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Press release

What does Livistona Designs do to increase sales of its handcrafted furniture so quickly via Instagram?

Livistona Design exceeds its sales expectations in a short time; the venture creates handmade furniture for middle and high income segments and provides employment in communities in Guatemala and Costa Rica.

By Carlos Cordero Perez

March 23, 2022, 6:00 AM

Adrian and Lulu

Livistona Designs was founded by Lourdes Martínez and Adrián Cordero. (Photos for EF)

High durability and resistance materials are used. (Photos for EF)

In Costa Rica the company is located in Barrio San José de Curridabat. (Photos for EF)

Among the materials, PVC plastic cord is used. (Photos for EF)


The collaborators receive training in the preparation of the products. (Photos for EF)

The objective of the furniture and accessories is that they can last and thus contribute to sustainability. (Photos for EF)

The idea is that the products are used in spaces in homes and other places where people take advantage of resting. (Photos for EF)

Livistona Design hires collaborators from communities and uses remuneration schemes where the profits from the sale of the pieces are shared. (Photos for EF)

The products can be located in open spaces and are designed with weather resistant materials. (Photos for EF)

Founded by the marriage of Guatemalan Lourdes Martínez and Costa Rican Adrián Cordero, Livistona Designs was born in the pandemic in Guatemala and has just opened its high-end ethnic furniture factory in Costa Rica. In both markets, he quickly exceeded his expectations and sales estimates. For what is this?

Both attribute it to how they take advantage of social networks and Instagram, in particular, as well as the originality of their proposal for luxury handcrafted furniture. "We seek to convey the idea of living an experience," emphasizes Lourdes.

In April 2020 and just married, Adrián and Lourdes were decorating the balcony of their house in Guatemala City.

They realized that there was no brand that produced furniture and accessories to enjoy the spaces inside and around houses with the warmth and decoration of an ethnic piece of furniture, which mixes customs and culture and is created with the art that is transmitted from generation to generation. generation.

At that time, both were looking for work and thought that a venture of this type would be an extra income. They soon realized the potential.

Lourdes is from the municipality of San Cristóbal Mixco and studied at the Campo Real school in Guatemala City. And, although he took business administration at the Rafael Landivar University, he entered the Technical Training Institute (Intecap) to pursue gastronomy. For three years she worked as creative director at Nuchef, a company that provides cooking classes, and in 2016 she traveled to San Sebastián, Spain.

In Spain he was at the Basque Culinary Center where he specialized in avant-garde cuisine. Upon returning, he returned to Nuchef and a year later he joined Nestlé. It was there that she met Adrian.

Adrián graduated from the Liceo de San Miguel de Desamparados and in the year 2000 began to study industrial maintenance engineering at the Technological Institute of Costa Rica in Cartago.

Needing income to pursue his career, he got a job at De Lorenzo, an Italian educational technology company (specializing in robotics), which sent him to cover the Mexican market and financed his studies in industrial engineering at the Tecnológico de Monterrey and at the Universidad del Valle, at the Monterrey campus.

Adrián returned to Costa Rica, as the situation in Mexico was becoming complicated by insecurity. He started working at a car dealership and then moved to Nestlé. On a tour of the region, he met Lourdes.

Lourdes left Nestlé and in Costa Rica began advising companies that are in charge of executive dining rooms for international firms located in the country. At the end of 2019 they got married. But the pandemic changed the professional and work career plans of both.

In April 2020, Adrián left Nestlé, after the adjustment in working hours and salary due to the pandemic was made, they negotiated and an exit agreement was reached. At that time the labor market was compressed and that included executive positions.

Lourdes and Adrián thought that the venture would help in the meantime and, when the storm passed, it would be a source of extra income. At the end of May they opened the workshop.

Almost immediately the first sale was made. As of the first week of June, they activated promotions on social networks. The results surpassed the numbers they had done.

It was not a propitious moment, but as for many people in the region, opportunities also presented themselves.

A Mastercard study, conducted in 65 economies in 2021 and recently published, shows that in Latin America the percentage of people who decided to start a business increased and that, in this step, women played a key role.

The ability to adapt to adversity (resilience) and optimism were the driving forces behind him, according to the report. Also the development of digital capacities, for which several entities promote different initiatives.

In Costa Rica, the Transfórmate-HP LIFE program has just completed a 173-hour training program with a total of 297 entrepreneurs, which included training to design a strategic business plan. The program has been implemented since 2017.

Mastercard itself promotes the Girls4Tech initiative with the goal of developing the technological skills of five million girls (8 to 16 years old) in 44 countries.

The founders of Livistona Designs emphasize that highly durable and resistant materials are used, with a combination of a variety of colors that favor decoration in all types of interior spaces. This favors longer cycles of use and waste is reduced, contributing to sustainability.

For almost two years the companies diversified materials and designs.

In Guatemala, they began to manufacture furniture with wood known to the outside climate for its resistance (such as teak and guanacaste), with high-traffic polyurethane varnishes, which is used in floors and luxury buildings for its durability.

Estimates were that the break-even point would be reached with 90 pieces sold. Only in June they colored almost twice and from then until December 2021 a sales rate of 200 to 250 pieces per month was achieved, which is the maximum capacity of the workshop.

Last December they decided to open in Costa Rica, which materialized in this first quarter of 2022. Sales also exceeded expectations: during the months of February and up to March 20, they sold 170 pieces, more than the projection of 140 units for the first two months.

In Costa Rica, they manufacture handmade furniture that combines PVC plastic cord that is used for the first time, smooth metal for civil construction (it is not hollow and gives more strength), automotive paint and automotive finish for greater resistance. By mid-2022 they will introduce wooden furniture into this market.

The fabrics are multicultural, which differ in both Guatemala and Costa Rica due to their configuration and make it possible to create a modern and attractive piece.

Products include outdoor chairs, lounge sets, and hanging chairs for relaxing in the garden or on the beach with prices ranging from $80 (for a lampshade) and $2,000 (sofa-bed for pools, gardens, and beach).

Furniture is made to order, where the client customizes the colors and sizes to taste. Special imported outdoor textiles are used for cushions and furniture fabrics.

In both Guatemala and Costa Rica, Lourdes and Adrián looked at a profile of clients with economic capacity (in condominiums and residential), hotels, restaurants, and tourist, recreation, and entertainment sites who are attracted to quality furniture and accessories. and good taste.

Part of the project was to recruit collaborators from areas with economic and employment difficulties, as well as benefit schemes per piece for each person.

Due to its model, some of the crafts were selected to be marketed at el Unicef virtual shopping center (marketplace), which selects enterprises with a cause and social impact.

Livistona will be able to sell pieces to consumers in the United States, Canada and England. Work is currently underway to build the Livistona online store in that marketplace. The launch will be next April.

The studies and career that both had have allowed them to focus on generating, through their products, valuable experiences for customers.

In Spain, for example, Lourdes knew restaurants that had reservations for up to two years because, apart from having a menu of up to 30 exclusive dishes, they focused on diners enjoying every moment in a special way.

Both maintain that engineering and haute cuisine gave them the tools and the taste for good living to share and focus on the same purpose of creating pleasant and memorable moments.

Adrián and Lourdes are clear that, even if you have an excellent product, you need to make yourself known and know how to reach the target market, which currently happens by taking advantage of digital channels and especially Instagram.

Both were trained, through online courses, in sales tools in social networks or social selling, digital advertising and Instagram. "That's the key," Adrián points out.

As Livistona's products target middle and high income segments, Instagram is the ideal network to market, promote and market them digitally.

For example, they learned about the requirements and quality conditions of the photographs, the images that can be used, how to structure the text, how to build a call to action and how to establish what exactly is wanted: talk with customers, get likes or generate immediate sales.

They also learned —and apply— how to invest, segment, schedule, and produce digital advertising on Instagram.

As the model in Guatemala produced results, in Costa Rica the implementation of the digital promotion model on Instagram was carried out more quickly, growing organically from less to more and investing in what gave results.

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