BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: MEET ARMINDA COLÓN OF MYCOCREATIONS AND TECHNIFICENT CONSULTING, PART 1
When Arminda Colón started making organic body products for friends and family, she had no idea that it would blossom into the successful lifestyle line that MyCoCreations is today. “I’ve always been a creative person–even as a child,” says Colón. Therefore, it wasn’t unusual when she started creating different products for her loved ones to try. However, it wasn’t until their urging that she realized that she had the makings for a great business on her hands. What started out as a labor of love had become a way of life.
Ask anyone what it takes to have a successful business and most will tell you to find something that you love doing. Colón did just that when she decided to transition her hobby into a full scale business in 2010. As she puts it, “I am a lover of life and a creatress of many things.” So it wasn’t hard finding something that she loved to do. The trick was figuring out how to give an accidental business staying power. When she decided to start MyCoCreations, she was still working her “day job”. In order to make her already established career, home-life and her side hustle jive she learned to be both very careful and purposeful in her business decisions. Even the name of the business was a process that she approached with definite of purpose. At the time, Colón was doing a lot of spiritual research. The word co-create–a large focus of her findings–became the basis of her budding company. By happenstance, the domain for co-create was not available at the time. As well, Colón wanted to emphasize the importance of her customers in creating her products–as products are custom made to order. Ergo, MyCoCreations was born.
Naming her business has not been the only process that she approaches with such forethought. As is the nature of any business, “A lot of times people will inquire (about products), but not follow through (with an order),” shares Colón. She learned early on that in order to maintain the integrity of her products–all of which are preservative free–she had to be strategic with her production. Instead of making bulk batches of products that could end up sitting on the shelf for weeks at a time, Colón has successfully harnessed the power of Facebook to “test market” (new) products. Products that receive a favorable reaction are added to the product line and customers are able to inquire about ordering as well.
Today, MyCoCreations carries a host of products ranging from the health and body care to clothing to vegan candy. No matter what you order, Colón emphasizes the role of the customer in the creation process. As the business’ name suggests it is indeed a collaboration. As Colón explains the name, “My, because you (the customer) take part in the creation process, it is yours,” and CoCreate symbolizes, “the process whereby you select the ingredients, scents, flavors and/or colors and I take your details and turn your vision into reality.” Even her established products are able to be tweaked and adjusted to meet a customer’s special needs, such as allergies, or personal desires.
Although business is good, Colón admits that it hasn’t all been peaches and cream. Though customers love her products, there is always the challenge of getting some to appreciate the value of natural products. Due to the process of creating both customized and all natural products, Colón must regularly explain to customers why her products–and similar products–cost more than the average, off-the-shelf cream or soap. “It’s cultivating an innerstanding,” says Colón. By that she means, educating customers about the benefits of her all natural products and encouraging them to do their own research. For Colón, what is most important, is that at the end of the day, regardless of a customer’s product choice–be-it hers or one purchased from a big box store–she wants people to know what it is that they are using. Figure out what’s in it and what those specific ingredients do. Colón happily points out the Black community has been an amazing source of support for the business. “I think Black people are more interested in getting back to natural… our origins,” she sites as a reason for such support.
By trade and education Colón is an IT professional. Even after deciding to start MyCoCreations she stayed with her corporate job for two important reasons: it helped to pay the bills and she loved her work. However, in 2013 Colon discovered that her company’s location was making her ill. Ironically–after many years–the very place that had been a large source of her family’s support now posed a risk to her health. Life had presented her with another decision–stay with her employer so that she could continue to support her home or make a very personal decision to leave. She decided to leave…