Social media can be a great tool, panelists said.
By Michael Smith
If people wait for everything to be in line before starting a business, they’re never going to start, Rebel Mariposa, co-owner of “La Botanica” said at a panel discussion “Chingona Entrepreneurs de San Anto” March 26 in the nursing andallied health complex.
Jazmine Munoz, Mexican-American studies administrative service specialist, moderated the panel discussion.
The event is a part of this college’s celebration of Women’s History Month. The term “chingona” refers to a woman who lives life on her terms.
Other panelists were Christina Martinez, social media personality known as “Very That”; and Kayla Mata, head of management at Sunshine Bakery.
Mariposa spoke on having realistic expectations when starting a business.
“If your first dream is to be an entrepreneur, there is a big chance that your first business will not succeed the way you want it to,” she said. “You take all of the lessons and grow from it.”
Mata spoke on having an entrepreneur’s mentality as early as elementary school.
“I was into graffiti growing up, so I would tag kids names on their backpacks for $3,” she said. “That will always be a big part of my life.”
The three panelists spoke on the pros and cons of social media.
“It is a love-hate relationship,” Mariposa said. “It is such a great tool but can also apply a lot of pressure.”
Martinez said social media is a great way to express oneself by building a following of people who support one’s views.
“Social media is the No. 1 business tool,” she said. “It is important to get people behind you who support your vision.”
Mariposa gave advice to people who are hesitant to try becoming entrepreneurs.
Martinez recommended someone trying to start a business should have mentors to turn to.
“I don’t have it all figured out by any means,” she said. “It is always important to look at how you can improve.”
Mata said the last thing people should do is stop when it gets tough.
“I remember when my grandpa would be upset because no one would come into the shop,” she said. “To see how far the business has come since then is awesome.”
Mata spoke on the importance of identity, which played a role in succeeding in her business.
“I am a girl from the hood that wants to continue to serve people who still live in the hood,” she said. “That is my obligation.”
Mariposa said no one should give up on goals, regardless of how silly they may seem to others.
“If it’s your lane and you know you’re meant to do it, then just do it,” she said. “There are billions of people in the world. Someone will appreciate you.”
Martinez said a huge part of having a successful business is working with other businesses.
“Support is key,” she said. “Buy from each other, shout each other out and collaborate with the community.”
Mariposa said patience is key when gaining new supporters.
“As long as you are passionate about what you’re doing, people are going to support your movement,” she said. “You must keep a strong mentality.”