“It’s always a good idea to support and sustain small women artisan’s enterprises, because the people behind these businesses tend to be the backbone of their families, their children, their communities.” That’s the ethos of Casablanca Market, a company sells handmade home goods and accessories from around the Mediterranean — almost all made by women manufacturers.
Katia Essyad of Casablanca market came to Pacific Community Ventures when her business started to grow, and she needed new support in the areas of marketing, finance, and human resources. We paired her with three advisors, and her business has only continued to thrive.
Update: July 2016
Katia was profiled by the site We See Genius. You can read the full story here, and here’s a highlight:
PCV helpfully arranged for her to meet with advisers like Jane Louie, who works for MassMutual Life Insurance in San Francisco. Louie helped Essyad put together an overview of her business operations.
“For instance, baskets take this much time to make, and once they’re made, they need to be shipped,” Essyad says. “So how long does it take to get to California? Based on historic sales, we can say we’ll need these products in January 2017, and we can plan better.”
Essyad says Louie and the other advisers she was paired with were very encouraging as Casablanca Market went through big changes. PCV’s role lasted about a year, on and off, she says, and mostly over the phone — a total of about five hours a month. Advisers would even occasionally stop by to visit, Essyad says.
“We had a very good experience. We had help organizing our operations, and help with our accounting systems,” she says. “With the products and the artisans, no one can advise us on that but ourselves. But with the growth of the company, they were a big help.”
It’s been about a year since her experience with PCV, and Essyad says Casablanca Market may be ready to start growing again. She is seeking funding to support even more growth, and while navigating this next step she hopes PCV will be there to help her again.
“It didn’t start like this, it started as just something I did, that my mom did,” Essyad says. “And then I realized that I could do this positive thing, not only for us here, but also for these artisans. You’re introduced to more and more people and it doesn’t end. That’s the beauty of it.”