Hispanic business venture brings quality Halloween masks and costumes to the U.S. market
Last year Manuel Valero was able to marry his love for his native Mexico with his new home in the United States when he and his partners launched Ghoulish Productions commerce website U.S. customers. The site features a range of masks, costumes, accessories and makeup in time for Halloween.
The Hispanic business partnership, called GRUPO REV, has been producing quality masks for 20 years, exporting them for sale in the U.S. and other countries. The signs are of extremely high quality and demonstrate the amazing creativity that we want to bring, Valero says. They are scary and fun at the same time!
A Better Fit
REV has being doing business in the U.S. for 10 years in a wholesalers realm. This year marks the Hispanic business partnership’s inaugural effort to establish a warehouse and a shipping center in the U.S. for retail and wholesale sales. It came about when Lucia, Valero’s wife three years, took a job in Atlanta, Ga., transferring the husband and wife duo from Mexico City. We were happy living in Mexico City when my wife received an offer we couldn’t refuse. We talked about it and it made total sense for us, he recalls.
Making the move enabled Valero to get a fresh start in a new career. After 10 years in sales in the printing industry, he was ready to explore new opportunities in a job that better fit his industrial relations degree from Universidad Iberoamericana Santa Fe in Mexico City.
When the couple arrived in Atlanta, Valero began collaborating with executive recruiting firm Aldebaran Associates International in an effort to find a career better aligned with this degree and interests. The Hispanic business company’s mission is creating a world where people love what they do for a living and stood by the motto of professional empowerment.
And now one year after moving to the U.S. his partnership with REV was born.
While the couple is enjoying life in the U.S., Valero says they do miss their family in Mexico. I grew up surrounded by a great family of four, he explains. Leaving them behind was not easy. His 67-year-old father, Manuel, is an active rower. Two weeks ago he rowed 20 kilometers 12.5 miles in one hour and 47 minutes, the younger Valero says says proudly. His mother, Luisa, was a high school principal who is now working on her third college degree. His sister, also named Luisa, is vice president of the Fundación Amigos Caleidoscopio, an organization which helps people with intellectual disabilities be more independent in the Mexican community. Valero describes her as a caring, power angle. She and her husband, Tony to raise three children, Lorenza, Camila and Simón.
Learning, Learning, Learning
Valero continues to learn from other Latinos in business. Of Lily Winsaft, founder and CEO of Aldebaran Associates, he says, “She is so sharp and thorough, always ready to contribute a positive thought.” He is also impressed by Dan Vargas’ impressive trajectory in the advertising industry and creative mind. As Valero continues along his current path, he is confident he will meet other inspiring Latinos in business as well.
I’m grateful for the people I’ve met, those who continue to open their doors and hearts to me, he says. But he points out that starting over in a new country was not easy. He persevered despite the fact that he spoke little English when he arrived. He has not taken any classes instead using books and TV to learn the language. Because his support network was largely back in Mexico, he also had to create a circle of friends.
One day he hopes to give back to the Latino community by serving as a mentor for other Hispanics in business. Right now his advice is simple: Raise your heart and walk. This makes sense in light of his favorite quote: “Yo soy by Luman, which translates to Ham You. I think along these lines every day, adapting every action in my social activities with the community, contributing to the evolution of positive changes in society, he says.