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Inspiring Example of Side hustle Growing into Well-defined Business Venture

Transforming recycled aluminum pull tabs into handbags and necklaces has become a flourishing endeavor for Andrea Sarmiento. Based in Brunswick Heads, she operates her DeLata business, showcasing her products at local markets and throughout the country. Andrea recently participated in the Enterprise and Training Company (ETC) MySmallBiz Expo at Ballina RSL Club on April 16th.

Originally from Colombia, Andrea harbours a passion for sustainable fashion and emerging trends in the clothing industry. A central aspect of her business involves collaborating with a group of 14 single mothers in Colombia, exchanging designs and ideas. This initiative not only supports craftsmanship but also equips these women with tools to preserve and showcase their culture. Hailing from the remote and underdeveloped area of Martires in Bogota, these women find an opportunity to generate income through creating art with recycled materials, thereby improving their quality of life and providing for their families.

Andrea engages in co-designing products with the group, crafting collections based on current trends and innovative concepts.

“I believe people are drawn to our innovation and versatility,” she remarked. “Our products spark conversations, and everyone is curious about the story behind them. Whether you’re strolling through a morning market or heading out for dinner in the evening, our bags seamlessly transition from one setting to another. I’m truly passionate about our unique product, and I wouldn’t dedicate so much time to it if I didn’t believe in its value. Our latest collection is particularly dear to me, signalling ongoing improvement and innovation.”

The price spectrum spans from $100 for a necklace to $340 for a handbag. This concept has been in existence for approximately four years, with Andrea currently channeling all her efforts into expanding the business. With a background in fashion photography, graphic design, and marketing, Andrea brings a diverse skill set to the table.

Initially, it started as more of a side-hustle, but since August, Andrea has devoted herself to the business full-time. The Enterprise and Training Company (ETC) organizes expo events to facilitate networking opportunities for new and small business owners within their communities and with industry professionals. The MySmallBiz Expo, held across regional areas, features guest speakers who share insights into both traditional and innovative approaches to entrepreneurship.

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