Since 2002, the number of Latina-owned U.S. businesses has skyrocketed to a 45.7% increase. So much so that to date, 787,914 Latinas in the U.S. are in charge of their own businesses. Lynda Correa Peralta is one of the thousands of Latinas carving out a space for her business in the American workforce. Her throwaway makeup kit has won various pitch awards and was designed to help women on the go.
While most kids her age age were out on the playground, Correa Peralta was imaging what it would be like to start a business.
CREDIT: Lynda Correa Peralta / Kickstarter
“I always knew that entrepreneurship was a long term plan of mine, but I had this, incorrect, impression that you had to be super intelligent or well-connected in order to do it,” Peralta says. “So I decided to wait on that until I felt I had more life experience.”
For a while, Peralta put her aspirations of entrepreneurship on the back burner. Unsure of how to tackle her dream of becoming an enterpriser, she went to business school with aspirations of getting a “traditional job in marketing,” as she describes it.
“My summer internship was in that field,” Correa Peralta says. “But I hated that internship so much because I couldn’t stand the idea of working for someone else.”
Peralta knew working for someone else wasn’t something that would leave her feeling fulfilled.
Before entering business school, Peralta came up with an idea for a product that women could use as a substitute for heavy makeup bags. Through personal experience, the entrepreneur realized her struggle of having to lug makeup on trips and vacations and thought of a way to make the process less “weighty.” She developed The Pocket Palette, “a single use, full face makeup kit.”
The product caught the attention of Peralta’s professors who encouraged her to pitch the idea at competitions.
CREDIT: Lynda Correa Peralta
By pitching the product, Peralta could get audience members to recognize her product once it launched and recommend it to others. But, she was faced with a problem. Most of the judges she had to pitch to were men who couldn’t relate to the dilemma most people traveling with makeup bags typically have.
“I had to make the problem relatable to them,” Peralta says. “I would bring my makeup bag to pitches and have them carry it so they can see how bulky and inconvenient it is. Then they were able to understand why Pocket Palette was a solution.”
Over all, she won $7,500 cash for the awards her product won.
CREDIT: Lynda Correa Peralta
Another award included a $5,000 grant for intellectual property. For Peralta, the awards were an affirmation. “I actually started to believe in the viability of the product, and in myself as an entrepreneur,” Peralta says.
To Latinas, hoping to start a business, Peralta advises to start with the basics.
“Start with something you know,” Correa Perata who recommends also taking advantage of tools like Kickstarter, Eventbrite, or Meetup. “Explain the why. With makeup specifically I couldn’t launch a product and say ‘this was going to be the Uber of dog’ walking I had to pitch it and make it in a way that was relatable to anybody. [Instead,] I said ‘it’s like a multi compartment ketchup packet’ …If you have an idea, start developing it and then test it like crazy. ”
Recommend this story to friends who love Latinas who lead.