Teresa Truda is a Melbourne based digital specialist who (with her business partner Zia Word) recently decided to turn a search for a really good pair of Mexican boots into a business importing quality Mexican shoes into Australia, by creating online company PataPata.
Teresa talks to us about how a passion for good shoes, and a little too much Mezcal lead to this exciting business venture:
In Batmania: What gave you the idea for this company?
Teresa: My business partner Zia had been to Mexico many times and always wore these incredible super cool high quality boots. She always said to me, “when we go to Mexico, I’ll take you to the place they make them and you can buy a pair”. One of the first things we did when we landed in Mexico City was try and find the original place she bought her boots. But to no avail. We searched lots but then it was time to move onto our next destination, Puerto Escondido.
We found the shoes there, and I fell in love (a little shoe obsession I may have, yes). I didn’t just buy “a pair”, I bought three pairs of boots, and two pairs of sandals. I may also have bought a bag for myself. Everytime we wore the shoes back here in Melbourne, we would get lots of compliments. And plus we had many nights of drinking with our Mexican friend who wanted to go into business with us. This all just seemed right after a few sips of Mezcal, right?
IB: Tell us the story of how it became a reality.
Teresa: Mezcal. No, really though. We made a great friend in Mauricio who was a Mexican entrepreneur. We had many conversations in person when we were there about a lot of possible business ventures. But PataPata seemed like the right one. We felt passionate about it. And like we could achieve it. We wanted to bring Mexico to people, so they could experience it for themselves. The hard work, the passion, the authentic nature. And we could. So after many Skype conversations, emails and contracts, we made an agreement with our supplier and Mauricio. Mauricio sources the shoes. And we sell them online.
IB: How do you import the products?
Teresa: Zia and I brief Mauricio with an order, and he processes it with our selected suppliers who are based in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. He packages them (for now) and sends them to us. We have a room full of boxes in our house, and they get distributed, by us, to our consumers.
IB: Tell us about the products.
Teresa: The products are 100% leather upper (unless they are the suede boot), and the sole is made of recycled rubber tyres. We have a range of boots and sandals. All are available in such a wide variety of colours and can even be custom designed. Each pair for us represents the passion, pride and love that the Oaxacan’s put into every stitch, every sole.
IB: What are your goals with the company?
Teresa: To bring Mexico to our consumers. To make them feel the hard work and dedication that has gone into every sole. And to provide a shoe that will take them anywhere, anytime, for any occasion or event.
IB: Do you have any experience in online business or digital marketing?
Teresa: I have a background in Digital Advertising and Marketing as a Producer/ Strategist/ Digital all rounder. I have worked in the industry for almost 8 years. I have one very special friend to thank for that. Little did I think that 8 years after I told my potential boss (who then was my boss for years), “I sweat but don’t smell”, I would still be doing this! I live and breath the “online” world.
IB: Have you got any other projects on the go?
Teresa: You could say I have (just) a few projects on the go. That’s just how my mind works. But it’s about focussing on one at a time and not losing vision for each project. I am Director of Lialina, a business fertiliser (lialina.co). I also run a Gameshow, called the Guerrilla Gameshow (guerrillagameshow.
IB: What next for Teresa the entrepreneur?
Teresa: Further build PataPata online, and source a wider range of product for the site. That’s the main aim for this project. Also look at developing custom design opportunity for consumers.
And… have my soles continue to take me around the world.
To check out Pata Pata’s range, visit their website: http://www.patapata.com.au/