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Entrevista para FORBES Ecuador, Enemy

Interview for FORBES Ecuador, Enemy

Three young people with a dream and a goal, to offer quality products worldwide.


25 November 2021 13.08

In the business world nothing is written on stone. And an example of this is the venture of three young people from Quito who focused on something that, in theory, the laws of the market did not dictate: designing, making up and selling beachwear and accessories. In 2016, the brothers Francisco and Fabián Almeida joined Santiago Verdesoto to create Enemy, a brand initially designed for men, hence its name, because the three letters in between read Men, backwards.

With an initial investment of US$40,000, they opened a small store in the Cumbayá sector, in Quito, and a web page designed by themselves. They started selling t-shirts, polo shirts and caps, and now the offer has expanded to swimsuits, glasses and glasses with protection against blue light. Verdesoto, who studied Marketing and Advertising at the San Francisco de Quito University (USFQ), says that, as in all ventures, they have had ups and downs, so getting to where they are now has not been easy. “We sacrificed our jobs back then and threw ourselves fully into working on the brand and fulfilling a dream. Between the three of us we take care of all aspects of the business, from taking the photos for social networks to the design of the garments and the overall management of the business.”

Francisco Almeida, studied International Business at the International University and remembers the false step they took when starting their idea. “We launched the website, thinking that Ecuador was ready for online purchases. We had the clothes piled up on a table in my house, as inventory, and they were sold to two friends through the page, we maintained that business model for two weeks. So we decided to open a store, where we are up to now”.

In 2018, a vacation in the Dominican Republic improved the climate of their business. The Almeida brothers had family and acquaintances in the Central American country that moves a lot for tourism and the beach. Fabián explains that this scenario fit perfectly with the brand, towards a relaxed, youthful, beach lifestyle. "That always caught our attention, we saw an opportunity in the market and I came to live here." Today, Enemy is distributed in three cities Santo Domingo, Las Terrenas and Punta Cana.

But the pandemic hit them like a tsunami. “We were doing well. We even started to design glasses, produce them in Asia and sell them. We had to close the store for three months and we lost a lot of money. We don't give up. We set up a website to sell masks and there we managed to stand out. Many people from all over the country began to see us thanks to the masks. So we saw the need to bring blue light glasses (blue light). In May 2019, I traveled to China, visited four cities, attended a fair, and met with various suppliers to see the possibility of making the glasses with our designs. Also, we wanted to use the best quality Italian acetate, which is very difficult to break, and we wanted to work with the best lens, cellulose triacetate. Today we maintain a relationship with eight Chinese factories for its manufacture”, says Francisco.

With that twist, things have looked up for Enemy. First, in June 2021, the partners expanded into Samborondón, opening a store in which they invested US$12,000. Until the end of this year they will open another in Cuenca and by 2022 one in Manta. Currently, the turnover is of the order of US$ 140,000 per year. “It has been a very rewarding journey full of adventures and learning where we discovered that the most important thing is always to work as a team. Our main advantage is the desire to learn new skills to implement them in brand management, which is why we constantly read and investigate, to train ourselves and improve every day”. (YO)

Quoted from the official page of Forbes Ecuador:

https://www.forbes.com.ec/negocios/asi-hace-quitenisima-enemy-vender-moda-playera-n10281?fbclid=IwAR3i_tE3QIHALFzYdIk_-IdIUfwxrjUE9m-6KCYRTVffUnry0yiHECK-pfk

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