Success is in the bag
Career highlights: I came to United States for the first time as an exchange student in 1989 to attend school in southern Oregon, in small, artisitc Ashland. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to learn English and about American culture. I returned to Colombia to finish my education with a degree in Business Administration followed by a major in Marketing and Advertising. Ultimately, I came back to the U.S. as the next big step in my career and life, and where I began my current job and started a family.
Elevator pitch: Through experience, we learned the three key ingredients to making our business successful: price, service and locally ownership. Suitcases & More makes a simple promise to our customers: we always guarantee the lowest prices. No retailer, big nor small, online nor in a warehouse, will ever under-price Suitcases & More. We are a local business that strives to give excellent, knowledgeable customer service. You can find the same items at a different store, but the level and quality of service you get at our store is unmatched.
Suitcases & More sells more than great suitcases. The “More” refers to the many travel accessories, like electrical adaptors and converters that we offer, and also refers to the amount of knowledge that our staff has regarding all aspects of travel. Suitcases & More supports the idea that locally-owned businesses make communities stronger. We are an original member of Local First Arizona.
Important business milestones: This business was begun in 1982 and moved to its current location in 1985. I was lucky enough to become a part of this family in 2002. After suffering harsh losses during our country’s recession, Suitcases & More was able to achieve record sales in 2011. We are proud of our years of loyalty to our customers, and also from our customers. Our next milestone is to join the 21st century with better technology and a larger internet presence.
Best business advice you have received: When I first came to Suitcases & More, the two pieces of advice that I was given were “one step at a time” and “do not bite off more than you can chew.” My personal advice to others is that, if your customers see that you enjoy your job today, they will be back tomorrow.
If you could do it all over again, what you would do differently? There isn’t much that I could have done differently. It is often said that if you knew “this,” then you could have avoided “that.” There are a lot of things I might have done differently that might have improved one aspect of business, but then might have affected another less positively. If I was better at something or made a different decision about something, I might have made an extra dollar, but, I might have missed a special moment. Thus, if I were to begin anew, I would do more to help others, because I can’t imagine giving up something I have today for the possibility of getting something else tomorrow.