Nadia Martinez of Kallie & Co Talks About Her Business Inspiration and How She Created a Business That Works for Her LifeMorgan Gertler
Traditional jobs that require people to work in the same spot each day and maintain specific hours are becoming less and less. A solid WiFi connection + a reliable laptop allows for many jobs to be done anywhere and at anytime. This possibility of remote work has led to the existence of many companies, thought up by people who realized their skills could be utilized better by reaching people digitally. Nadia Martinez is one of these people, and she created her business to be portable and fit her life, while at the same time giving back to her roots.
Inspiration Behind Kallie & Co
In 2014 Nadia created Kallie & Co. — an online social/ retail business that sold hand-crafted goods created by Mexican artisans. Nadia, a Mexican immigrant who married a US Marine, knew she needed a job that was “portable” as her and her husband relocated often. She also wanted to find a way to give back to her Mexican community by creating fair labor.
Nadia Martinez has been shaped by three defining periods in her life — her childhood in the tiny village of Sinaloa, Mexico, her transition emigrating to the United States as a teenager, and her 11+ years as the spouse to a US Marine. Her business, Kallie & Co. reflects each of these defining moments.
Kallie & Co has become a sustainable, socially conscious business that supports people across the U.S. and Mexico.
Facebook and Instagram Marketing Tools
After meeting artisans and sourcing products, Nadia needed to find a way to tell her story, so she turned to Facebook and Instagram to build her brand. As her company and her product catalog grew, her marketing strategy evolved. Today she uses the Shopify and Facebook Pixel integration to reach customers who visit her website and sells her products directly through Facebook Shops. These tools allow for continued business growth and allow her to reach customers, regardless of where she is located. This marketing strategy has resulted in 4 out of 5 customers finding Kallie & Co. through Facebook and Instagram.
As the business continued to grow, so did Nadia’s use of Facebook’s tools. She started using WhatsApp to stay in touch with her artisans in Mexico, which allows them to avoid high phone bills. She also uses Facebook Messenger to communicate with her team, all of whom are other military spouses she’s never met in person.
Know Your Buyer + Inventory Needs
Knowing your buy, and how to find them online, is essential to marketing and advertising a business. One of the great things about advertising on Facebook and Instagram is the ability to target your buyers. You can also engage with them, since that’s what social media is great at. It’s more than just finding them — it’s about standing out so that your business is top of mind once they funnel down the buying cycle.
Once you’ve figured out who + where your buyers are, you’ll need to take a deep dive into inventory. Nadia has her inventory game down to a science, and luckily has shared her fulfillment hacks with us:
- Anticipate your demand
- Have a limited number of SKUS
- Be in touch with your suppliers to make sure you can get supplies quickly if needed
- Cut back on expenses to buy more inventory if needed
Nadia came to the United States as a teenager and learned English. She credits being bilingual to helping her business and being able to communicate with different customers and also her artisans in Mexico. Nadia taught herself how to market her business to her customers. “Put yourself in the customer’s shoes,” became a motto that helped her reach people all over the country. She learned new skills by bringing on an intern and bartering — Nadia taught the intern skills she would be able to use to gain a paying job, and Nadia got the help her business needed, free from high costs.
Today, Nadia has grown Kallie & Co. from her laundry room to a small team of Military spouses, selling her products across the U.S. and Canada and supporting 20 artisans in Mexico with fair labor. Kallie & Co. is also committed to giving back by donating 100% of profits from t-shirt sales to the Semper Fi Fund and makes donations of shoes to women in need in the United States and Africa.