Catalina Escallon and Daniela Guarin of Noodo Studio on bringing ideas to market
Describe your business in a few words:
We are Catalina Escallon and Daniela Guarin, a dynamic duo with a serial entrepreneurial spirit. We are Co-Founders of Noodo, an idea accelerator studio, where we cultivate, accelerate and bring ideas to market. We help brands come up with creative solutions for challenges they face like: creating innovative marketing campaigns, finding their message, visual identity, content creation and more!
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
The bottom line was that we both wanted something more in our careers. We wanted to feel more valued and connected to what we were creating. We actually started during COVID, Cata had been urging to start something on her own so she had the idea, and 2020 happened, and it ended up being the perfect year to take the leap of faith.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
Cata’s background is in graphic design and Dani’s background is in strategy, and we both share industry experience in both product management and product development in the interior design space.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Cata always knew, ever since we met we’ve been dreaming about working on our own thing. However Dani took a bit more convincing since she said she wasn’t ready to be an entrepreneur.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
Cata launched in March 2020 when the pandemic just started, and Noodo officially launched in September 2020. We went after people in our industry first, with contacts we had and referrals but we quickly realized that our offering was more powerful with startups and small businesses as they are in stages we can interviene more successfully.
What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?
When we first started we gave client big reports and data which no one read. We used to spend so much time in these reports that no one read, so we needed to adapt. We created new processes and now we work on a workshop base method. We are co-creators with our clients. We are the experts, but we are also facilitators, moderators and producers of their ideas.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
We started Noodo with no resources, without raising funds and just an idea. There was a lot of uncertainty as if it was going to work and if it was even worth it. We put together our business plan and marketing strategy in just a couple of months and we launched! It’s been incredible to see how every-time we work with a new client the process and the experience gets better. Seeing it evolve and our ability to adapt in that evolution has been really rewarding.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
It is something we strive for everyday. We believe in work/life balance but also in having fun while working. The reason we left our jobs was because we had no motivation at work, so we started chasing a new type of motivation. As en entrepreneurs sometimes we forget to disconnect but I think remembering to do one activity in the day that is for you and is not related to your business is crucial, eg: working out, embroidering, whatever makes your heart sign. We also are huge believers in taking care of your mental health, as your business is a reflection of yourself, and when you are ok your business thrives.
What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
“It does not have to be perfect.” Sometimes all you have to do is launch. Follow the leads, go connect with people, network, put yourself out there. There will be a community of people that like what you do, you just have to go after them. Knock on everyone’s door, ask for advice, ask to be featured, collaborate with people. The worst answer is only a no (or maybe no response) but life goes on and another person will say yes! And those are the people you’d want work with.
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
We are working in a series of workshops that touches on everything we offer in a condensed format. This will allow more people to be able to access our content at more affordable prices. We want to reach more people that are still in baby stage and for them to be able to benefit from the services we provide.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
We want to work with more female founders and women from diverse backgrounds and cultures. We think that we bring a diverse perspective and we want to see more women like us thriving. We are all about building community, so we want to keep expanding our own.
What excites you about being Entreprenista League members?
Connecting with so many amazing women! Being able to learn from them, get mentorship, and uplift one another brings so much value. We believe in community and in finding people with similar mindset and values.