Bettina Cosmetics distinguishes 4 Hispanic entrepreneurs as it eyes new markets
ORLANDO, FL — Puerto Rican manufacturer Bettina Cosmetics is in full expansion mode across Florida and is now in conversations to enter the Panama market, a country that is a commercial bridge in Central America, this media outlet learned.
The country is interested in the Bettina makeup line that is designed specifically for Latina women’s skin tones. On the map of future expansions are also locations where there are flourishing Hispanic communities such as Texas, New York, New Jersey, among others, said Bettina Mercado, president of Bettina Cosmetics.
The new markets would add to the company’s footprint, which recently grew in Florida with the addition of 602 Walgreens stores across the Sunshine State, as this media outlet reported. As a result of the agreement, the company launched 50 enamel colors.
As part of that expansion at the end of the last year, the Puerto Rican cosmetic company also sought to recognize four women who had shown leadership, creativity, courage, and determination in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic to overcome challenges and move ahead with a new business, or to reinvent herself.
And so, the “Bettina Rewards your Courage” contest was launched, selecting four stories of Hispanic women who are now the inspiration for a unique nail polish in the Bettina Cosmetics line.
“I’m incredibly happy. This is a dream we had of being able to identify women making a difference in the middle of a pandemic. I think we’re in a moment when the only thing that is preventing us from moving is personal frustration and we must begin to identify those talents that we were born with,” said Mercado.
The winners will be recognized with the launch of a nail polish that will bear their name and all the money raised after the sale of the product will be given to them. The new enamels will be available to buy online starting Feb. 12.
“I’m excited and can’t wait to launch the new enamels and for people to start talking about them and support them,” Mercado said.
The winning entrepreneurs’ success stories will be featured as part of a campaign to motivate other women to overcome obstacles in undertaking their business ideas and projects.
“These women leaders represent the strength, determination, and creativity of Hispanic women. This recognition is a tribute to their strength, faith, and ability to adapt and overcome moments of adversity,” added Mercado.
Winners share their stories
The winners list includes Crystal Cruz, who is Puerto Rican, and founder of virtual platform company Actual Chic, which she created to motivate women through stylish attire, fashion, but also through messages of faith and hope.
“Through my company, I’ve wanted women to be able to believe in themselves and develop the potential that God has given them through the impulse of external and inner beauty,” said Cruz. “The year 2020 was a year of crisis, but in the midst of that storm, I was blessed to achieve beauty product sales that exceeded my expectations. So, a year labeled as an adverse and negative one, turned into a blessing for my company.”
In Orlando, Caroline Soto is a community leader and recognized entrepreneur. She chose a turquoise color for the nail polish, that she identifies with the start of her company. She built a business to help others launch their business ideas.
But the pandemic suddenly altered the dynamics of the workshops that were offered in person and the only option was to reinvent themselves by betting on the spaces that had been opened in the technology world.
“I like to interact face to face, but the pandemic led me to look at the digital world as the new space to take my leadership workshops. And so, what I used to do in a classroom has now become my virtual academy, which I carry out through platforms such as Zoom and that allowed me to continue to be highly active at a time when many were paralyzed,” she explained.
“This is a surprise for me. Bettina is such a recognized brand, and it’s very meaningful to me. With the pandemic, many of us probably think that it will not cost much to recover, but for me, it’s like what women represent, the resilience that women have, no matter what happens to us, we can recover,” said Soto, who leads her virtual academy, Monetize Your Idea Digital Lab with clients in Italy, Latin America, and the US mainland.
“Despite the critical situation, 2020 turned out to be one of my best years,” added Soto.
Meanwhile, another winner, Leyda Hernández, agreed with Soto about resilience during these challenging times.
Five years ago, she moved from Puerto Rico to Florida speaking very little English. Still, days after moving, this 35-year-old stylist got a job at a beauty salon where she was able to learn the language and become more fluent. But the pandemic hit that industry and she was unemployed months later.
“But that didn’t stop me. With the support of my husband, children, and close friends, I decided to find a place to continue my dream of opening my own salon,” said Hernández.
“I found a small place in Riverview, Florida, and although the size was small, it motivated me to dream big. There, without knowing anyone, I opened the doors and in a short time, and using social networks, Hispanic and English-speaking clients came,” Hernández said.
Rounding out the list is a Venezuelan mother of two and entrepreneur, Linda Carta, who made her way on social networks to launch her marketing business project, 22Stars Agency, during the pandemic.
“The year 2020 not only brought the pandemic, but it was a year that got off to a tough start for me and my family, with a divorce, no savings, and a part-time job. However, I was determined to change the situations that didn’t make me happy and using my experience in the industry as a resource, I set a goal and with a clear vision, I gave life to my company. I got contracts with several renowned artists and managed the networks of renowned lawyers and public figures like Dr. Ana María Polo,” said Carta.
Bettina Cosmetics, founded 57 years ago, has had a presence in Florida since 2015. The products are sold at Navarro pharmacies in Miami, which has 28 stores in South Florida. The cosmetic line has also been available in 108 Walmart stores since 2016.