Two female go-getters, one goal — teaching up and coming business owners how to run a business from the ground up.
Women’s Economic Self Sufficiency Team, (WESST) held the “Go Latinas” event which brought in predominately women owned businesses from across Lea County to network, socialize, and build connections with one another to help push one another’s businesses at the Baymont Inn in Hobbs on June 16.
Got Safety owner Rosa Carrillo was one of two keynote speakers and told why it is important women and those trying to start a business attend these type of events.
“I think it’s important to attend these type of events because you get to network from each other,” Carrillo said. “I have taken a lot of classes and gotten a lot of certifications in a lot of things but none of that can amount to the knowledge you gain from learning from other business people, entrepreneurs, is priceless.”
After the event, Carrillo offered a bit of advice to young self-starters coming up in the oil and gas industry.
“What advice would I give to somebody who is just starting, or better yet, what advice would I give to myself ?” Carillo asked. “I would say consistency. Stay after it. I’ve been in business 17 years and you must always have a plan. I know that a lot of people want to skip the business plan, but I would say start there.
“Once you set your goals and have a plan in place, stick to it. There’ll be a lot of different things that may come up in your business and a lot of different avenues you can take, but stick to what you know.”
And Carillo has stuck to a plan for the past 17 years. Sticking to that plan has named her a “big dog” in a game run by predominately males
“I was a stay at home mom before I got into the oilfield,” Carillo said. “I went from being a stay at home mom, to being divorced, to jumping into the oil and gas industry — specifically safety.
“I got lucky enough to get involved with a company who asked me to translate a couple of things for them and I fell in love with it. Once I fell in love with it, I started educating myself about that field. I set a goal for myself until I knew what I wanted to do and I didn’t stop until I got to where I wanted to be.”
When she first got into the oil and gas industry, there wasn’t a local safety company able to translate for the Spanish speaking workers and owners, said Carrillo.
“The fact that I could speak Spanish, and there were so many businesses where the people who own them only speak Spanish — once my name got put out there that I could explain to them exactly what they were needing, and they could relay, everybody started coming to me,” Carrillo said. “After three months we were thriving and growing quickly. I went from being by myself consulting for the first two years, to 20 customers I was managing on my own.
“Today, I have about 700 clients I handle regularly and an additional 3,000-4,000 that use us here and there for different things.”
Carrillo said she loves what she does.
“I fell in love with what I do. When I started, I had such a passion for it and I just want people to be safe. I want them to come home. I don’t want them to get hurt. The better I am at my job, the more I have of a guarantee they are going to come home at night. If I speak to them from the heart I feel like they will relate to it,” Carrillo said.
The second key-note speaker of the event, owner of Classy Event Decor and Rentals Cecilia Hinojosa, said she attended the event to connect with people and help promote women.
“I think it’s very important because you need to meet people, future clients,” Hinojosa said. “If you want to do any kind of business you need to be involved in the community and connect with other women. We have to support one another.
“When I have an event, I have my cookie lady, my linen lady, all of my preferred vendors who I gather up. After we are done decorating and I post the event to social media, I tag all of my vendors and take pictures of their work and help promote what they do.”
Hinojosa began her business after trying to plan her daughter’s quince. She couldn’t find anyone who could offer the services she needed. Hinojosa soon realized she could do it all on her own — after all, she had been an event planner in Mexico prior to moving to Hobbs.
“I had to research everything by myself, and I did the whole thing,” Hinojosa said. “I realized, after planning her event, we needed an event planner in Hobbs — and I’ve been working on events for nine years now.
“It wasn’t new for me to coordinator or plan events, but it was different in that I had never really decorated.”
Hinojosa attributes her success to the connections she has made through events like “Go Latinas.” Those connections include the people she uses for her event planning, her customers, and her family.
WESST Hobbs Business Consultant and Trainer Rachael Moon said the “Go Latinas” event originally began in Roswell. WESST is a non-profit business resource originally founded on helping women of color and low income and eventually evolved to helping people from all walks of life.
“The Go Latinas event started off in Roswell. Since WESST has been in Hobbs for a little over a year now, we figured it was important that we had a ‘Go Latinas’ event in Hobbs,” Moon said. “The idea behind the event is to really show not just Hispanic women, but all women, that it’s possible to start a business and take the steps forward to do so.
“We have so many women owned businesses and minority owned businesses that it is very important for these women to hear they can take their hobby or dream and turn it into something.”
Moon said WESST will sponsor other events throughout the year.
“WESST will have several different events about women empowerment and business. We will have a different series in the fall. There is no cost for any event and we encourage everyone to attend,” Moon said.
The “Dare to be Her” event in the fall will consist of a panel of women sharing their stories.
For more information about WESST, contact Moon ator 575-241-1715.