Twenty-one years ago, Anabel Guzmán started her own leather glove business. Before starting Guante Sur, Anabel worked for 18 years in a glove factory as an operator and production supervisor. While working at the factory, she always dreamed of one day owning her own factory and giving the same opportunity for employment and a good livelihood to her own employees. In 1998, she was able to do just this. Her journey to being a business owner wasn’t without obstacles, but her entrepreneurial spirit and her desire for independence has kept her improving and growing her business since she started it over two decades ago.
In 2010, Anabel changed the name of the business to Inversiones Guzmán, this was started as a way to allow family members to be shareholders in the business. Guante Sur, still a part of the business, is a family company, owned by Anabel and run by her two daughters. Everything that Anabel does is inspired by allowing her family to live a good life, but also giving that same opportunity to her collaborators and employees. Giving that sustenance to her family and others keeps Anabel resilient in the face of hurdles.
Guante Sur at WEAmericas Accelerator
Participating in the WEAmericas Accelerator helped Anabel immensely. When she first started her business, she had to learn the administrative side of the business, which she was able to further improve in her time with WEAmericas. Additionally, she improved her goal-setting with the program. WEAmericas Accelerator sends Thunderbird School of Global Management professors to work with the businesswomen on perfecting business models and business plans for the future, something that Anabel was able to take advantage of.
Advice for Aspiring Businesswomen
As a businesswoman, Anabel has learned a lot through the years getting her business to where it is now. She wants to show aspiring business women that despite adversities, a woman with goals is able to fulfill her dreams. She says that it’s vital to listen to the advice of experts, because managing a business is a science that must be learned. Anabel knows that nothing is easy, but says that if you believe in yourself, you can do it! The key to this success, in her opinion, is staying strong and persevering.
Initially, Guante Sur was a business aimed at ensuring industrial safety in the workplace. Inversiones Guzmán, Guante Sur manufactures everything from gloves to industrial sleeves to aprons – all to ensure the safety of workers from industries ranging from gardening to metalwork and soldering. While maintaining this part of the business, over time, Inversiones Guzmán has grown to be so much more. They’ve diversified their products to include new lines of clothing for other industries like reflective jackets, overalls, and men’s shirts for everyday wear. Additionally, they started selling backpacks for schoolchildren and canvas cosmetic bags. The opportunities are endless for Inversiones Guzmán.