Voss Boss Entrepreneur Spotlight Series — Mariane Oliveira, Owner Of Mary’s Brigadeiro
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 Inc., we’re highlighting local businesses and entrepreneurs who are killing the online game. This week’s spotlight is on Mariane Oliveira, owner of Mary’s Brigadeiro!
Mary’s Brigadeiro is led by a black woman. MB company was founded in 2015 by Mary when she immigrated from Brazil to Canada and decided to introduce to North America a new experience in loving chocolate.
Mary’s Brigadeiro Handcrafted Chocolate® has become one of the top destinations in Toronto for chocolate lovers and selected as one of the TOP 3 chocolate shops in the city by Toronto Star 2019 and 2020. We are the first Toronto based chocolate crafting business exclusively dedicated to a whole Brazilian style chocolate experience: the Brigadeiro ♥
Our girl Betina interviewed Mary 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 a Female Entrepreneur
1: How long have you been in business for?
I’ve been in business for almost 6 years.
2: What made you decide to break away from the 9–5 and start Mary’s Brigadeiro?
A purpose in life. I was not happy to be a “robot” inside of a private company back in Brazil. I needed more than a salary, benefits and a security job and I knew that I was able to pursue it.
3: What do you love most about being a female entrepreneur?
I love the way I have freedom to express myself through my chocolate creations, inspiring others. Being a female entrepreneur and building a strong enterprise, especially in another country, means how we can transform ourselves daily and positively impact other lives creating a sense of support for each other.
4: What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome as a female entrepreneur? Something you did not foresee when you decided to start Mary’s Brigadeiro?
Request a loan from the bank and see the difference between me and my partner as I was approved for $13k in loan and he was approved for $45k with the same time of living in the same country. I could mention how a few suppliers don’t want to negotiate with me or when they think the owner of the business is my partner as he is the only male presence in our company (as I have a preference of hiring women to give them the support of starting something new) and the list just grew.
5: What is one thing about working in the food industry that people would be surprised to learn?
Symbolic speaking, I don’t say if people will be surprised or not, but you can definitely change other lives with the food you are preparing and sometimes, a simple gesture means everything to the person who will try your food creations. All the magic behind a dish has a significant impact on the entire historic and culture of a nation as you can discover so much about a new culture when you study it by their food.
But in other words, I could say that there are so many regulations to prepare and sell any type of food in Canada that you can easily give up in the first place Lol
And Now Onto The Social Media Questions!
6: Do you have a favorite social media platform? Why?
Instagram, because I love the fast interaction and metrics that this platform gives to you in a couple of hours.
7: What made you decide to start using social media as a way to promote your company?
Two reasons: 1) 90% of our buyers are online; 2) Free marketing, advertising and sales platform.
8: How has social media impacted your business? Would you say that it’s an effective marketing tool?
Totally, social media is an effective marketing tool. Nowadays, it’s the obligation of an entrepreneur to identify where the customers are spending their money or looking for inspiration and resources. I believe social media is almost equal to Google. For example, how many times have you opened your Instagram account to search something that you need or saw recently? Even for inspiration through pictures and videos.
My business is 100% impacted by social media in a positive way.
9: What advice would you give to other businesses and entrepreneurs who want to use social media as a way to connect with customers?
Study, learn, test, make mistakes and do it again until you achieve perfection. There are no secrets at all other than start with what you have in hand, make sure you have a presence online, an open account that customers can find you and share with them everything you can about your business.
A Little More About Mary
In general, I consider myself an introverted person. I prefer to work behind the scenes and just let my work shine through the company and through my creations, but when I feel comfortable with a work or personal situation I totally switch the button Lol
So, if you see me in the first place just observing is my introverted side, but on the other hand you can see myself talking in a most exciting way with no stop ever.
Connect with Mary
Know Any Voss Babes?
Do you know a female entrepreneur who loves social media as much as we do? Contact us today — we’d love to tell her story!