After connecting with her boutique on social media, Bertie News sat down to learn the story behind Doneyda Montalvo of Valentina’s BowTique and More. So, with our masterful Spanglish 🙂 and the aid of Google translate, we interviewed her to learn how she became a boutique owner in Bertie County.
When she was growing up in Central America, Montalvo never imagined she would be in America and own a small boutique in Windsor, North Carolina. But that’s exactly what happened.
Starting Valentina’s BowTique and More was not her original plan. In fact, the Dominican Republic-born woman grew up in Honduras, immigrating to the United States six years ago for an internship with Smithfield’s hog production division.
What happened next was a familiar tale. A young woman met and married a wonderful man she met at work, and they now have two beautiful daughters. They looked for a place to call home and fell in love with the Windsor area.
After having her children, Montalvo decided to stay home to raise her daughters, who are currently aged 3 and 4 1/2. She was crafty and creative, making bespoke headbands and stunning customized hairbows for her girls. Whenever she stepped out in public, people always wanted to know about the beautiful accessories.
So, by popular demand, Montalvo started to craft various handmade items to sell from her home, naming the business for one of her children. She began with selling hair bows and headbands for young children, surprised that demand continued to grow. So she added personalized epoxy tumblers, custom shirts, key chains, Christmas accessories, and more for the parents who shopped with her. Recently, she added handmade jewelry to the lineup.
Valentina’s BowTique and the Live Event Business Model
With two young children and a shoestring budget to market her handcrafted items, Montalvo put the power of social media to work for her.
She set up accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube and connected with a broad audience. She displays her wares in fun, once-monthly live sales events. Montalvo caters to a Spanish-speaking audience that many American boutiques don’t reach. The vibe is upbeat, fun, and even a little competitive as buyers vie to purchase the items she displays.
The once-a-month event builds an exclusive feeling of buyer anticipation and generates sufficient sales. However, she hopes to increase to twice per month soon to keep up with demand.
Her biggest roadblock isn’t getting customers. Instead, she faces challenges because she is a one-woman entrepreneur, working while looking after her daughters. She makes the merchandise, plans her marketing and social media events, takes care of the bookkeeping, and packs and ships everything she sells.
In spite of the hard work of being a “solopreneur,” Montalvo seems delighted with the arrangement and seemingly wouldn’t want it any other way.
Montalvo is artistic and says that she can create almost anything a customer can imagine. So, in addition to the live social media events, she accepts custom orders for her myriad of merchandise.
What’s Next for Valentina’s BowTique and More?
Even as she’s growing, Montalvo is satisfied with the work-from-home model that she has in place for her business.
Montalvo does vendor shows on occasion. Although having two young girls keeps her very busy, she hopes to sell at more in-person events as her daughters mature.
Finally, Montalvo mentioned how much she enjoys living in the Windsor area. She said, “I love it, it’s very quiet, and the people are very amicable.”
If you are into puns, you could say that Doneyda Montalvo “crafted” a business–and life–that she loves.