The jewellery entrepreneur supporting women fleeing domestic violence

The jewellery entrepreneur supporting women fleeing domestic violence
Judy Chicangana
Judy ChicanganaDelmora International Ltd

Posted: Mon 13th Dec 2021

Judy Milena Chicangana Tuquerrez is the founder of jewellery brand Delmora International. She sells her products in various places including on Etsy and Amazon’s online store.

One of Judy’s aims is to use her business to support good causes and she is currently supporting a UK charity that helps Latin American women and children fleeing gender-based violence.

Judy shares the story behind her brand and explains how the Amazon Small Business Accelerator has boosted her entrepreneurial skills.

The free Amazon Small Business Accelerator e-learning programme is advice from more than 30 business experts in over 200 bitesize videos.

If you’re already an Enterprise Nation member, log in to your learning dashboard. If you’re not an Enterprise Nation member, you can join the Amazon Small Business Accelerator for free here.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?

“My motivation was to have financial independence and be able to support others. I am looking for financial freedom and being able to manage my life in a way that I can care about myself. While working in offices, I was tired of doing nothing but working for someone else. I used to dream about having a hobby such as painting or crafting. I love working with my hands and creating new things. That is how I found out that jewellery would be perfect for me.

“My second motivation is supporting others. When I was living in Colombia, I was a lecturer in a university that aimed to help people that couldn’t afford private, professional education. I worked there for six years, and I felt fulfilled because I was doing something good for others. One day though I realised that I was not achieving my dreams. The working conditions made it almost impossible to dream about having a house or having enough money to travel for holidays. I had the same car that my father gave me before graduating from university.

“I realised that I needed to help myself first to be able to help others. I decided to launch Delmora™ and look for that financial independence. Delmora™ currently supports the Latin America Women’s Aid charity based in London. My dream is that in the future, I will be able to help many girls that are living through domestic violence and other types of abuse.”

Tell us more about the inspiration behind your products.

“It’s all about communication. I chose to make jewellery because I am passionate about finding different ways to express myself and creating an image of myself that represents the true me. I love when I feel that I can still see myself in every detail, even wearing different jewellery styles.

“I thought that many other women might feel the same. I started to look at women on my daily commute to work, in my office, in restaurants. I can say that almost every woman in those places had an accessory that not just elevated their outfits, but also represented themselves to others. I think there is a story behind every accessory you buy. I wanted to be part of that, giving other women options that express how they feel or the challenges they are facing in their lives.

“Offering plenty of options to facilitate that communication is very important to me. That is why one of the values of Delmora™ is variety over profitability. Despite that, we are a small company, and our budgets are tight. We prioritise offering small batches of several styles over mass production. Sometimes I go through the entire process of photography, video creating, marketing, quality control and pricing, just for one unit. My margins take a hit as it makes the product way more expensive than creating 100 units of one style. The mass production method would be more efficient but also less unique and personal.”

How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business?

“The impact of COVID-19 has been huge. In the beginning, people were buying essentials such as food and toilet paper, so jewellery was considered a luxury.

“I had to be creative when the restrictions were introduced. I couldn't network or attend live events. Consequently, I created Delmora™ Club to offer my customers exclusive access to new launches and discounts. The programme is beneficial to my customers and to myself as it works as a market research tool that reveals my customer’s preferences and interests. They fill in a form with a few questions before getting access to all the good stuff. Those preferences give me an idea of what new products to introduce and what content to post on my online platforms.

What other business challenges have you faced?

“The challenges are many. The two big ones are cash flow and self-motivation/resilience.

“When I started Delmora™, I researched national statistics for starting new businesses. I found out that it takes approximately three years to know if a new business will survive or not. I prepared psychologically for that and spoke to my husband as I needed his financial support to create what I imagined the business to be. Sometimes when I see my forecasted cash flow, I am tempted to look for a job again. My best advice is to plan your finances to know what to expect.

“Self-motivation and staying resilient is a continuous challenge. When I think I want to give up, I remember those Sundays or late nights working on my start-up. The time goes so quickly that I don’t even realise how late I go to bed. This extra time working would be seen as a massive sacrifice if I were working for others. That feeling of true enjoyment never happened in any of my previous jobs. It now motivates me. Spirituality has helped me a lot as it gives me faith, hope and company in the lonely moments.”

How has the Amazon Small Business Accelerator e-learning programme helped and inspired you?

“The videos on building a brand were educational and reminded me of significant things that are sometimes forgotten in day-to-day operations. For example, one of the tips was about the importance of setting up Google My Business listings. Although I set it up before watching the video, I wasn’t paying enough attention to it. After watching the videos, I improved my listings with better photos and posted more consistently. Now I check my analytics every month and I was delighted the first time I typed ‘Delmora’ on Google and Delmora™ was at the top of the search results.

“The importance of consistency was also highlighted in the videos. I used to post at different times and on random days on social media platforms. Also, I used different templates to present my online content. After the videos, I established procedures for building my online presence with consistent brand colours, fonts, and style.

“I recently launched my new website. The videos made me realise that a website would give me more control of the way Delmora™ is introduced to customers.

“The video covering Amazon Brand Registry was also informative as to how Amazon protects brand owners. I am looking to enrol in the Amazon Brand Registry programme in 2022.”


What advice would you give to other business owners for selling on Amazon?

“Offering variety is one of Delmora’s main values, and sometimes we offer very few units of a design. This means I spend a lot of time creating my listings to reflect this in the best possible way. Having the perfect listing takes time so it’s a good idea to have a clear idea of how you want your product to be shown to customers before listing products.”

Which other entrepreneurs inspire you and why?

“My parents were my first source of inspiration because they created a business from nothing. Their perseverance and hard work always inspired me. At the beginning of my childhood, we lived in a house with no walls because we were so poor that we couldn’t afford anything better. Still, everything started to change when I started high school, and they had a more established business. My father didn’t finish his primary school education but he still managed to pay for private education for his four children in a country where access to education and health are two of the most expensive services.

“My aunt also inspired me because she had tough beginnings and managed to be recognised as the boss. Despite being the youngest in a home full of men, she ended up being admired for her business sense. She has shown courage and endurance when doing business and has supported her family.”

What are your top tips for business success?

“A business is not just about your talents or your product. There are many other areas that you need to be aware of such as finance, law, online marketing, operations, partnerships etc. You will never stop learning because you can't be good at everything. But even when it looks difficult, it is not impossible. I remember the first time I saw the video editor Premiere Pro, I almost cried! It looked so difficult, but I knew I needed to learn it. After many hours of practising, I can now edit my own videos.

“Another tip is to take care of yourself. If you don't sleep properly, exercise, or spend time with your loved ones, you can't expect positive results. The business is going to be affected, and your productivity is going to decrease. Your creativity will also reduce and it can have profound effects on your mental health.

“It is also crucial to contact associations and networks that support small businesses such as Enterprise Nation. The training and networking events are super important for making business connections and making your brand well-known.

“Get important people in your life involved in your dream. In my case, my husband’s continuous support has been instrumental. He and I share this dream, and we are working together to see it through.

“Many people say that you should concentrate your efforts on one platform. I don’t entirely agree with that. I am building communities on five different platforms. They have helped me in different areas of the business. For example, Instagram is good for showing my products and I have found some suppliers on Twitter. LinkedIn has been good for finding associations that support small businesses in my area. Taking advantage of as many opportunities as possible is a must when you are starting a business.

“It is also essential to monitor customer trends. For example, healthy and organic products that don't damage the environment have been a strong trend in the last few years. Delmora™ tackles this point by offering recyclable packaging, and I am working with recyclable materials such as stainless steel and sterling silver. I am developing a recycling programme that will launch in 2022.”

The free Amazon Small Business Accelerator e-learning programme is advice from more than 30 business experts in over 200 bitesize videos.

If you’re already an Enterprise Nation member, log in to your learning dashboard. If you’re not an Enterprise Nation member, you can join the Amazon Small Business Accelerator for free here.

Judy Chicangana
Judy ChicanganaDelmora International Ltd
I am an experienced, bilingual professional with an MBA and studies in business, finance and project management.  Easily adaptable and enthusiastic about learning and using new technologies. A results-driven and resilient person with excellent planning and organisational skills who believes that integrity is an essential value for attaining success.  

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