Having opened one of Ponoka’s newest businesses over the summer, Mi Casa Imports owner Abby Yaworski has a fresh perspective of what it means to open an entirely new business in a small town.
On her first trip to Mexico, Yaworski felt the overwhelming need to bring a taste of the festive country back to Ponoka. “We just fell in love with Mexico, the people, the foods, the colours,” she said.
Building an import business from the ground up was a learning experience for Yaworski, who says it came from three parts passion and one part learning technical knowledge. “It’s all passion and it’s all new.”
It was also a lot of long days, researching the rules and regulations of importing.
For others looking to open small and unique businesses in Ponoka Yaworski had sound advice. “I think you just follow your dream. You do a lot of research and you have to work a lot.”
Yaworski says the community has responded well to Mi Casa Imports and after two months in business, she still has new people coming through the door every day.
Rural towns can have a lot of competition with larger cities and shopping limitations within Ponoka have been an issue with the residents. Yaworski feels her business responds to some of that need.
Good advertising strategies are another tool to drive traffic to the store and Mi Casa could be seen in print advertising in its beginning and online at Facebook. A website is also under construction. In the future, Yaworski plans on developing an online store and digital catalogue for her genuine Mexican pieces.
“It’s authentic Mexican imports. (For) everything in here, we go directly to the artisans and purchase them,” said Yaworski.
“I’ll keep it original and I’ll keep it new. Anything that’s in the store now, I won’t buy again,” she added.