Costa Rica Entertainment – At age 18, Ana Gutiérrez asked for a loan to buy her first knitting machine. Fashion always inspired her, but almost three decades ago the study of that career was not common in the country, so she turned to business management.
Leaving the fashion aside (temporarily), she trained in business administration and studied to become a chef at the Le Cordon Bleu cooking school.
Her strength and eagerness to achieve what she had always dreamed of in the field of fashion, motivated her, after her 30 years, to enroll in a jewelry course. The passion for design that inspired her in her youth was awaken again.
“As a hobby I went into jewelry design classes and started making pieces for myself; A cousin saw me and asked me to design something. From that moment more buyers began to emerge and everything became a business, “said Ana.
At 46, Ana has spent a decade dedicated to what she started as a hobby, and today is her source of income. In addition to the design of jewelry for ladies – inspired by the Costa Rican nature – it has its line of purses and clothing.
Currently, the woman who started doing inventory at her father’s banana farm has three stores: one in Lindora, one in Juan Santamaria Airport and one in Las Vegas, United States.Her designs are exhibited at the premises. Some of the pieces are one of a kind and garments are sold only on request.
How did you manage to keep your company for 10 years? Gutiérrez gives all merit to the effort, innovation and loyalty of its clients.
“I believe that one of the formulas to stay in the Costa Rican market is to innovate. The market is small and saturates fast, people get tired, they get bored, they like the new, the original. Keeping up has also been possible thanks to my clients; I have had the great happiness of having very loyal customers who have bought my products during the 10 years. I have had support, that is very important, without it a brand does not survive, ” said the businesswoman.
When Gutierrez talks about innovation, she also refers to the design of jewelry and smart clothing, which she created with Intel last May.
In addition to the delicacy of her jewels worked with gold, silver, semiprecious stones and leather, and the fine finishes of her purses and garments, Ana’s figure excels in the panorama of tico design thanks to the presence abroad.
Ana stated that the presence abroad is thanks to a contact of a friend who helped her crossover to the United States market.
“It has been two years since the brand has positioned itself. The market in Las Vegas is a little slow, taking into account that the population there is floating, buyers are not maintained, they are nomads. However, this opportunity abroad allows the brand to be known abroad. There are many people who after buying in Las Vegas enter the website of Ana Gutierrez and buy, ” she said.
Ana says that “one door opens the other”. After receiving a prize in 2007 for the best accessory designer at Miami Fashion Week, the opportunities began to arrive.
The success that this Costa Rican has achieved has been reflected even on the red carpet.”In 2009, the pieces (jewelry) of Ana Gutiérrez were in the gift bags for the Oscar nominees.
Many years ago Ana stopped using that knitting machine that changed her future, but she never let go of the desire to achieve “the dream” by working hard.
By Brenda Sotelo