Friday, December 19, 2008

Carlos Zuniga >

Carlos Zuniga, Owner, Bessi Fashion Shoe Line

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
A dream and perseverance.

What did inspire you to start your business?
My creativity and the dream of becoming a designer.

How did you finance it?
I financed the first couple of years. I later got an "Angel Investor", also known as my parents.

Being Hispanic… Does it have any influence on your business?
Absolutely. The design aesthetics of my work are highly influenced by my Latin culture.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
Success stories keep me going. There are many others who have had to struggle much harder than I ever have. So ultimately any obstacle can be a blessing.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Bessi is a fairly new line. The biggest challenge has been management and operations. When all you know is creativity and fashion, it's hard to understand business development. It took a lot of research.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
I'm actually quite content with my business and the direction it is going.

What was your childhood ambition?
To be free. To love what you do and be great at it.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
My parents, hands down. Also, my very good friend Vincent. He accomplished his dream at only 26. His positive energy is amazing.

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Dinner in Shanghai, Rome, or Miami!!

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
Well, let's just say I dedicate a lot more time at this than other things. As far as success, that is an ongoing challenge.

What is your favorite quote?
"Dejate de vainas"

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Yes. It requires discipline.

Biggest mistake made?
Ha, plenty of those. I just try to turn them around.

Do you consider yourself an innovator?
An innovator in the way I project my designs, yes.

Born in New Orleans, son of a soccer star and an international executive, Carlos Zuniga began designing at a very young age. Educated at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, the design aesthetic of Latin-American Carlos Zuniga encompasses cultural values of Miami, New Orleans and Latin America. It is evident in Zuniga’s work that many of his designs are influenced by Miami’s lifestyle. Inspired by the sexy, confident Latin woman, Carlos seeks to compliment all women with their beauty with his designs. Beginning in 2006, Zuniga began his project while living in Miami by sketching concepts for friends. Believing that shoes can very well compliment a woman, and having a keen eye for fashion, his designs were quickly noticed. After a strong demand to begin his own line, his entrepreneurial spirit led him to develop his very own line of women’s shoes called Bessi by Carlos Zuniga. The line is named after his greatest inspiration, his mother. Today, Bessi by Carlos Zuniga continues developing its collection and will exclusively be available in March 2009 at

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