“Be ready to work your butt off … not losing the enthusiasm as you go.” – Rosa Vicent.

Gem story was written by: BOBO Marketing Services

The epitome of couple goals, Rosa Vicent and her husband Andersen Zapata are two Gems in one! They have been running their own business, which is selling and installing wholesale LED lighting for commercial and residential properties, for over four years. Rosa’s true passion comes from the hiring side of operations—creating employment and treating employees as human beings. To her, every individual adds their own unique value, and she delights in providing a space for them to bring their true selves and ideas to the team. She truly believes that “everyone has something to offer,” and she looks to hire people who are honest, punctual, reliable, and growth-driven.

When asked about the future of LED lighting, Rosa says, 

“We see it growing in solar … We’re working on getting solar of tomorrow growing in Florida.”

With lighting systems also serving as an essential way to connect with the Internet of things, it can also be used to help data systems.

Overcoming Hurdles

Rosa, a native of Venezuela, and her husband Anderson, who is from Colombia, both came from previous relationships that, unfortunately, didn’t end well. Both Rosa and Andersen were the ones doing all the work in their respective partnerships. When they tried to renegotiate the terms of their partnership, their partners ended up taking them to court and losing. Originally a trusting person, Rosa admits that the experience shut her down and made it difficult to trust people again.

“Outside of my business, my parents have been my number one fans — my number one supporters.”

An important lesson Rosa learned from her ordeal was to pay attention to red flags, gut feelings, and the insight of her biggest supporters. 

“From the first month that relationship started and before we signed anything I had a bad feeling already,” she reflects. “We were focused on the vision, and we didn’t listen to ourselves and what our gut was telling us.”

After the lawsuit, Rosa and her Andersen, who are originally from Colombia, realized that they were better off on their own. But once they found each other, they both agreed that they are better together!

We Can Do This

A lot of their current success running Lighting of Tomorrow has to do with marketing. The couple makes time to sit down once a week to go over budgeting and to review what’s actually working for the company. Some of the advertising platforms and tactics they utilize include Facebook, email blasting, and now Mom & Pop Gems! It’s essential for them to analyze how customers are finding them. Then, they work to replicate that success in order to attract even more customers. They are always on the lookout to hire more people and find new, effective partners.

“We’re a small family-owned business. People think that we’re not a small business. We’re deeply passionate about what we do.”

Additional Challenges

Rosa and Andersen faced several challenges brought on by COVID-19. For example, China began incrementing fees as high as $2,000 on shipping after orders had already been paid for. She remembers asking herself, “How do we go back to the customer?” Understandably, some of them canceled their orders; but many of them stayed and came through as COVID began to slow down. To stay afloat and persevere during the pandemic, Rosa and her husband pivoted their focus and started selling thermometers and masks. They didn’t charge an arm and a leg like some opportunistic price gougers was doing. Instead, they offered great prices and even discounts, and this enabled the company to survive.

Rosa’s Advice for New Entrepreneurs

“Be ready to work your butt off … not losing the enthusiasm as you go.”

When you’re first learning, you’re going to mess up, and there are going to be haters and other obstacles that come your way. Rosa encourages newcomers in the industry to identify a clear goal and to be ready to mentally put in the work. Do something that’s not just for the money, but don’t do it if it’s going to make you miserable. Money isn’t guaranteed but the hustle is. Be prepared to put in the work and the rest will come.

These two bright Gems are lighting up Florida with their company, Lighting of Tomorrow! Go support them and see how you can enter the world of renewable energy! 

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