Negocios Now

Supplier Diversity & Diversity Inclusion Edition

Negocios Now is the Hispanic Business Publication in Chicago with National Distribution

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 12 of 23 Octubre 2020 13 NegociosNow NegociosNow CAROLYN CABALLERO BUILDS HER BRANDING BRAND By Rita Rousseau F or Carolyn Caballero, joi- ning HACIA and obtai- ning certification of her company as a minority- and woman-owned business enter- prise was a way to make her mark—literally—on a whole new field of business and set of customers. Ever since she departed her 9-to-5 web developer job at Northwestern Universi- ty to found Bella Dia Designs, Caballero has been leaving her imprint as a business-to-busi- ness web designer and graphic artist. For years, she worked primarily with marketing con- sultants and event planners nationwide. "But I missed face- to-face interactions," she says. "I wanted to build a more local client base. So I decided to get into the construction arena." Although dealing with archi- tects and companies in the building trades was new to her, it was a logical fit, she says. "Every business, no matter the industry, needs branding and marketing services," Caballero points out. "I create a unified package—a website, business cards, logos, marketing collate- ral, capability statements." HACIA was first a customer of Caballero's company. Then, she got involved as a member, took classes, joined the board of directors, and, with the help of a fellow board member, com- pleted the painstaking process of applying for certification in Chicago as a minority-owned and woman-owned business enterprise (in government par- lance, MBE and WBE, some- times shortened to MWBE for companies that meet both requirements). Acquiring these credentials was "just a terrific asset to my business," she says. "It adds credibility, sets my creative pro- fessional services apart." Being MBE- and WBE-certified helped her bid on and win contracts for marketing services from agen- cies like Chicago PACE, Chicago Housing Authority and Illinois Tollway. One current project: signage and marketing graphics for a new Student Center at Illinois State University in Bloo- mington-Normal. But just as critical to Caba- llero are the opportunities to network. "Becoming certified has given me exclusive access to databases of suppliers, peers and experts," she says. "A lot of government agencies offer trai- ning and networking opportu- nities, and that gives me oppor- tunities to meet prime contrac- tors and top purchasing agents in construction." Certification has "opened doors," she adds, not only to large government agencies, but also to large pri- vate companies that have their own supplier diversity goals. Now, she says, "I get to meet so many contractors, archi- tects, engineers and financial people. I've been doing more signage, bidding different types of jobs, learning about different opportunities. It's been really interesting." "B ecoming certified has given me exclusive access to databases of suppliers, peers and experts," she says. "A lot of government agencies offer training and networking opportunities, and that gives me opportunities to meet prime contractors and top purchasing agents in construction." Foto cortesía Carolyn Caballero, owner of Dia Bella Designs, thanks HACIA, her first client, for supporting her construction company. Foto cortesía Carolyn Caballero

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Negocios Now - Supplier Diversity & Diversity Inclusion Edition