS TOLOSA BASED IN GUADALUPE, ZACATECAS

We started with the goal of having a better income for the family” 
—María

HOW WAS THE IDEA BORN?

It started when we were cooking salsas for family consumption. Our recipes were a mix of different ways to make salsas across the country, specifically from Yucatán, which gave different flavors to our northern salsas. We didn't have much working capital, we sold it ourselves at first and then we achieved selling it in local stores. 


Salsas Tolosa has 4 products:

  • Salsa diabla
  • Green Habanero Salsa
  • Red Habanero Salsa
  • Pickled Conserves 


HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH CREA?

We did not have the resources necessary to attend the trainings, and Crea was fundamental in our development because it helped us regarding sales and the commercializing process. 

“I'm glad that this kind of non-profit associations exist and that they help us and support us. It's been a huge step for us getting involved and learning if our product is good or not in the market.”


TOLOSA SALSAS' DIFFICULTIES


“We have many difficulties and challenges, we are a creative business with drive and iniciative and that wants to take risks" - María

  • Get into department stores
  • Have better and bigger infrastructure and the opportunity to buy machinery
  • Get a specialized machine to be able to produce more