For many entrepreneurs and small businesses, social media can be an absolute game-changer! All it takes is one viral post and a business can suddenly take off.
At Like A Voss Social Media, we’re highlighting local businesses and entrepreneurs who are killing the online game. This week’s spotlight is on Melissa Mora, owner of Mora Roja!
Mora Roja is a free and fantastic space where Melissa explores illustration possibilities on plant pots and other surfaces. Still, most importantly, it is a space to inspire and bring happiness to our lives through colours and stories behind the scenes.
Our girl Betina interviewed Melissa about her secret to success in business and in life. We also got some awesome insights into what they think makes social media such an effective tool in business.
A Little Bit About Being an Entrepreneur
1: How long have you been in business?
Mora Roja started five years ago, in Bogota, Colombia. Literally, on a rainy Sunday when I found myself, after watching TV for hours, with this need to do something special, something that changed the world, lol, I think it was a point in my life when I was looking for an escape from my 9-5 job routine. Casually, I had been buying art supplies for some time, tons of acrylics and bisque wares.
2: What made you decide to break away from the 9-5 and start Mora Roja?
I know this isn’t common for an entrepreneur, but I have been working in 9-5 jobs during this journey. I’m the kind of person that enjoys the best of both worlds.
I’m a graphic designer, and I’ve worked for government institutions in Colombia, and now in an Architect company, and I like creating visual solutions that showcase the best solutions for people’s lives.
On the other hand, being an entrepreneur is not an easy task, and I’m sure all of you know how challenging this task could be. Also, it is a unique experience. You learn more about yourself, your skills, capabilities, and how resilient you can be. Being an entrepreneur has taught me lessons and skills that I wouldn’t have learned as an employee.
3: What do you love most about being a designer and maker?
I believe the final result is the part I enjoy the most. Seeing the details and how it highlights when I’m taking photos makes a smile on my face. There is also another part that I like. It is called the “Zone” (a state where you perform to the best of your ability). I love being in that state where I’m so focused that I don’t know what time or if I’m hungry. I dig it.
4: What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome as an entrepreneur? Something you did not foresee when you decided to start Mora Roja?
Moving to another country. I started Mora Roja when I didn’t know that I was going to live in another country. And when that happened, I didn’t want to just close it and that’s it.
Mora Roja is part of me, and I decided to keep working on this project, even when the language, place, conditions, and culture changed. That’s the beauty of art, it always speaks the same language.
I’m still figuring out how to run a business in Canada. Finding a balance with a new 9-5 job, keeping painting, and optimizing processes are some of my landmarks at this moment.
5: What is one thing about working in the design industry that people would be surprised to learn?
Sometimes, followers see timelapse videos on Instagram or TikTok and think that it looks so easy that the price is not worth it. They might not know that to achieve that “easiness,” we have to spend years developing our abilities, testing, creating and testing again, conceptualizing, researching and producing. All that work is unseen, and at the same time, seen on social media, sometimes it feels like a blessing and other times like a curse.
6: Where do you find inspiration when you create your designs?
I firmly believe that there are two kinds of inspiration. One motivates you to create, and the other visually helps you design your design/products.
I usually go to books, movies, museums/art exhibitions, and walks in the city for the first one. My favourite one is talking with my husband and my family. That is the perfect fuel my mind and heart need to keep running.
For the second one, there are some terrific resources and platforms that help me with the task. I use Adobe color (Kuler) to find perfect colour palettes. When I need new fonts, I go to dafont.com or fontsquirrel.com. Pinterest is your best friend and helps you keep organized your pins on boards. If you want to create a mood board, Spark Adobe has some lovely templates to assist you with that.
And Now Onto The Social Media Questions!
7: Do you have a favorite social media platform? Why?
I have loved Instagram since day one. I feel it matches perfectly with the purpose of my brand, that is to inspire. Also, technically, it has features that let you improve the experience with your audience/followers, as stories, DM, and reels.
8: What made you decide to start using social media as a way to promote your company?
My first thought was that Instagram would be a perfect tool to create a portfolio, showing what products I can create or have available. Then I realized that it was more than a photo gallery. I started receiving comments and direct messages that let me interact with customers and new clients. After that, I researched and found the possibilities that Instagram and the rest of social media platforms offer to enhance your marketing strategy and customer experience.
9: How has social media impacted your business? Would you say that it’s an effective marketing tool?
It is an effective tool as long as you know how to use it and the amount of time you dedicate to it. When I started, I only sold my products through Instagram, and it worked for some time, then I needed to change my perspective. Some entrepreneurs think that it is posting a picture and all the stock is going to be sold.
Behind any social media account must be a strategy, defining a goal and evaluating the results constantly. And all of these must be connected to your brand and values as well. People want to know more about who is behind the brand, especially if you are one person running the whole business. And they want to know your story.
10: What advice would you give to other businesses and entrepreneurs who want to use social media as a way to connect with customers?
No brain decision. It is a must. Some of us put a lot of effort in our social media, and at the end we don’t see the results we want, right? Well, Roma wasn’t built in a day. It requires time, energy, creativity and effort. But you can have fun during this journey, learn new things, learn about you and your customers, and create a community that supports you, believes in you and will give you the best energy to keep doing what you love. It is worth it. One last piece of advice: don’t sell. Inspire.
A Little More About Melissa
I’m a Star Wars, Thai food, and Superhero movie lover. I hate eating the same food all week, and I love exploring new restaurants (feel free to DM if you have a delicious spot to try).
I used to play soccer with boys at school and roller skate and ballet after classes. I knew I wanted to draw and paint when I was 10. My sister and I drew secretly instead of doing homework.
I’ve called all my cats with food names (KAtchup / Oreo / Milk ). I memorize curious facts that nobody knows (I use them as icebreakers).
Connect with Melissa
Know Any Voss Boss?
Do you know a Voss Boss who loves social media as much as we do? Contact us today – we’d love to tell her story!