Originally from Petén, Guatemala, Reyna Marina Najera Gonzalez moved to Arkansas on July 4, 2019, alongside her husband, daughter, and son thanks to an asylum agreement. Her husband started working on construction right away and Reyna started working as a dishwasher before moving into housekeeping for a well-known hotel. After a couple of weeks she began cleaning houses because the schedule worked better for her and her family. She stayed at that job for a year and a half and finally started working cleaning apartments for a cleaning company. Reyna started worrying about the impact of all the chemicals she was using when cleaning and she started thinking of a better way to make money.
One day she came to the idea of buying goods in Guatemala and bringing it here to sell and so she started doing it. She first bought some lingerie, which sold extremely fast, so she got excited about her new business and started thinking how she could do better.
One of her friends told her about Conexión de Negocios Latinos. Reyna called one day and made an appointment without knowing what to expect. Reyna met with Ariana Palmer, one of the business consultants at CNL and she guided her step by step on how to set up her online store.
They worked on a business plan, created a logo for her business “Mundo Chapin," her business cards and set up her social media account for her to start selling her products. Ariana encouraged Reyna to participate in El Mercadito Latino and so she did and had a great experience.
Now Reyna is looking for more events to assist and to grow her online business.
"Ariana has been very helpful and patient with me. Before knowing her I didn't know anything about the process of having a business, I didn’t know I could get a loan or start my own business as a resident. I have told my family and friends who didn't know either and they have supported me in this journey as well.”
Palmer also explained to her how to ship her product through the post office since some of Reyna’s clients are out of the state.
"Now my daughter Yomari is helping me with my social media and we are sharing something special as we are both growing the business together. We both go together to the post office and we are learning every day how to run our business better."
Going forward, Reyna’s goal is to one day open a physical store, so now she is working with Ariana and other resources on building her credit so she can soon apply for a loan. Reyna is very thankful for CNL's work and highly recommends all entrepreneurs to seek help from them.