This is one post part of a series showcasing game-changers part of global entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Brothers Alan and Nestor Taveras grew up with a dual country perspective. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, their parents came from two different countries: one Puerto Rican and the other Dominican Republican. This perspective of the power of the bridge between Latin America and the United States would be a theme that shaped their lives and their entrepreneurial journey. The brothers would split ways throughout their education – one going to Boston, MA for his education while the other pursued his MBA in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During the financial crisis in 2008, they witnessed the massive crash in markets and the devastation of local makers and farmers in Puerto Rico and later witnessed the rise of e-commerce platforms across Latin America, an ever growing market in this region. And so they decided to take on an experiment to be the biggest catalog of Latin American products for the 55M Latinas living in the United States. This number grew significantly over the last couple of years as there has been a movement of a mass youth diaspora from Puerto Rico and Latin America to mainland United States. They leveraged a blue oceans strategy to create a product for a niche that wasn’t being attended and launched an e-commerce platform to bring local entrepreneurs onto a global marketplace, this company called Brands Of. With operations headquartered and started in Puerto Rico, they scaled into the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, representing the first e-commerce platform in all of Nicaragua.
The perspective of the powerful bridge between Latin America & the United States would shape these co-founders’ entrepreneurial journey.
So they decided to take on an experiment to be the biggest catalog of Latin American products for the 55M Latinas living in the United States. This number grew significantly over the last couple of years as there has been a movement of a mass youth diaspora from Puerto Rico and Latin America to mainland United States. They leveraged a blue oceans strategy to create a product for a niche that wasn’t being attended and launched an e-commerce platform to bring local entrepreneurs onto a global marketplace, this company called Brands Of. With operations in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua – also being the first e-commerce platform in Nicaragua, Brands Of is a marketplace of favorite local products of Latin America made available online to people across Latin America and the United States. They are enabling local producers to be exposed to a global audience of consumers and creating the opportunity for expatriate Latinas to purchase their favorite hometown products. Their products range from organic chocolate to gourmet foods (their most popular category) to farm produce to consumer delicacies. They are well known that you can get 100% of Puerto Rican products at their one-stop shop.
Brands Of is known for being the go-to place to get 100% of Latin American products.
Brands Of’s platform is becoming increasingly popular as the consumers of Latin America are shifting away from corporate purchasing mindset to wanting to support local business and producers, a trend that has emerged over the last decade. Despite the fact that giant conglomerates still have a major presence in Puerto Rico, for instance – Monsanto has the largest presence in Puerto Rico- Latin American consumers are becoming increasingly more conscious and interested in investing a little more by paying a bit higher prices for locally produced goods. Their purchases directly benefit these local makers as well with 80% of the total purchase going directly into the creators’ pockets, an immediate return on investment which is a benefit for these local entrepreneurs (as opposed to having to wait for antiquated bank deposits). Brands Of gives thanks to their media exposure for their popular launch of their platform which generated 90% new brands seeking them out to be on the platform. Not to mention, Brands Of launched at an extremely favorable time during the economic crisis in Puerto Rico in which the people saw them as a solution for this widespread financial problem.
Media exposure generated 90% of new customers reaching out to Brands Of.
Brands Of objective is a straightforward one – they want to let Latinos in the United States know that they are doing all they can to bring authentic products from Latin America to their doorsteps. They want them to know that there is a tool for them to help their countries, one that directly supports local entrepreneurs and the economy, as opposed to the much more criticized options such as donating to non-profits or local government campaigns. They are bringing offline entrepreneurs – mom and pop shops, farmers markets, artisans – to a global marketplace, creating a bridge to an even wider consumer base that these locals would never reach and be infusing money into these economies. Taveras says that without these local producers, their company would be nothing. Taveras shares advice for fellow entrepreneurs – don’t take your network for granted. Continue to grow your network, invest in creating community, and take advantage of powerful collaborative opportunities.
Check out more @ www.brandsofamericas.com
“Don’t take your network for granted.”
– Alan Taveras, Co-Founder of Brands Of