Jewellery Exporter Learns the Secret of the Canadian Market

After CESO volunteers delivered two market access workshops in Bolivia on behalf of TFO Canada, Sheila De Alencar was one of nine exporters selected to participate in a trade Mission to Montreal and Toronto. When the jeweler discovered that she was among the exporters selected, she thought it was a great opportunity to experience what the CESO volunteers talked about in the workshops on product development and Canadian market access.

Sheila De Alencar founded her jewellery company, Agua Joyas, seven years ago. She works with precious and semi-precious gemstones. From the workshops and exporter trade mission, she learned every stage of the buying process – Identifying a market niche, designing for the market, setting prices, packaging jewellery for Canada, and shipping products to customers. She also learned how to create a brand that aligns with her jewellery. The practical experiences that the CESO volunteers shared in the workshops put theory into practice. TFO Canada scheduled 13 appointments for her with prospective buyers in Canada.

“The Jewellery Exporter Mission helped my business in many ways,” says Sheila De Alencar. “TFO Canada opened doors to the world. I was able to ask questions about shipping, insurance, and pricing. I learned about consumer trends in Canada to get an idea of what sells. I learned how to get specific about what I am selling and look at market niches.” Sheila De Alencar took the training to heart, purchasing jewellery to evaluate to determine what the Canadian market wants, and how to improve her product designs.

Additionally, the TFO Canada sector expert showed trade mission participants what tools to purchase in Canada. Buying the tools has enabled De Alencar to improve the quality of her products, make the jewellery faster, and not damage the metals that she works with. Additionally, TFO Canada solved a big problem that Bolivian jewelers had, by scheduling a visit to a FedEx outlet, so that exporters got a better understanding of the routing and pricing schemes for shipping to Canada from Bolivia.

Shelia De Alencar sold seven pieces of jewellery to Boutique Ambre, and has since exported 22 pieces to Boutique du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal.  She found working with TFO Canada a rewarding experience. “I learned how to identify my customers and the market niches that I want to target. I can improve customer satisfaction by focusing my designs to match consumer trends. I understand the logistics process to send my products abroad.”