In the debut episode of Pitch Makeover, host Natalia Oberti Noguera gets the 60-second pitch from entrepreneur Angela Sanchez of Artyfactos. “Artyfactos is an eco-exotic statement jewelry business,” Sanchez says. Tune in as Natalia advises Angie on what to keep, delete, and add to her pitch. In the Legal Minute, Mitzi Chang of Goodwin answers common startup legal questions. Our First Pitch segment explores Angie’s pitch evolution. Plus, this week’s Investor Take from Ruth Ann Harnisch of The Harnisch Foundation.
Natalia: Hi everyone, my name is Natalia Oberti Noguera. I am the Host and Creator of Pitch Makeover and I’m also the Founder and CEO of Pipeline Angels, where we are changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women and non-binary femme social entrepreneurs.
Gina: And I’m Gina Delvac, the Founding Executive Producer of Pitch Makeover. We’re taking the concept of a fashion makeover and applying it to startup pitches. Entrepreneurs pitch, we talk, and then we share some feedback on what they should keep, delete, and maybe even more importantly–add to their pitch. Our goal: help more voices, as Rihanna says, shine bright like the diamonds that they are.
And after the Pitch Makeover we have the Legal Minute with Mitzi Chang of Goodwin, answering burning startup legal questions, followed by First Pitch. And stay till the end for this week’s Investor Take from Ruth Ann Harnisch of The Harnisch Foundation.
Natalia: I’m thrilled to be here with Angie Sanchez, a #wiselatina [1:00], she’s the Founder and CEO of Artyfactos and I’m going to get right to it. I’m going to ask her to give us her one-minute pitch. So, Angie, are you ready?
Angie: Well, thank you, first of all, for having me, and yes (emphasis), I am ready! (Laughs)
Natalia: (Laughs) Okay, let’s start the timer! Okay, ready, set, go!
Angie: Artyfactos is an eco-exotic statement jewelry business that features hand-woven designs by unprivileged artisan women in Latin America. Our boldly coloured pieces are made out of 100% recycled, all-natural materials like orange peel and coffee beans. We offer manufacturing and technology tools to small artisans’ workshops. We create new income opportunities for them that they otherwise wouldn’t have. We also minimize the negative environmental impact by using natural materials.
Not a lot of people know that 15 million tons of orange peel [2:00] and unused seeds go to landfills every year. Our designs are striking–the special combination of beans, seeds, and orange peel makes them intriguing and, on top of it, they have an amazing natural orange and coffee aroma. And, our products are suitable for the office, the weekend, and even your wedding day.
Gina: 56 seconds.
Natalia: Angie – that is phenomenal to have you here and talk about such important issues. You know, when we think about fashion, we also often don’t think about, “Hey, fashion can be a way that we can change the world.” You know? So you’re–Artyfactos is doing just that. I wanted to give you kudos because you actually – right now, you know like, what I’m thinking about is 15 million tons. You know, like, you used such a – attention grabbing number, you know? Like, 15 million tons is a lot! It’s a huge amount of waste.
I have – just something that I did want to say: [3:00] that kind of distracted me a little bit during your pitch was you used the word “unprivileged,” you know? And I noticed myself as a #wiselatina, as well, reacting to that. And so, I’d love – can you talk a little bit about just – what do you mean when you say unprivileged? You know, help me picture the phenomenal people that you are working with and who are helping make Artyfactos become real, and, in some ways, that you are also helping them by providing them with income.
Angie: Of course, yes. So not a lot of people know that Colombia is the second country in the world with most displacement, after Syria. And why people don’t know that is because our displacement is internal displacement so people go from the rural areas to the big cities. So it’s not as obvious to the rest of the world. And, unfortunately, 60% of the displaced people in Colombia are women [4:00]. And they come to the cities and they don’t really have any job opportunities – any opportunities to survive.
So what they do – they learn how to make jewelry and they just go on the streets, put a blanket on the floor, and sell it. So we are definitely providing better opportunities, jobs for them, you know, by bringing those products here to the United States. And, it is amazing, these stories that I hear from them. Like, “Thank you Angie for, you know, providing me the opportunity to pay the school for my daughter.” I mean, besides the business side of it, it’s so…it touches me so deeply to hear all those stories. So those are the kind of women that we are working with.
Natalia: Yeah, and you mentioned something else that I’m so glad that you reminded me of, which is you mentioned providing manufacturing tools. So you are also not just helping sell [5:00], you’re helping build skills, you know? So, talk a little bit more about these manufacturing tools and how you’re helping them build these new skill sets.
Angie: Of course. So when I went to visit them to their homes where they make them, they still use, like, the kitchen spoons to clean the orange peel and their skin, their hands – the acidity of the orange really burned their skin. So we are helping them by providing them better tools to clean the peel. They use regular scissors to make the roses, and we are also giving them computers so we can communicate, because that was a barrier that we had at the beginning, how we can communicate, as for orders. And for them to send us pictures of samples of designs, or for us to send them designs that we thought would work here. So we gave them computers. So we are providing them with tools for them to work [6:00] with orange peel and the seeds, as well as computers. They did have their phones, so we communicate a lot via WhatsApp. But, that’s basically what we are also doing for them.
Natalia: And do you know – like could you tell me right now – if without Artyfactos, the jewelry that they used to sell on the street as you were mentioning, how much was the average that they would make? And then, now with Artyfactos, with these tools, with these new skills, I can imagine that there might have been an improvement in the product, right? So, do you know how much they’re making with the product that they now are creating – thanks to Artyfactos’ support – how much they’re making on that versus how much they were making before?
Angie: Yeah, so they improved by 3x their income. And also because we are just talking about improving the product, they don’t have [7:00] a lot of access to the international fashion world, if you will. So it’s how we are also showing them like, “Hey, this is what you could see in New York City,” for instance. And how we can make it into – with seeds. Or, how we can improve the clasp, or how we can improve the product, in general. So we have worked with them on that a lot. And they have – it’s amazing to see how much they have even improved. And now they come out with different touches that makes the jewelry unique in a different way and it’s just because they have been exposed to what we tell them and to the international fashion world that they were not exposed to before.
Natalia: We’re ready for the Pitch Makeover. Angie, are you ready for the Pitch Makeover?
Angie: Of course I am!
Natalia: Okay. So, I would love for you to keep the environmental impact. When you mentioned the 15 million tons of waste, that is so…attention-grabbing [8:00], you know, like, I’m still talking about the 15 million tons, that you’re helping with!
I also loved and I want you to keep the aroma. You know, like, when mentioned the aroma and when you used that word, which by the way, “aroma,” so much cooler to say than “smell,” right?! (Both laugh.) That was great! Keep “aroma.” Keep that word, I love it, cause it’s not just something that you’re wearing, you’re also like, experiencing. So maybe that’s also something to keep in mind.
Also, keep the tech impact. Really important to talk about how you are providing computers and making a case on how this is not just fashion, this is more than fashion, right? So, let’s delete the term “unprivileged” and let’s add the language that you used while we were having the conversation regarding how Colombia is the second country in the world with most displacement after Syria [9:00] because it really represents – better represents the communities that you’re helping and it provides a much clearer sense on the social impact that Artyfactos is having.
Also, let’s add the example that you shared about how, by providing the tools, you are now making sure that some of these women who are working for Artyfactos aren’t burning their skins, you know, with the acid from the orange peels. You know when you mentioned that, I had a visceral reaction because you can actually connect with that experience and thinking about just peeling it over and over again and just thinking about what’s happening with the acidity and the hands and the skin, it’s something that you can actually see how, okay, so Artyfactos is providing a tool that is actually helping prevent this and that is so powerful, Angie.
And then one other thing [10:00] that I’d say that let’s make sure to add is the economic impact that Artyfactos is having. You know when you mentioned that through Artyfactos the individuals that you’re helping in Colombia are improving their income three times, those are huge numbers. And, by sharing both that social impact, economic impact, it’s providing people who want to support Artyfactos with a better sense on the change that Artyfactos is making. So –
Angie: It does makes sense!
Natalia: –Summary: Keep the environmental impact, 15 million tons. Keep “aroma.” Keep tech impact. Delete “unprivileged.” Add social impact, Colombia second country in the world with most displacement after Syria. Add social impact when it comes to tools helping prevent the orange acid burning skin [11:00]. And add economic impact of Artyfactos being able to help the individuals bring in 3x the income that they were bringing in before Artyfactos.
Angie: I’m taking notes. (Laughs)
Natalia: Awesome! Because we are about to ask you to, like, redo your pitch. Ready? Set? Go!
Angie: Okay, let’s talk about Catherine. She’s a 28-year-old single mom from Colombia. For those of you who don’t know, Colombia is the second country in the world with most displaced people, after Syria. Catherine is one of those displaced women who had to leave her land at age 14 and move to the capital. To survive, she learned how to make jewelry and sell it on the streets.
I’m Angie, Artyfactos Founder and CEO. Artyfactos is an eco-exotic statement jewelry business that features hand-woven designs by artisan women in Latin America. Our boldly coloured pieces [12:00] are made with 100% recycled, all-natural materials like orange peel and coffee beans. We offer manufacturing and technology tools to small artisans’ workshops to improve their work conditions. For instance, we provide gloves to protect their hands from the acidity of the orange. We are also increasing their income by 3x, an opportunity that they otherwise wouldn’t have.
We also minimize the negative environmental impact by using natural materials, since 15 million tons of orange peel and unused seeds to go landfills every year. Our designs are striking. The special composition of beans, seeds, and orange peel makes them intriguing and on top of it they have an amazing natural orange and coffee aroma. Our products are suitable for the office, the weekend, and even your wedding day.
Gina: 1 minute, 28 seconds.
Angie: That was…yeah.
Natalia: Thank you for stepping up to the plate and [13:00]…having fun and getting a Pitch Makeover. My take on your second pitch is that it’s so much stronger, more vivid, and it was one minute and twenty-eight seconds and I can tell you right now how you can actually just cut it into closer to one minute. Which is: just eliminate that last part about where it’s suitable for. Just leave people with the last word being “aroma.”
Angie: (Repeated from earlier pitch) “The special composition of beans, seeds, and orange peel makes them intriguing and on top of it they have an amazing natural orange and coffee aroma.”
Natalia: And then, I’d love to hear your take on how it felt. Like the before and after, Angie. What are your thoughts?
Angie: Well, I really appreciate your feedback because there are these points that you mentioned – there are – first of all, a one-minute pitch it’s difficult to incorporate everything that you want to incorporate. But what I love about your feedback is that you included a more tangible example [14:00] for people to really understand what we are doing, how we are helping these displaced women in Colombia. So I really, really loved your feedback on really making the – a best picture for our customers of what we really do.
Natalia: And that is today’s Pitch Makeover tip: be vivid, be specific, give examples. So thank you Angie for joining us!
Angie: Thank you!
Gina: Next up is Legal Minute with Mitzi Chang. Stay tuned after that for First Pitch.
I’m here with Mitzi Chang from Goodwin for the Legal Minute. Mitzi, what are the most common mistakes that you as an attorney have to fix for entrepreneurs who didn’t talk to a lawyer soon enough?
Mitzi: One of the items that I’ve been kind of having to fix, that I’ve noticed, is documentation issues. So, you incorporate your company and, you know, maybe you use [15:00] a kind-of template documents, but you don’t really ask anybody about whether this is the right documentation. So it can cause a lot of problems, you know, whether you’re issuing stock and maybe that stock is not at the right value. Whether you’re incorporating a company as an LLC but really you should have done it as a C-Corporation. All of these things are fixable but it’s much more expensive to do it on the back-end, you know, when maybe you’re looking for investors and you need to clean it all up. It’s much better to think about it, talk to a lawyer, and make sure that you have the right documentation first so that you don’t have to, kind of, clean up the messes later.
Gina: Thanks Mitzi.
Gina: Now we’re back with entrepreneur Angela Sanchez with our segment First Pitch.
Natalia: Tell me about the first pitch you ever gave.
Angie: Yeah, so the first pitch – because I really wanted it to focus a lot more on social impact – so I made it very, very focused on the women that we help. And, I basically forgot to mention about the product. So, I didn’t describe the product [16:00], I didn’t really talk about the business model. It was more about how we were helping women and the feedback that we got was like, “Is that a nonprofit? Are you selling a product?” Or, like, it was not really clear for anybody, like, what we did. So, that was the first pitch that I did.
Natalia: And what about the most recent pitch that you gave? Tell me about that experience.
Angie: Well the latest pitch that I made was at Pipeline Angels. I think the improvement was enormous because I was able to mention about the work that we are doing with these artisans in Colombia, but at the same time I was able to describe what the product was about, how we are helping them, how we are also helping the planet. So it was a more cohesive and holistic [17:00] pitch where people really understood in a better way what we do.
Natalia: And do you remember the feedback. What sort of feedback did you get that was different?
Angie: I – yeah, well definitely, the feedback that I got is that we had a good business model, so people understood what the business model was. We definitely got feedback – that I incorporated actually – on how we are providing these new income opportunities for these artisans. That was not clear – it was not as specific that time and that was part – if you noticed it – that was part of my pitch this time.
Natalia: Well, that’s awesome! Thank you for sharing your pitch journey. We’ve loved having you at Pitch Makeover and it’s nice to be with another #wiselatina so, thank you Angie, thanks for representing, and thanks for being part of our journey here.
Angie: Thank you, Natalia, for having me. [18:00]
Gina: This season’s Investor Take is brought to you by Ruth Ann Harnisch of The Harnisch Foundation and today’s Investor Take is: practice, practice, practice. Beyond the pitch, Natalia, what’s an example of how entrepreneurs need to be practicing?
Natalia: I mean, let’s just spill the beans. How many takes have we done of, like, these (laughs)…these Investor Takes?
Gina: “Shhhhhhh” (Laughs)
Natalia: This is like our nth or something.
Gina: At least fifth.
Natalia: Why?! (Both laugh.)
Natalia: Because, you know, sometimes you might not get it right on the first try, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try for a second or third time. I will say, you know what, oh my gosh…I’m going to quote a white guy. Are you ready for it? Reid Hoffman has this quotation which goes along the lines of like, “If you’re not embarrassed by the time you launch, you have waited too long.” So, inasmuch as yes, Ruth Ann, we are right [there] with you – it’s important to practice, practice, practice – entrepreneurs, just remember that, as Nike would say [19:00] – and, I like Nike because, guess what, they love Serena Williams so that’s why I love them – yes, practice, practice, practice, and also, just do it.
Gina: Thanks again to Ruth Ann Harnisch and The Harnisch Foundation for today’s Investor Take.
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Natalia: Thanks for joining us. This has been Pitch Makeover. Now, go out and take over!