How to Change Your Life and the Lives of Others Through Startups
Amplified Minds hosts mastermind groups all over the country. Members of these groups are referred to as the Community of Achievers. The Community of Achievers is made up of business owners, C-suite executives, entrepreneurs, intrepraneurs (individuals growing within a business), wantrepreneurs (those who want to start a business) and soontreprenuers (those who have business ideas).
With hundreds of goals set each week and businesses succeeding within the community of the Amplified Minds Mastermind tribe, we want to highlight and interview our achievers. Achiever, Chandler Kahl, and his e-commerce business have seen increased sales, retail contract wins and a growing community of supporters since their official launch in 2017.
(Jon) What kind of business is Cuate Apparel?
(Chandler) Cuate is a Guatemalan apparel company that helps local artisans improve their lives and their businesses. We order fabrics from Guatemala and work with a guy who has his own shop with a couple workers; he takes those fabrics and creates them into beautiful products such as the ones seen in our ties. For now, we just have ties. They ship fabrics and pre-assembled ties here to the US, and then we send our ties to customers from our site.
(Jon) How long have you had this business?
(Chandler) We’ve been in progress since September of 2017.
(Jon) Why did you choose to do this type of work?
(Chandler) when I was living in Guatemala I saw a great amount of poverty. I saw people trying to start little businesses, but only earn enough to afford food for their families that day. I started this business to help Guatemalans grow their businesses, which can help them live more self-sufficient lives, increase their income for their families, and have more general progression in their lives.
(Jon) What difference have you made in the lives of those people since you started?
(Chandler) We are working with Industrias Barrio's Guatemalan artisans. They have been getting more work recently and their products are becoming more well-known. It's creating more opportunities because a lot of them just try to sell their fabrics in the streets of Guatemala; which mainly market to the woman. Now, we've been creating these products and making them more men's apparel with ties and other products soon. That way they are keeping busier and they're hopefully going to expand to hire another person to help them as well. They're starting to see the impact in their lives with a lot more work and responsibilities. It's working in Guatemala. It's really helping some people now as we continue.
(Jon) What has worked to help you get business off the ground and how are you selling things?
(Chandler) At the beginning of our business, we mainly targeted towards friends of mine in my social network. They have been really supportive and have helped me get off the ground. A lot of my friends who were in Guatemala as well have rallied behind the this movement. They loved the idea of the business and they're definitely trying to help out because they have seen the poverty. Recently, we landed a retail contract with the Missionary Mall company in Orem, UT. Since then, we're starting to see success in sales with other retailers. They've had a sale of the ties almost every single day. We're very excited to see them sell. Most of our efforts have been through social media advertisements working on becoming sponsors for a few different local events.
(Jon) What has been your experience attending our Amplified Minds Mastermind Groups?
(Chandler) I've honestly loved going to the Mastermind groups because it has really helped me expand my social network with those who come. A lot of times when I have ideas or lack ideas and I bring them to the Mastermind groups, they really give positive feedback and suggestions, which help improve my business.
Mastermind groups help me expand my mind and my opportunities. Recently, for example, Casey Yardley, an entrepreneur who attends our group, provided me with the contact information for Missionary Mall because they were within his network. We got in contact with them super quick and signed retail contracts. It’s simple things like that which really make a big difference in the Mastermind groups. Just by talking about ideas and actually seeing the success of others and implementing those has been an incredible process for my progress as a business owner.
Aside from expanding my business through the opportunities given to the Mastermind groups, the Mastermind sessions have allowed me to receive new ideas just throughout the day. Now, I think differently about my business and my interactions with others. Whether they be customers or business to business opportunities, Masterminds have really expanded my social network and created these great opportunities in order for me to progress personally. These groups have helped me help people in Guatemala.
(Jon) What is your six-month goal for Cuate?
(Chandler) Our six-month goal is to be in at least three retail stores. We have one now but we are moving to get two more on board with us. They'll be a great way to create a steady income and net revenue for the business. We definitely want to get our social media following up. We believe that if we get just a couple thousand followers that it would make a huge impact for us and we can truly share the story of the Guatemalan artisans. Another goal we have is to gain at least five more artisans so that they can be impacted by this new kind of business community.
(Jon) What would you share with people who are interested in starting a business?
(Chandler) Just go for it. There is some risk involved with starting a new business, but I've always been told you never know until you try. So even though you might lack the knowledge and resources, you can always do research. The research will help with minimizing the risk and maximizing the profitability of the business. I would advise you to find those social connections than can really help you; be as social and outgoing as you can to grow those connections. Also, find mentors who have the knowledge who can help influence your business and your creativity. And of course, join a mastermind group where they can inspire you to progress towards your goals and your business milestones.
(Jon) What would you advise to somebody who wants to learn about Cuate?
(Chandler) The steps we’ve taken to get from step one to where we’re at now, I would advise others to come and learn about what we did to start. Visit our website and learn more background information about why we're doing this business. We'll have more stories and more information about the local Artisans soon to increase the awareness and impact. Those who have connections in Guatemala should join our movement. I've definitely gained a lot of patience through this experience, and I know that it starting to pay off even further in the future. Help us by helping them grow.
About Chandler Kahl
Chandler is a student at LDS Business College in the entrepreneurship program and the founder of Cuate Apparel. He served a two year mission trip for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Guatemala where he met his artisan and business relationships. Chandler is an artist and has won a few state and national art awards. Chandler has held many leadership positions throughout high school and throughout his mission which helped him improve greatly. He loves serving and helping others out. He is aspiring to take his business to the next level. Visit www.cuateapparel.com for more information.