"Do not take anything for granted"
Claudia Magriñá and Mercedes Escoda have triumphed with their website in just one year. ALMASANTA is committed to responsible fashion.
The idea of creating a web that unites sustainable fashion and good design had been around for a while. But it was not until 2016 when Barcelonians Claudia Magriñá (1986) and Mercedes Escoda (1984) decided to found the Almasanta multi-brand website. With little previous experience in the sector - the first worked as a consultant in Deloitte and the second is still focused on real estate advice - in a few months they have managed to conquer the European market thanks to their portfolio of international brands and their expansion strategy. If you are thinking of starting your own business, do not miss their advice.
What are the main difficulties you encountered when starting the business?
The human resources part is always the worst. Finding people who are committed and willing to leave their jobs in large companies to enter a start-up is not easy. Neither are the bureaucratic procedures in Spain. In our case, as we import a lot of merchandise, we had an inspection before launching the brand, almost without having an office. At that moment you lose the desire to continue.
A tip to future entrepreneurs ...
You have to set a budget, goals and a time limit from the beginning. If in that period you do not manage to take the project forward, nothing happens: you take what you learned. Unfortunately, people are very afraid of failure. And the truth is that when you open a business like this, with a public that you do not know and a completely global market, the possibility of error is 80%. You must make quick decisions and, above all, be prepared for the slap and get up as quickly as possible.
What lesson have you learned?
Do not take anything for granted. At first we did not believe in pop-up stores until we realized that we had too many returns because people did not know how to he was going to keep his clothes. They did not know our product and it gained a lot when they touched it and they saw it. So now we make sales of two or three days in different countries and we take advantage of the visits to make press meetings. The market changes constantly and we must redirect the strategy on a daily basis.
Which is the key to working as a team?
For it to work, it is essential to be transparent. You have to let everyone think and express themselves. You also have to look for clarity and try to get along.
In Almasanta, each one of us has our well-defined functions and we know what is part of the other. For example, Claudia takes the management of the team and takes care of anything related to them, but important decisions are made jointly.