What happens when two women work together for the same goal? Of course wonderful things occur, they just do not magically happen. Behind dreams there is always a lot of work, discipline, passion and love.
Karina Acendra Betancourt, a sociologist by profession, and Mariela Fortich Colina, a social worker, are the founders of the women’s community ‘Brilla con la luz de ser tú misma’ [tr. ‘Shine with the light of being yourself’], an idea that was born three years ago.
This is how this community was born, overcoming ups and downs, persisting and insisting to continue accompanying many women entrepreneurs to follow this path. “The aim is to teach them not only to maintain their entrepreneurship, but also to support other women who are entrepreneurs, women who create and women who make themselves visible in our environment today”, says Karina.
Mariela and Karina want the woman behind a brand to be shown, to show the heart, to show the story, because they believe that every business is born as a result of something that happens to that woman.
That is why they prepared, on this anniversary, a big celebration with a showroom of sponsoring brands, that took place last Saturday, September 3.
“Women entrepreneurs deserve to have a space for growth and, above all, visibility. I think that one of the spoilers* we can give is that you will see brands, products, services, catwalk and live makeup. We must thank all the women who said yes to the community, because without them this project wouldn’t be possible”, says Karina.
This celebration has a very special meaning, as Mariela says: “In spite of everything we have gone through, we are still standing, in the midst of many difficulties, such as the pandemic and the economic recession. And we are very happy for these three years that we are about to celebrate”, she says enthusiastically.
And she adds: “We have learned a lot during this time and our motivation is 100 percent for this anniversary, because in the midst of the difficulties we have been very blessed by our friends and all the people who have supported us and have joined this cause”.
And nothing is by chance, there is a reason why these members get along so well. They are Barranquilleras, junioristas, witty, love carnival and, above all, they are authentic. Their desire is to highlight the visibility of the city’s women entrepreneurs.
“We are sure that in Barranquilla you can be an entrepreneur, you can grow and you can live from your talents and skills. That is why we decided to create this space to project each brand, each product and each woman’s essence in this wonderful event”.
When we talked about the difficulties entrepreneurs face, Mariela commented that it is not an easy task and some women find it difficult to overcome.
“Recently, I was talking to one of the entrepreneurs and she told me that she never had the idea that her products would be on a catwalk, and that it was a distant dream. Now they have the opportunity to make it come true”.
Karina ends by saying that her wish is that, on their anniversary, every woman who has a business idea stored in the drawer or in the trunk of memories, will face it, show it and reach out to their community so that they can make it possible together.
Because as they themselves emphasize in their motto: “Give your talents and skills and you will have the life you deserve”. Behind every woman there is a story of resilience and effort, that is why this type of space is so important, because they put into practice the concept of sorority (solidarity among women).
* This interview occurred before the anniversary, hence she was giving ‘spoilers’.
Traducción del español: Catalina Oviedo Brugés