Learn about Florida Entrepreneur Saperna Menendez:
Saperna Menendez, co-founder of Rilevare, developed her entrepreneurial spirit early in life and wants to pass it along to her two daughters as well.
"I've been entrepreneurial since I was in junior high school selling candy under the table," she said. "I got into the perfume business when a friend asked if I wanted to work for her mom it one of the world's largest perfume makers. When I became familiar with the perfume industry, I saw I could do this and that there was a better way because many women were growing more health conscious or affected by allergies. I left the company and joined with my husband to start our own company. We are a family owned company and involve our two daughters when we can. Our belief is that we're doing this for our children and their future."
Rilevare makes natural perfume and lotions without alcohol as an ingredient. "We use non-GMO grape seed oil instead of alcohol," Menendez explained. "We're taking the healthier route using essential oils and plant based oils. It’s a natural alternative to traditional perfume in the US. We're getting back to the basics."
As of mid-2017, Rilevare is carried in 76 retail stores across Florida. "We started only selling online," Menendez said. "Then we did a yoga event where we took the opportunity to ask our customers where our perfume should be sold. They mentioned a store called Nature's Food Patch. We visited them and they said they liked our product and they'd bring it in. That was our first entry into retail."
Menendez's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is that your startup must be your priority. "You need to commit and once you do, commit wholeheartedly," she said. "Go all in. We see people go back and forth and they're not all in. If you want your business to go anywhere, you need to believe in it and commit. Also in the first two years, don't burden the business with any debt. Sometimes it's slower growth but it's good grassroots growth."
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