They created a children’s clothing brand that emphasizes the authenticity of boys and girls

Jonathan Niño and Dacey Alejandra Castaneda, founders of Salvasmile.

Photo: Courtesy of Salvasmile

“Our customers are mostly in the city of Bogotá and its outskirts, we also have customers in Medellin, Cali, Pasto and Tunja, even in some cities on the Atlantic coast and of course in our hometown of Duitama. Our customers are not only dads and moms, but also uncles, grandparents and people who have a baby boy or girl close by. Our goal is not only to sell or give a jacket to children, but to offer them authenticity, creating unity between parents and children”, this is how they begin their story in. 23 questions for entrepreneurs and their business Jonathan Niño and Daisy Castaneda, the founders of a clothing workshop designed for the little ones in the house. We spoke to him about his business idea and here is his story.

1. How old am I? That I studied?

Jonathan Niño, 30, BA in Social Sciences.

Daisy Alejandra Castaneda, 31, biology.

2. What was my idea and when was it born? What did I create?

Our business idea arose from the need to want to become economically independent, as we were not satisfied with our jobs as teachers, they were poorly paid, with long working hours and this prevented us from being able to share our time with our son Salvador, who in he was 18 months old then.

So we decided to look for what products to sell as we had a history of selling clothes for adults, but this time we came up with the idea of ​​selling children’s clothes; So for the Christmas season that year we wanted to try jackets for them, we tried to import them but it was difficult because we didn’t have enough budget or knowledge to do it. That’s why we decided to create our own brand of children’s clothing salvasmile particularly focused on jackets.

3. How did I make it a reality and bring it to life?

To turn our business idea into reality, we went with a family member who has a sewing workshop and clothing knowledge, she helped us realize our idea, creating the first jackets. They inspired us even more and we decided to give focus and theme to the patterns that bring our jackets to life.

If you’re looking for more stories about startups, their founders and founders, here they are. in Entrepreneurship and Leadership on The viewer.

4. Where did I get money to start it and how did I pay for it?

The investment for our first jackets was with the savings we had, we started to market them through social networks and acquaintances, seeing that they were well received at the end of 2021. We decided to ask for a loan from the bank and be able to set up our own workshop and thus generate more jobs for the exclusive production of our jackets.

5. What do I achieve with my business? What am I changing with my idea?

Our jackets inspire our children, they add personality, color, joy and fun to their days, but most importantly it gives them security, a happy child changes the world and the perspective and mentality they give to the things that surround, that is very important to us as parents and entrepreneurs. It also creates emotional bonds with their parents as they not only give their children a jacket but also give them authenticity. It creates this union between parents and children.

6. Am I happy?

Yes, very happy. Despite the problems that befall us, we are happy. It is gratifying to receive messages from our customers telling us how happy their children are with their jackets and to read how happy they are with the products. It also encourages us not to give up and to feel proud of what we have achieved in such a short time and wanting to move forward and grow to provide you with a better experience.

7. Would I sell my enterprise, my company?

No, we don’t believe that anyone is capable of continuing what we do, putting the effort, dedication and love that we put into our business every day. The most important thing for us is the mark we leave on the children who use our product.

8. How hard was it for me to get busy?

ugh! It has been very difficult and will continue to be, from leaving our jobs to leaving our comfort zone and devoting ourselves to something we have no idea about. Also, we are only 2 people who dedicate ourselves to all the functions that the enterprise requires (except clothing). However, we wake up every day with the best attitude, ready to give our all, to fight until we achieve all the goals we set for ourselves.

9. Did I make my dream come true? What am I missing?

Yeah, well, to some extent it was to create your own brand. But we feel we still have a lot to achieve, we want to grow even more, introduce more products and be recognized. So little by little we are taking steps on this path of entrepreneurship.

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10. Now what? What next?

At this moment, we are introducing ourselves in different regions of the country, we want to expand our market, grow as a company, organize ourselves in every way, improve our product, expand our catalog and diversify our clothing. We want to be a benchmark in children’s fashion in our country, and for that we have to work hard every day, as we have done so far.

11. Is my business scalable?

If, of course, the children’s fashion industry is growing day by day, now even children choose their own clothes, which is a point in our favor, because the originality of our jackets makes them choose us, prefer them and do not want to take them away.

12. To grow, would you get an investment from a stranger? Would I give you a piece of my company?

It’s not in our plans at the moment, we’ve been down and up with our own resources and we want to keep it that way. Although we are not closed to the idea in the future, if this happens, everything will be very well researched and planned, with people who not only contribute financially, but also have the conviction and the same passion that we have to carry on everything that our brand carries.

13. What would you never do again?

In fact, rushing to make decisions is something we try not to do and accept whatever comes our way.

We are disorganizing ourselves financially, there was a time when we did and it was difficult.

14. Who inspired me? Who would I like to follow?

Without a doubt our biggest inspiration is our son, seeing his smile, his desire to explore and the joy he brings to our home and business is what keeps us going, brightens our days, hence the idea for the name of our brand and our logo (sun).

We don’t have anyone in particular to follow, we follow some ideas, goals and dreams that we want to achieve.

15. Did I fail at any point? Was I thinking of throwing in the towel?

Yes, we failed, but not with this venture, but with a previous business. We once told ourselves that we would never do something like this again and threw in the towel, but life moves a lot, our thoughts and ideals change and… here we are facing it in the best way possible.

Of course, there are difficult situations that put us to the test, but we always put on a good face no matter how difficult the situation.

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16. Am I part of some type of community that helps me in this endeavor?

Not yet, but we are not closed to the idea of ​​creating strategic alliances that can help us grow.

17. Is it superior to what I am doing? Will it be able to influence new generations?

Of course, we want to inspire other people to get out of their comfort zone, challenge themselves and see the world with different eyes, take risks if they have a good idea and realize that entrepreneurship is possible with effort and dedication. , but above all with passion and love for what is done. That education is essential but many times we cannot live from our professions and if we have to do other things we can do it.

18. How do I see myself in 10 years and how do I see my venture, my company, in the future?

In 10 years we will see salvasmile is positioned on the children’s fashion market in the country, being a benchmark. Creating many more decent jobs, with businesses open to the public in our city and in some major cities of our country.

19. What role did my family and friends play?

Our closest families and friends played a very important role, from their knowledge and professional help to their unconditional moral support and love. They create self-confidence and help us in the most difficult moments. Our families are the foundation on which we have laid the foundations of all the projects we have carried out in our lives.

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20. I did it. Would you help other entrepreneurs achieve it?

Of course, the undertaking is not easy, you always need the advice and help of someone who has already done it, we try to give confidence to friends who have taken the same risk. From our experience, we can guide them so that they can achieve their goals. Of course, if we see each other in the capacity for it.

21. What role did my team play? WHO?

Our work team is the backbone of our enterprise, we had people who helped us a lot and were willing to cooperate with us, especially in the production and development of our jackets. They are experienced and highly qualified people who perform quality and efficient work.

Janet, Lilibeth and Eric are the people in charge of the outfit.

Willy helps us with the design and prints of the jackets.

Both of us who take care of the other requirements ranging from cutting pieces to selling and administering our business. We also have three other people helping us with social media management and advertising.

22. What is my personal seal? What sets me apart from the rest?

Our personal stamp, without a doubt, is the originality in the designs, themes, colors and personality of our jackets, the love we put into our jackets sets us apart from the rest, when something is made with love, it shows and it is what reflects in each of them, moreover, our children, who are happy with them, support us, never want to take them away.

23. What did I learn from all this?

We learned to be patient, persistent, orderly. To take a good look at the issues, understand that there are sacrifices that must be made to achieve everything we dream of. Also to be idealistic, to be humble and to bring out the best in us.

If you know stories of entrepreneurs and their ventures, write to us at Edwin Bohórquez Aya’s email (ebohorquez@elespectador.com) or that of Tatiana Gómez Fuentes (tgomez@elespectador.com). 👨🏻‍💻 🤓📚

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