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The story of my mom, her Bico Moda model and the way she began her enterprise when she was 57

December
9, 2020

6 min read

This article has been translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors can occur due to this process.

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

As you get older there are things that are harder to do the first time and not so much because of decreased skills, but because of fear of risk. For example, a child who rides a bicycle thinks not of the scratches on their elbows and knees that they will surely have, but of the experience they will bring. If he falls he will most likely cry and soon get up to start pedaling. The same goes for the company. It is relatively easy to do as a youth when we are full of energy and responsibility is not overwhelming, unlike someone who is on the verge of quiet retirement.

That is the case of Bico Moda and its creator, Margarita Pereira , "my mother". With more than two decades of degrees in economics, a teacher and a university professor (oddly enough on business strategy issues), she chose entrepreneurship at 57. In reality, the decision was made by her three daughters as she did not dare to take this step. As a good baby boomer, she is more looking for security … and that they are part of a generation that had successful entrepreneurs as parents and millennials as offspring who believe they can do everything.

Her permanent job is teaching undergraduate degrees, though her real talent is design and tailoring. When my sisters and I were little she made us spectacular dresses, but we grew up and gave up this hobby that she picked up again six years ago with the arrival of our first grandson. At that time she bought a new sewing machine, needles and scissors, and we set up a small workshop in the house. The first big challenge was to find distributors for high quality children's fabrics, as there are few in Mexico that are usually very expensive. Thanks to Google, he found a small business woman in Spain who is now importing a large part of her supplies and with whom she has built a very good relationship.

Image: Courtesy of Bico Moda

She was not only excited to take up this activity Sleeping and sewing after two in the morning every day, but it also made her look for trends and new models. Without exception, friends and strangers asked my sister where she had bought this or that piece of clothing that one of her children was wearing, to which she proudly replied: "My mother made it". This is how he discovered an opportunity in the market and began making custom products, mostly for close people. Combination sets for siblings, personalized kits for newborns, christening gowns, suits for sides, accessories for strollers, frogs with the baby's name … things that are hard to buy in a store.

This first success led to the creation of a commercial image. The name chosen was Bico Moda and the logo is accompanied by an illustration of a Siberian Husky. The reason is simple and totally sentimental: our dog was called Bico, a Galician word that means “kiss” and made perfect sense for a children's brand. This was followed by the selection of boxes and bags as well as the design of the ribbons and size cards with instructions on how to care for the garment. Each of the elements tries to show that it is a personalized experience with great attention to detail. We even wash clothes with a special baby detergent. When you open it, the packaging smells delicious.

Since opening a physical space is very expensive and we don't have enough inventory to enter a store (since most of them are made to order and made to measure), the natural sales channel was through the website, as well as Facebook and Instagram . The big advantage of these platforms is that we know the interests of the users and can reach a very segmented audience, which is especially important for a niche company like this.

Image: Courtesy of Bico Moda

Despite being a young brand, we have faced some difficulties, including the pandemic which resulted in a change in consumer habits and problems in sourcing fabrics as supplies from Spain were suspended for a few months. Also, in that short period of time, we made a mistake by launching promotions and products that failed, and participating in bazaars where we barely got the investment back. As you can imagine, this has also created doubts and insecurities in the creator who, like any entrepreneur, has moments when she distrusts herself. It's true: numerous challenges have come and will come to turn it into a professional and profitable company, but the commitment you put into it is reflected in every product and is valued by the customer.

In her classes – which require zoom due to the pandemic, which allows me to listen to her often – my mom constantly encourages her students to get involved and innovate. She does it almost without realizing it, despite her age and all other real limitations, but mostly imaginary, that she might have. Finally, his story is another lesson that we ourselves, and not age or context, decide what is possible and what is not.

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