Spotlight on Women Business Owners: Maria Cortes, Strappy Couture
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
Maria Cortes quit her Human Resources job in 2015 after getting sick from all the stress. She started her own business from one simple idea.
Maria has always worn heels and noticed her feet would often slip out. She tried a few products meant to solve the problem but they didn’t work. She fashioned her own solution from a ribbon and some velcro, and her friends kept telling her she needed to do something with it.
When she decided to turn her invention into a business, Maria focused on networking. She went to a lot of lunches, met a lot of people, trying to learn all it takes to become an entrepreneur. She began by filing for a patent. She sponsored fashion shows, gave out samples, and tried anything to get her name out there.
Creating the Product
She worked hard to find good suppliers. Finally, Maria found a woman who specialized in sewing. Through this woman and her subcontractors, they were able to make the product as well as the packaging. It took about 10 months between finding the right suppliers and making her business a reality. She named her new business Strappy Couture.
Maria says running her business from her home has made her a better mom. She’s more available for her family, and can spend quality time with them. Being a business owner can sometimes be lonely. People want to help you but they also want to sell to you. Maria turns to yoga and time with friends and family when she needs to recharge.
One of her biggest challenges has been turning her likes into sales. She has a strong following on Instagram but feels her business is still moving slowly.
Maria’s advice for women business owners: owning a business helps you grow as a person. Believe in yourself, even if you have a bad day. Sleep it off. You are going to have ups and downs. Go for a hike, walk, practice yoga; find ways to clear out your mind.
Find Maria’s company, Strappy Couture, at https://strappycouture.com/ and on Instagram and Facebook as Strappy Couture.