Gem story was written by: BOBO Marketing Services
“Be ready to work your butt off … not losing the enthusiasm as you go.” – Rosa Vicent.
The epitome of couple goals, Rosa Vicent and her husband Andersen Zapata have been running their own business selling and installing wholesale LED lighting for commercial and residential properties for over four years. Rosa’s true passion was discovered within the hiring side of operations — creating employment and treating employees as human beings. To Rosa, every individual adds a unique value, and she wants to provide a space for them to bring their true selves and their ideas to the team. She believes “Everyone has something to offer,” looks for 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.”
Plus, lighting systems will also essentially connect with the Internet of things, which will help data systems.
Early on Venezuela-native Rosa and her husband got into a partnership that unfortunately didn’t end well. They ended up doing all the work and when they tried to renegotiate the terms of their partnership, their partner ended up taking them to court and losing. As a trusting person, Rosa says 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.”
She says the lesson she learned is to pay attention to red flags, gut feelings, and the insight of your 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.”
They also had some challenges with COVID-19, as China began incrementing fees as high as $2,000 on shipping after orders were already paid. She remembers asking herself, “How do we go back to the customer?” Some customers canceled their orders understandably, but a lot of them stayed and came through when COVID started to slow down. To stay afloat and persevere in the meantime, Rosa and her husband pivoted their focus and started selling thermometers and masks. They didn’t charge an arm and a leg like a lot of price gougers, but instead, they offered great pricing and a discount just to simply survive.
We Can Do This
After the lawsuit, Rosa and her husband, who’s originally from Colombia, realized they could do it on their own. A lot of their success has to do with marketing, and she and her husband sit down once a week to go over budgeting to review what’s actually working. Some of the advertising platforms and tactics they use include Facebook, email blasting, and now Mom & Pop Gems. It’s essential to see how customers are finding you and then replicate that success to continue attracting even more customers. Eventually, they’d like to hire more people and find the right partner.
“We’re a small family-owned business. People think that we’re not a small business. We’re deeply passionate about what we do.”
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. Identify a clear goal and be ready to mentally put in the work. Do something that’s not just for the money, and 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.