Pamela Tavares, founder of AquaBox USA, Inc., saw a problem and developed a solution for it in 2009. After eight years and several product design iterations, she now holds two patents and is looking to grow by introducing her product to the international marketplace.
"We design, manufacture and sell vases made of paper that are green, biodegradable and recyclable," she said. "The great thing about it is you can buy flowers already in our box at stores and the box's lifespan is the same as the flowers. You can also bury our box in the ground whereas glass and plastic will last on earth for thousands of years."
Tavares' love of organizing dinner parties led her to conceive of the idea for AquaBox.
"I was a stay at home mom and I always loved to cook and make each dinner party an event by designing the table centerpiece very nicely," she explained. "A friend asked if I could design a centerpiece that she could take home and I didn’t want to give my crystal vase away so I thought it would be great if there were something very pretty that she could take home that would last the rest of the flowers' life. I started working on it, and when a friend had a baby, I hand painted an AquaBox that caused people in the hospital to stop to ask what it was and say they wanted one."
Tavares's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is persistence and consistency. "The key is to stay with it and don’t give up," she said. "There are a lot of doors that won't open just because you asked them to. You have to stay with it because you believe in what you do. In time, you will get the respect and rewards of what you do. It's a long journey. Consistency is the key. You have to keep working at it."