For the last George Brown College Alumni Entrepreneur Spotlight for 2019, what better way to end than with a start-up entrepreneur who launched her business just a month ago after lots of planning.
We had the pleasure to catch up with Lilia Costa, Founder of Brazil Heels and who is also currently in the startGBC Pop-Up store at the Stackt Market, along with another fantastic George Brown College business called MyWineCanada. Be sure to drop by and visit them whilst they are at the store. Their last day is Sunday, December 8, 2019.
Lilia is delightful, full of passion and is so proud to now call Canada home after residing here for the past 4-years. During this time Lilia has worked so hard to advance herself and follow her passion of establishing an online shoe store that will bring a better range of women’s shoes into the Canadian market and support economic growth both in Canada and Brazil.
We have had the joy of watching Lilia grow personally in her confidence and can do attitude and we are so happy that we have been able to help and support Lilia at this critical time in her entrepreneurial journey. Her passion and drive are absolutely a tonic to be around and will for sure inspire others.
So, we asked Lilia to answer some questions for us that should be an inspiration to others.
Lilia, what’s your educational background?
I have a degree in Business Administration from Brazil. I also studied at York University the IEP Bridging Program in Business Management. I did the Entrepreneurship Connections course at Access Employment last July and the StartGBC Entrepreneur Summer Camp in August. I also did a couple of courses at Enterprise Toronto all of which have helped my entrepreneurial journey.
What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
Because I like to make my own decisions, and to use my knowledge and creativity to create a business from scratch. I also believe I can make a difference bringing more shoe varieties into the Canadian market as well as making Brazilian shoes recognized for it’s excellent quality in Canada. I want to generate more jobs to help people and to contribute to the Canadian economy growth. I believe Canada needs more variety of products in general. There is a lot of room for new entrepreneurship initiatives in this country.
Why did you create Brazil Heels?
I am passionate for shoes, especially Brazilian ones. We have well-known and internationally famous brands made in Brazil, which have been exported to many countries since the 60’s. Brazil is the fourth biggest producer of shoes in the world. I love Brazilian shoe styles, comfort and colors, but unfortunately I couldn’t find them here in Canada. For this reason I decided to import them, so I can spread the Brazilian shoe concept all over Canada.
What success have you enjoyed so far?
As an immigrant who has been living in Canada for four years, I feel very proud of my accomplishments. I also feel blessed for all the support I’ve been receiving specially from startGBC at George Brown College, and Access Employment to turn my passion and aspirations into reality.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Research about the field you want to work within, study different topics (marketing, finance, sales), network with industry professionals, work hard on your business plan, get mentoring from knowledgeable professionals, avoid procrastination, and work every day to get the work done. Be kind to yourself when you fail in doing something. There will be lots of challenges along the way, so don’t give up when you face them.
Follow Brazil Heels on Social Media