WESST Pop-up Shop Spotlight: Rio Refills
By Lorena Schott | October 3, 2022
After a two-year hiatus, WESST is excited to host the 5th annual pop-up shop (Oct. 14th 11a-4p, 609 Broadway Blvd NE) where you can shop locally and find unique Made in New Mexico products and gifts. Over the next few weeks, we would like to introduce you to a few of our vendors to give everyone a preview of their products and the opportunity to learn about their entrepreneurial journey. We hope you enjoy!
Introducing Christina Candelaria – Rio Refills
Where did the “big idea” for your business come from?
I went to Kaui, HI in the fall of 2021 and visited a refill shop for the first time. I immediately texted my husband and said I wanted to be apart of this and open a shop!
What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
I saw a need in our community and filled it. I wanted these sorts of products and lifestyle for my family and I am hoping others do too!
What obstacles did you face while creating your business and how did you overcome them?
I am a small mobile shop, so the space is limited. Deciding what products to carry is hard, because I want so much more! Getting started and creating reach, gaining a customer base is hard. Stopping at another store that isn’t Target or Walmart is hard! I am trying to make it convenient for customers.
How do you market your business? Which tactics have been most successful?
Social media has been the biggest and best so far. I love doing events and pop-up shops. Many people have seen and noticed my little trailer and sometimes finally stop to see what it’s about too.
How do you stand out from your competitors?
Being a small local business does incentivize some people to shop, versus going to a large store. There aren’t many places offerings refills for your home and body products yet. So my direct competition in Rio Ranch is slim. There is another refill shop in Albuquerque and we have the same mission and goal and I hope that we can continue to support each other in helping others jump in the refill bandwagon!
Would you do anything differently if you could start your business over again? If so, what?
Currently no. I am so happy with where I am and what I am doing. It has changed my family’s life and I hope it can others too, for a more positive impact in our planet- we only have 1!
What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own business?
Do it! You can only dream so long. Take the leap and try it, you will never know!
What do you do when you’re not working?
Mom of 2 and police wife. I love house projects! Traveling, yoga, hiking and camping.
What was your biggest takeaway from your work with WESST?
Such positive encouragement. I always felt like I could do it and succeed.
To view the list of vendors who will be showcasing their items, or to get more information, please visit the WESST Event Page.
About the Author
Lorena Schott is a native New Mexican that brings a wealth of experience to the WESST team. Before joining WESST in 2009, she worked for Intel where she was acknowledged for her establishment of Intel’s centralized on-line system, rewarding and recognizing employees worldwide.