We talked to Pilar Nestar García, CEO and Founder of INVITADISIMA about the first platform specialized in bridal and guests in the Spanish language.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Pilar Nestar García: As for all families, it is a complicated situation. The most important thing is to exercise extreme caution and try to go out and socialize as little as possible. With a two-year-old baby, it is difficult, because he does not understand the seriousness of the situation and why he cannot go out to play. But we all are doing our best to stay safe.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded INVITADISIMA.
Pilar Nestar García: My professional career comes from marketing. I have worked as a marketing manager in one of the biggest publishing groups, I did marketing in 32 countries, and I have launched to the market more than 10,000 products during my career.
When I was the CMO of this multinational publishing house in London, I realized that I wasn’t happy. I was no longer motivated by the same things and no longer had the same passion for what I was doing.
Still living in London, I set up and founded my fashion brand for special occasions, while continuing to work in publishing. Thanks to it, I got to know the world of marketplaces and how they helped small brands and emerging designers to make their products known and position themselves online.
When I returned to Spain I realized that there was no specialized website to help me sell my product online, so I decided to do market research and a business plan to check if this business model would make sense in my country, and I realized that it would. Thus was born the first platform specialized in bridal and guests in the Spanish language.
How does INVITADISIMA innovate?
Pilar Nestar García: We do innovate in many different aspects.
- Technology. We work with a technology we call “data Advantage” that helps us to anticipate the needs of our customers.
- Stylists. In Spain and LATAM countries, the protocol for special occasions is very severe. We offer our customers a Professional Stylist service that helps them be “the perfect guest” in protocol procedures.
- Niche. There’s no other platform in the Spanish language that provides the offer we do to wedding guests, brides, and guests in general.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Pilar Nestar García: We are one of the niches most affected by the pandemic.
We specialize in fashion and accessories for special occasions, so if there are no events, there are no sales.
Surviving is challenging, but we have decided to diversify the risk:
– By opening a tab for complimentary products, not substitutes.
– Updating our catalog with a wider offer.
– Opening new potential markets such as Mexico.
– Launching our luxury products section – and becoming a Dolce & Gabbana partner.
– Positioning our platform in SEO and competing with the big players in the sector.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Pilar Nestar García: Being an entrepreneur is about making difficult choices every single day.
My company has had to go into “refrigerator mode” to burn as little cash as possible, we have had to make decisions that will mark the future of the company (such as diversification, expansion, change of strategy in MK & PR…)
From the beginning, I decided to keep my team as long as I could, and to this day, I have been able to keep it. It’s one of the things I’m most proud of. To be surrounded by a team that is so involved and passionate about their work. They have been able to see the light at the end of this pandemic and work every day with motivation and enthusiasm.
This pandemic has confirmed something I already knew. Companies are not their products or services; they are the people who make them up. And they are the ones who make or break your company.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Pilar Nestar García: We have decided to invest in organic positioning, we have to use specific tools to check our progress such as SemRush or Ahrefs.
Another tool we use daily is Google Meet. It helps us to be close even if we are far away.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Pilar Nestar García: Our competitors are small, medium, and large players in the industry.
Being an online company, we have to compete and differentiate ourselves online from all of them. It’s a big challenge.
To differentiate ourselves, we have carried out a great SEO strategy during this pandemic. We have expanded our catalog with a large number of exclusive brands. We have invested in pioneering technology in the sector…
We are ready to become a reference in the fashion and accessories sector for special events, and we are ready for the future.
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