Suleiny Altamirano Bahena of Tizana Mexicana on the Joy of Pursuing Her Passion and Supporting Artisans
Hi Suly! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:
I’m Suly, a social entrepreneur enthusiast with a passion for Growth. I’ve just graduated for my MS in Entrepreneurship from the University of Washington. As the founder of Tizana Mexicana, I celebrate Mexico’s artisans and culture. I am in the testing stage, I would like to learn how to raise funds and make my business grow!
So Suly, what excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
I’m excited about the opportunity to connect with a dynamic community of like-minded women who share my passion for entrepreneurship. The potential for networking, mentorship, and collaboration is truly inspiring.
What inspired you to take the leap to start your own business?
My deep appreciation for Mexico’s artisans and culture, coupled with a desire to make a positive impact, inspired me to create Tizana Mexicana. I saw an opportunity to celebrate the incredible craftsmanship of Mexican artisans and provide them with a platform to showcase their work. Additionally, I wanted to empower and inspire women along the way, making it more than just a business venture. The journey has been challenging but incredibly rewarding. It’s the joy of pursuing my passion, supporting artisans, and contributing to something meaningful that compelled me to take that leap into entrepreneurship. It’s a decision I’ll never regret.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I had over a decade of experience spanning various industries, including consumer goods, technology, and healthcare. I had the privilege of working in roles related to business development, project management, and sales in organizations of different sizes, from startups to large companies. My academic journey also played a significant role in shaping my path. I pursued an MS in Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington, which provided me with valuable insights and skills crucial for starting and growing my own business. These experiences not only equipped me with a solid foundation but also instilled in me the determination to channel my passion into creating something unique and meaningful. My diverse background has been an asset on my entrepreneurial journey, bringing a multifaceted perspective to Tizana Mexicana
Did you always have a feeling you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, starting with selling lemonade and candies at my grandma’s house when I was just thirteen. That early taste of business ignited a passion in me. I pursued an International Business degree, gained experience in marketing, logistics, sales and business development; in small and large companies. After that, I started thinking about Tizana Mexicana, driven by a desire to create something that brings value to people. I came to pursue my master’s degree in entrepreneurship in Seattle, embracing the challenge of growth over comfort and determined to make a positive impact in the community around me.
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?
Upon launching Tizana Mexicana, my strategy was twofold: establishing an online presence via social media while also physically engaging with our audience at local markets and fairs. I worked on with some collaborations and partnerships to expand our reach. A pivotal moment was the launch of our first collection, a collaboration between myself and a talented Mexican artist, which we celebrated with a ‘Silver Party’ at my aunt’s place. Here, we proudly showcased Tizana Mexicana’s jewelry collection, keen to gauge customers’ reactions and discern what resonated most with them.
Entreprenistas overcome daily challenges. What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?
Communicate about my business, the culture in a different environment. Talking with a lot of mentors, has help me to share the behind story and why is important. Receiving a lot of feedback.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
An AWARD Community Impact prize in Dempsey competition 2023, At University of Washington, I was the last one announced, that gave me fuel to keep going. You can learn more here.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
At least give me one day to relax, and everyday meditation.
What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
Do customer discovery, talk with people and customers. Some times we start the other way around!
Suly, you have lots to celebrate! What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
This year, became a recent graduate and also joined to the John + Foster Accelerator program from UW.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
Our ambition knows no borders as we aim to extend our reach internationally, sharing the profound beauty of Mexican craftsmanship with a global audience. Our curated offerings, spanning jewelry, apparel, accessories, and home decor, elevating Mexican artistry while enriching lives and fostering connections across generations