Meet the Women

Carla

São Paulo, Brazil

Profession
Manufacturing
Business
Loja das Velas
Country
Brazil
partner school
Fundação Getulio Vargas – Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo
The real impact occurred when I finished writing this plan and could finally see the growth potential of my business.

Business Overview

We manufacture and distribute an array of decorative candles on a wholesale basis, and also supply restaurants and hotels directly. I started making candles in my mother's kitchen in 1999 while I was still an employee of another company.  Then in 2003, I decided to leave my job to devote myself fully to the business.  

Challenges

I first became an entrepreneur 25 years ago but I made a lot mistakes and abandoned several projects because of a lack of business expertise. I started working with candles more than 10 years ago and made all my decisions by intuition and by trial & error. I truly believed that I knew the market for candles, and that the operational area of my candle factory was on the right track. I did not know the strengths and weaknesses of my business, however. I had no idea how to make my business grow.

Results

The last 10,000 Women activity at FGV is to deliver a growth plan for the business. The real impact occurred when I finished writing this plan and could finally see the growth potential of my business. The help of the consultant provided by 10,000 Women was crucial both to apply the plan and to use the money I had borrowed from my relatives to make all the necessary changes. The consultancy helped us to create methodologies, to set goals and to make improvements in the factory in order to enhance production. Since then, we have met our production goals and finally accumulated a relevant inventory of candles. We have acquired new customers, which is crucial to our future growth plans, and already doubled our revenues.

Future Goals

Our next goal is to triple sales.  With the machine we recently acquired, we will achieve the production and sale of 30 tons of candles per month, a ten fold increase. I am also hoping that with a loan from BNDES, the Brazilian development bank, we can buy our own factory and office space.

 
.