Each month, YES Employment + Entrepreneurship supports its clients by showcasing their achievements… And what better pick than an artisan whose products are perfect for Valentine’s Day? This month, we’re celebrating Cristina Luna.
Cristina Luna immigrated to Canada from Ecuador in 2015 and completed her Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and Management at Concordia University in 2020. Cristina is the founder of Aluna Eternal Gifts, an e-commerce business that specializes in unique, forever gifts and real ‘eternal’ flowers that last for years. Her company is based in Montreal with shipping across Canada and beyond.
YES: What were some of your goals when you started?
Cristina: When I started this project, my goal was to introduce an innovative product from my hometown into the Canadian market. I wanted to be able to build and grow a business following my mother’s footsteps. I am now importing preserved roses and sunflowers that are cultivated and handpicked in Ecuador, and working with local suppliers to offer packaging made in Canada. Eternal flowers are not only a beautiful gift but also a way to reduce the environmental impact that fresh flowers have.
YES: What stage are you at now? What have been your greatest achievements?
Cristina: My business is in the start-up phase. I launched my website in October 2021 and have attended several fairs and markets to expose my brand to the public.
My greatest achievements so far are:
- Making my first sale
- Shipping one of my products to Switzerland
- Making great connections and building relationships with local suppliers and clients
YES: What were/are your biggest struggles?
Cristina: One of the main struggles I encountered along the way was to stay motivated and believe in my capabilities. I am truly certain that my products are innovative and can make a great impact in the market however there are days when it’s harder to stay positive and motivated. If other entrepreneurs encounter similar struggles, I would like to say: “Don’t give up, believe in yourself, you CAN do it!”
YES: What was the problem you were experiencing before you came into YES?
Cristina: Before I came into YES, I was not 100% sure of what type of product/service I could bring into the market. I didn’t have much information about the types of businesses there are and which one will fit my needs. I was seeking guidance on where and how to start. YES provided me with many informative workshops and valuable resources.
YES: What did you find as a result of using our services? What was the best thing about it?
Cristina: I came into YES looking for guidance in entrepreneurship. I found that, but also so much more… I made great connections and met amazing people who have been encouraging and kind. I have been inspired by creative minds, strong and powerful women, and the most supportive and helpful business coach I could ever ask for. I have learned so much, but this is just the beginning! Thank you so much YES!
Find the perfect gift and support a small business owner here.