The story of Lazo, an elearning of three young colombiansIt is undoubtedly the example that with a lot of effort, drive, persistence, creativity and few resources, dreams and goals can be fulfilled. Sara, Salomón and Martín are part of that group of entrepreneurs who decide not to take the difficult path of writing resumes trying to find a decent job, but rather, they created their own company to generate job opportunities for others.
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The history of this initiative goes back four years, when three young entrepreneurs decided to take the path of creating a company, no one, but one that would allow them to highlight the enormous value of Colombian manufacturing, creating unique products that would stand out in the market.
The idea for Lazo, as they named their venture, arose from the search for an elegant and modern belt that would be a fundamental piece for office work, he says. Solomon Hakim, one of the founding partners, who was about to start his practices.
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They searched the Colombian market for a piece that would fit that idea he had to start his business, and when they couldn’t find it, together with Sara Marín and Martín Carvajal, they decided to import some accessories from Chinawhich they began to sell on Instagram, with such success that they decided to create Lazo, their own brand of men’s accessories made with talent and 90 percent Colombian raw materials.
Lazo, say its managers, is an example of how an innovative idea, combined with passion, commitment, customer focus and a well-planned strategy can lead a business to success in a competitive market.
They did not have to make a million-dollar investment for it, the value was in the effort they put in to carry out their idea. in fact each partner only contributed 900,000 pesos (2.7 million in total) to launch a project that reported sales of 60 million pesos in its first year, and that was just the beginning.
A year later, the turnover amounted to 600 million, an increase of 900 percent and the numbers continued to grow as the brand and its products positioned themselves in the market.
«For our third year, we managed to grow 233 percent with sales close to 2,000 million pesos; while in 2022, we closed with a total of 4,500 million, close to a million dollars”commented Sara Marín, who added that under this quality strategy and expansion of the product portfolio they have been consolidating in the men’s accessories segment.
The strategy of success
Getting into the big leagues was not easy either, but with persistence and quality they did it and today their products are available in Bogotá shopping centers, such as Andino, El Retiro and Parque La Colina.
From the beginning, these young entrepreneurs were committed to the idea of showcasing the talent of Colombian manufacturing and creating unique products that would stand out in the market, with a focus on quality, attention to detail, and a deep commitment to their customers. which led them not only to soon be in the taste of Colombian consumers, but also allowed them to enter the market in Mexico and the United States.
«The road has not been as easy as it seems. The pandemic was our first great difficulty – recalls Sara when pointing out that-, at that time, we had decided to set up three islands in shopping centers that only lasted 15 days. We invested everything I used in furniture and inventory to cover the new points, which left us with no cash flow to meet our obligations.»
Entrepreneurs say that the pandemic forced them to reinvent themselves, like thousands in the country. They launched the digital version of their company, lazo.com.cowhich allowed them to grow nationally.
Without much work experience the three of them have had to learn on their own what it means to run a company, from paying taxes and dealing with staff, to creating products from scratch, which has allowed them to mature on a professional level.
The founders of Lazo have different profiles that complement each other. Salomón Hakim is in charge of the area of product creation and customer service; Martín Carvajal is in charge of the administrative area and finance, and Sara Marín is in charge of the marketing area, as she is passionate about creating storytelling, packaging, and marketing campaigns.
According to its creators, Lazo has achieved its success thanks to the unwavering commitment of the three founding partners, who focused one hundred percent on the business from day one.
«Working without bosses and without fear of failure, we spend our days finding ways to grow the company. Also, we always think big, without limits or fear of failure, convinced from the beginning that we can have the men’s accessories company largest in Colombia”, he points out.
Another fundamental aspect of its success as a company is that it rThey invest all of their profits in the business, avoiding the need to seek external resources and facilitating a good cash flow.
Lastly, its focus on the customer, ensuring that every decision they make adds value and benefits them.