Patricia Rodríguez and Sofía Ferreiro are the founders of Levinred, a natural cosmetic from “Ribeiro’s wine”.
Describe your company in three words?
– Consistent, patient and hardworking.
• How would you describe your company?
– It’s a homage to our grandparents, to wine and to Ribeiro county, because we are taking something very traditional winemaking and we are using it to create an innovative cosmetic product whose main ingredient is full of history.
– We wanted to be successful in our own home. It’s our personal mission to be able to live in the countryside and to do our bit to support the development of the area. It’s also important because there aren’t many job opportunities in rural areas.
• What was the inspiration behind your company?
-The history of our grandparents, the history of Ribeiro wine and tradition. The fact that we use the same method to make wine that our ancestors used in the past to make wine for their own consumption inspired me to use the surplus to make cosmetic products.
No-one “back home” really valued our product… we had to leave to find people that valued it.
• Could you describe your journey to becoming business women ?
– We still think of ourselves as entrepreneurs because we believe that a business takes shape very slowly, with a lot of hard work and dedication. Sometimes things get hard or difficult, but it’s all worth it when you feel the satisfaction of seeing the results of your hard work. We’re still constantly reinventing ourselves because a business or our business, at least – doesn’t do the same thing every day, and what works for us for a few months isn’t necessarily going to work forever.
• Which moments have been the most important, and how have they impacted you?
– We’ve had some very difficult moments, but we’ve never lost our patience, and we’ve never lost faith in our products or in our own work. The thing that had the most impact on us was that no-one “back home” really valued our product… we had to leave to find people that valued it. I think that we should change our mindset and appreciate what we have.
• ¿What is the best thing about being businesswomen?
– When you talk to people and feel the satisfaction of knowing that they appreciate all the hard work that goes into your product.
It’s all about how much you’re prepared to sacrifice. Nothing in this life is free.
• What is the worst thing about being businesswomen?
– The uncertainty, and the administrations that sap your motivation by imposing so many requirements and very often even obstacles. The people who make the rules don’t know anything about the reality of being an entrepreneur. That needs to change.
• What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are just starting out with their businesses.
– That however crazy their idea might seem, they should go for it. Because if their project is a good one then with patience, hard work, constancy and a lot of enthusiasm, they will eventually see results. It’s all about how much you’re prepared to sacrifice. Nothing in this life is free.
• What are the three main secrets to your success so far?
– A good story behind our product, a high-quality product and a whole lot of work.
• What obstacles / barriers have you had to overcome?
The only problem that we’ve had to overcome has been obtaining financial backing and getting through all the red tape. In the end, we obtained financial backing from a private entity because we weren’t eligible for any public funding, but we didn’t let that stop us… The most complicated factor was the administration. As far as stereotypes go we didn’t encounter any, perhaps there was some prejudice because we were young, but we didn’t pay any attention to things like that. Our philosophy is that if you want to do something… find a way to do it.
• Apart from COVID-19, what has been your greatest challenge in starting up and administrating your company?
– Our professional network. We started from zero and getting our name out there was very difficult, but it’s just a question of time, patience and a lot of work.
• What’s next for you and your company? What does the future hold?
-We’re still in a good place, due to COVID we’ve had to cancel or postpone some plans but during this exceptional situation the most important thing is our health… we’ve got more ideas, projects and as soon as we can, as long as it’s up to us, we’ll continue forward with them… A time of uncertainty is approaching for all of us, but we entrepreneurs are already used to that…