Jaime is 15 and lives in Oruro, one of the main cities in the southwestern side of Bolivia. Jaime is part of JORFEOR, a local youth goldsmith organization created with the help of ChildFund Bolivia and its Local Partner “Renovación Madre niño”. This small organization reunites sponsored and enrolled youth in Oruro.
From November 20th to 29th, 2015 these youth attended Expoteco, the main commercial fair in Oruro, to sell the handmade jewelry and generate business with other buyers. We visited the stand and interviewed Jaime about this new experience.
How do you feel about this experience?
I feel happy and excited. When I was chosen to attend the fair I was astonished. I have some experience selling things. I help my mom selling in the market since I was 7 years old.
During the first days at EXPOTECO I felt intimidated. There were a lot of people; some of them were big business men and business owners. We were just kids, but despite this fear we were able to talk with people, with customers and other business people. It was a challenge and we had to face it. Besides, this jewelry was made by our hands and this gave us confidence.
Were you prepared for this experience?
I had some experience as salesperson, this was some helpful. However this was a different kind of audience. People had more money and wanted good quality products. I realized I needed more experience on selling, talking and convincing people to buy my products.
What were you expecting for?
Well, my products were engagement rings, but somewhat of them were too big or too small for the customer’s fingers. I also learned a lot about planning and preparedness for selling. I feel confident because I also have a lot of requests and business intentions.
Our group sold about 35 items; we made some business contacts and our brand “ARCANGEL JOYAS” became known by others. At the end we started to enjoy the business movement and organization. In the future I would like to study Business Administration or create my own company.
Would you change something if you had the opportunity?
Well, one important thing is to work full-time in the stand. Since I am still attending school I worked at the stand just half time.
It is necessary to have more rings, for different finger sizes and different models. Now I know which ones people want and which are their favorites.
I realize it is also important to have a printed catalog, business cards and merchandising material.
I would also like to learn other goldsmith techniques and about selling strategies. Of course, we want to sell more.