«If we don’t know how to manage money or have a good relationship with money, no business will prosper.» Patricia Arcila
Philadelphia, PA – In the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship, where challenges often outweigh triumphs, Patricia Arcila stands tall as a testament to resilience, determination, and a relentless pursuit of knowledge and action, as the founder and CEO of Latin Fashion, a thriving business located in Esperanza Corridor on N 5th Street. «I was born in Santuario, Risaralda in Colombia, and I grew up in Medellin. I’m Paisa. I come from an entrepreneurial family, starting with my grandpop and my dad. Business is in my blood. I studied international trade and Marketing. My entrepreneurial journey started when I was young, buying and selling cachibaches (any kind of items). Colombian people know what that means. While studying at the university, I sold jewelry, and with that money, I supported myself.”
Arcila’s story in Philadelphia started 26 years ago as an English student at Temple University. She was looking for a job in her field, and she could not find it. She started selling underwear from Colombia. «Everything that I have and earn in my business, I have it by selling panties, bras, fajas, and jeans, and having a clear vision of what I want. You need to learn to know your target market and what they want or don’t want. You, as an entrepreneur, need to innovate all the time. I let go of my fears and schemes, and I did not let that stop me.»
For Patricia Arcila, earning money is not enough to build wealth. »We can be the best salesperson in the world, but if we don’t know how to manage money or have a good relationship with money, no business will prosper. When I was in Colombia, I earned a minimum wage, and I created my own budget. You need to know how you are spending your money. It’s a priority that we revise very carefully bank and credit card statements, bills, and taxes. If we take the time to look, we will find out things that we never authorized or things that will create problems in the future. People think that knowing your financial area step by step is being stingy, not that is not that. It is called administration, starting with our own life and then our business.»
«I am scared to have debt, but without debt, we cannot grow. We need to learn how to have working capital to grow our business or to multiply what we are already earning. The way I do this is by going to a trust bank to borrow the money, and I invest it in a smart way. Many organizations offer free training like score, power-up, Penn and Temple University, Esperanza, and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce… I recommended my fellow business owners have a spiritual guide, too, to help them deal with the emotions and rollercoaster that the entrepreneur’s life brings.”
Lili Daliessio is the Community Information Manager at Esperanza Housing and Economic Development.