A quinceañera marks the transition from childhood to womanhood for young Latina girls. Anika Alexa believes planning a quinceañera can serve an even greater purpose–to develop life skills for young women by planning, budgeting, and organizing their quinceañera, and setting goals for their future. Now, the 17-year-old model, influencer, and author of My Quince Planner hopes to introduce a generation of young women to a world of possibilities through her new quinceañera planning guide.
“I’m so excited to launch My Quince Planner,” Anika said. “I wrote and designed it to empower girls to dream big and develop skills to build their future and succeed in life, all while planning their quinceañera.”
Throughout the planner, Anika provides inspiration based on personal experiences she had while planning her quinceañera, held just a year ago. My Quince Planner is the first and keystone product of the My Quince Collection brand.
The 204-page planner features a 12-month calendar full of ideas and checklists for planning a quinceañera. It comes complete with interview questions for prospective vendors and sleeves to hold contracts and vendor business cards.
Anika, who founded the nonprofit Anika’s Peace Project (formerly Anika’s Pink Closet) at age 11 to empower girls’ resilience through motivational classes and community service, was an experienced businesswoman long before My Quince Planner was published. Nevertheless, the team at SBDC helped Anika and her partners streamline production and launch their product to a world of new customers. Anika’s mother, editor, and business partner, Maria Ortiz, met SBDC mentor Frank Plasso in 2019 at a CEO Moms training held at the Orange County SBDC – Irvine Office.
“When I first met Maria she came into our Irvine office and showed us a prototype of their first product, and explained that it was a planning tool for quinceañeras authored by her daughter,” SBDC mentor Frank Plasso said. “Although I didn’t have experience in the quinceañera industry, I knew my decades of experience with bringing products to market and resources within the SBDC would help.”
“Frank and Yesim Erez, have been so helpful to us,” Sandy Stone, partner of My Quince Collection said. “They’ve been critical to our success because they coach and mentor us specifically for our unique business.”
The SBDC helped the My Quince Collection team refine their brand, develop a go-to-market strategy, and helped prepare the company for their first product launch.
Sandy explained that Frank and Yesim helped the team clarify their business ethos, and integrate Anika’s Peace Project, My Quince Planner, and My Quince Collection into one coherent brand. A portion of My Quince Planner sales will go to Anika’s Peace Project.
Yesim provided brand management advice to steer our brand planning to a level much broader and with increased business opportunity than we thought. She helped the team navigate their thinking from product sales to a brand platform that would lend itself to partnerships in this space. This also enabled them to build a strong foundation and brand essence based on creating opportunities for young women in leadership and education.
The My Quince Collection team agrees that their consultants, and the additional online training offered by SBDC through the COVID-19 pandemic, have been instrumental in the successful opening of their business, and preparing their first product launch.
My Quince Planner™ is available at www.myquincecollection.com.
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