This post was originally published in centrocommunity.org
Cinthya Flores is the successful owner of Utz Threads in Oakland, CA. The name Utz Threads comes from the word good in Maya Quiché; the language spoken by the women weavers that create their product in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. The lively colors and cultural markers of the indigenous Quiché people inspired Cinthya to create her textile brand and to strive to connect the ancestral weaving practices to this living culture.
Cinthya’s passion to help Guatemalan women gain financial independence drives her as an entrepreneur. Through her business, she has been able to create a space empowering women to tell their own stories. When you purchase from Utz Threads you are gaining an opportunity to learn the elements of everyday life in Guatemala. In return, you support the continuation of an ancestral tradition.
The right help at the right time
Cinthya joined Centro Community Partners‘ entrepreneurship program because she was seeking clarity on how to successfully grow her business and continue to support her Guatemalan partners. The infinite amount of possibilities was overwhelming, and her lack of accounting knowledge was intimidating. Cinthya needed direction and mentorship.
In Centro’s Advanced Entrepreneurship Program, Cinthya worked one-on-one with her MBA Advisor, collaborated with her fellow classmates and developed her business plan and presentation deck. As the program progressed, Cinthya was able to identify her business’s strengths and weaknesses. As a result, she was able to focus on the areas where she lacked knowledge and became a stronger entrepreneur. Centro’s unique Business Planning App assisted her in building the foundation her business lacked. Throughout the 14-week program, the Centro team saw her evolve into the successful entrepreneur she is today.
Today, Cinthya has expanded her reach with more Guatemalan women/partners, has established a wholesale order and is placed in a few shops throughout Oakland. She expects to triple her earnings next year and have her products in more stores throughout the state. Through local and national partnerships, Cinthya hopes to expand her brand recognition.