Agua de marzo and the experience of creating hair accessories
Looking back, Cintia Núñez speaks of March as a month of creative introspection, of influences and births. As chance would have it, the third month of the year made her a mother, and a year later her enterprise Agua de Marzo was born, the first in Cuba to make and personalize rigid headbands and other hair accessories.
Inspired by Tom Jobim’s song, which she listened to over and over again while she was pregnant, Cintia decided to name her business Agua de Marzo (Waters of March), to which she attributed all the energy and hope that such a unique context as the COVID-19 pandemic called for.
Negolution spoke to her exclusively to get an insight into her work over almost two years.
-How did the idea of entrepreneurship come about?
I used to work at D’Brujas, recognized as the first enterprise dedicated to natural cosmetics in Cuba. I always liked the idea of having my own business, so I started to immerse myself in this world. I took advantage of my passion for fashion and my desire to create something related to this market, but taking into account my skills.
For a while, headbands and accessories became popular, but they were all imported. As a consumer, I wanted to buy them, but I noticed that they usually sold out very quickly. I knew then that this was a product in demand and that I could create something successful. That’s how I came up with a hair accessory venture.
-Who is involved in the project and how is it organized?
It started with me myself, and then the demand for the product made me turn to other people. My mother-in-law helps me to make the products, another friend is in charge of taking orders by WhatsApp and we have a Community Manager in charge of our social media. Generally speaking, we are dreamers and also very supportive. The fact that we all feel this affection and sense of belonging to the brand has allowed us to achieve so much success during these two years, as well as learning and having fun during the process.
-What did the pandemic mean for Agua de Marzo?
Until then, entrepreneurship was just a goal. Sometimes life rushes us along and we can’t stop to dream. When the pandemic hit, and it became clear that we would be isolated for a while, I decided to do something that would allow me to disconnect from everything that was going on. I spent time on the idea, studying the trends and adapting them to the materials I had available here.
That’s how the first designs came about, and it was family and friends who were the first to “do the quality test.” I really liked the result, I felt very good making them, and so we launched.
Overall, I can say that the pandemic was an opportunity to realize a dream, even if it kept us on alert.
-There has been recent growth in the number of ventures making these types of accessories. What distinguishes Agua de Marzo in this context?
Initially, it was a challenge, as there was no reference in the manufacture of rigid hoop headbands in Cuba. Those who worked in sewing created mainly bands or turbans. That was our distinctive feature, even when we were asked for face masks or other types of accessories that were not related to hair, we opted to maintain our initial line.
We are very happy to know that other people have taken on the idea, because it reaffirms that this is a need that is not covered by existing enterprises.
I think what sets us apart is the value we place on service, beyond the product. It’s not just a click and you’re done. We are committed to creating links with customers, and we listen a lot to their proposals.
As we don’t have a physical shop, we resolve all the doubts about the making of an accessory digitally, taking into account the peculiarities of the face, of each hair type, among other details. It is also a process that does not end with the purchase; we create a link so that our customers feel confident and comfortable using our products.
-How important have social networks been for the venture?
“They have been a fundamental pillar in the visibility of the brand, allowing us to go beyond a post and reflect our essence. The platform we use the most is Instagram, given its visual aspect, even when these accessories are complex to photograph. I think we have achieved the aesthetics we set out to very well, which has served as a reference for others and has allowed us to break the digital barrier.”
Among the challenges that this lawyer by profession foresees for Agua de Marzo, the diversification of its products within the line of hair accessories stands out, as well as having a physical store where customers can see the products made, ensuring a greater link with the brand.
Cintia also thanked the virtual community, which has often resulted in friendships beyond social media, for supporting the enterprise in such a difficult context, despite the fact that it does not produce staple products. “From the beginning we felt that support and affection for the brand, which is obviously the fundamental ingredient that has allowed us to develop what was once just a dream,” she concluded.