Unelefante’s Founder Reflects on the Massive Success of her Business
As an entrepreneur, you’re in for a lot learning by doing. Turning to other business owners and learning about their experiences, though, can help you on your own journey. In this final part of a 4-part series, Tatiana Sánchez, owner of Unelafante, reflects on the challenges she’s encountered, mistakes she’s made, and what’s in store for the future of her brand.
What was your biggest challenge in founding Unelefante?
Tatiana Sánchez: Logistics 😭. No further comments 😂. Delivering a birthday balloon at the right day and time is complicated. Negotiating with Fedex and UPS is even more complicated. We're excited that many new on-demand delivery companies are being born in Mexico with similar services to UberRush.
If you could go back and do anything differently in this process, what would you want to change?
Tatiana Sánchez: Worry less about competitors (big and small) that copy us.
Did you make any big mistakes during the first few years you were in business? If yes, can you share one or two?
Tatiana Sánchez: Not hiring a graphic designer earlier. I lost a lot of time doing things by myself, I'm not a graphic designer...There're many more mistakes that we've made on the way, but mistakes, or better said, experience, is needed to learn and grow. It’s very expensive, but is the best teacher you’ll ever have.
What is your main advice to other entrepreneurs who would like to start their own company?
Tatiana Sánchez: Spend time reading and understanding the numbers, they speak the truth. Always read sales reports; your favorite product won’t be your top seller...Work very hard and don't spend much on things that won’t bring revenue.
What’s in store for the future of Unelefante?
Tatiana Sánchez: We're on the research process for opening a warehouse in Mexico City, most probably we'll have it fully operating in the first quarter of 2018. We're joining forces with Jorge Llanderal in this project, so, a lot of delicious surprises are in progress, the place will be much more than a warehouse.
Our jewelry line is in production, we're very excited. And most important, Valeria López, our finance manager (she’s also chef) is now joining UNELEFANTE as partner. We’ve worked together for two years now, she’s smart, hardworking and fun, I’m very happy with this decision.
How do you incorporate your Mexican heritage and the rich culture of the country into your products?
Tatiana Sánchez: Mexico is a colorful country woven by ancient traditions. You can get a glimpse of our culture in every product, from skilled craftsmanship applied to paper decorations to the use of distinctive Mexican ingredients in our chocolates like mole paste and pasilla peppers. Our brand is a big Mexican fiesta.
What do you think has contributed to the success of your business?
Tatiana Sánchez: The positive response from our customers, they keep recommending us and coming back.