Estela was born and raised in Mexico. The corruption, violence and the lack of job opportunities in Mexico have driven her to move from Mexico City to a smaller and safer town with her husband, where they opened a small business together.
At the time, she was designing websites. As a young couple, they wanted to immigrate to Montreal, Canada, and they started their big journey. In just 11 months, they arrived in Canada.
Having lived far from home for almost 20 years, she is grateful for how things turned out. She established her own web design and copywriting business – Stella Web Studio 6 years ago, allowing her to care for her children while helping other entrepreneurs grow their businesses via the web.
1- Can you tell our readers about your background?
I’m an online marketer of over 6 years helping entrepreneurs build their digital presence with effective WordPress websites and compelling web copywriting. In English, Spanish and French.
2- Could you please share a bit more about your journey from Mexico to Canada?
Nineteen years ago, things weren’t going in Mexico. Like in most countries around the world, job opportunities were limited and there was corruption and violence. And my country was no exception to this.
By then, my husband and I were living in Mexico City and decided to move to a small town, where life was safer.
Over there, we opened a small office where we sold computers to the general public, I offered web design services for local businesses and my husband offered consulting services for clothing manufacturers.
Our clients were happy and we were building a good reputation among them.
The problem, though, was that the mindset of the people in this town was traditionalistic. Among other things, people often didn’t want to pay the price of good quality service. So for us, in the long term, this wasn’t a great way to make a living. And moving back to Mexico City wasn’t an option (for the reasons I mentioned before).
So we started to consider moving to Canada. Specifically to Montreal, Quebec. We’ve heard great things about the province: a peaceful place to live in, with a multicultural society and good job opportunities. Overall, a promising and safe place to start fresh.
3- How did you move to Quebec?
Everything was on our side to take this life project: we were young, graduated, our families supported us, and we didn’t have children back then.
So we started our immigration process: learned French, took tests, did interviews and the paperwork… well you can imagine. Then, we waited for an answer from the Canadian office.
It was after 9 months that we received a letter telling us that we were accepted. We were thrilled!
Two months later, with all our belongings contained in a couple of suitcases, and the blessing of our families, we flew to Montreal.
We arrived in the middle of a hot summer in 2003. It was a big shock since we hadn’t visited before. But we were happy and full of hope.
“But the hardest thing has been not having my family around. To this day, this is the part that causes me more pain. Even more during the pandemic.”
4- What inspired you to start your business in Canada?
Seven years ago, I saw there was an opportunity in the fast-paced digital world, where businesses would need to adapt.
So, for me, this was the perfect opportunity to use my business skills, my passion for marketing and technology, and my ability to learn fast.
In short, I used my skills to match the needs of the world!
5- What were the first steps you took?
I did research on the most valued skills in online marketing, took several online courses, read a lot, and started a web design portfolio.
6- What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?
The most effective way for me has been starting my own blog, promoting my content on social media, and creating a community with other online creators.
7- What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
Moving to a new country has been challenging without a doubt: getting used to a new language, the brutal winters, new people, and in some cases, even racism.
But the hardest thing has been not having my family around. To this day, this is the part that causes me more pain. Even more during the pandemic.
But hope, gratitude and the support of my husband are the things that have kept me going. The hope of raising my family in a good and safe place, and seeing my parents again soon in good health.
Besides, when we moved to Canada, my network wasn’t very strong and very few companies were interested in hiring me due to the fact that I was an immigrant working from home.
But I decided to create my own opportunities by using my strengths, working on my weaknesses, and networking online.
This is why 6 years ago, I started offering web design services, which has allowed me to:
– Take care of my children while working from home.
– Help entrepreneurs grow their businesses through web design and copywriting.
– Connect with like-minded entrepreneurs. Being featured in your beautiful blog is proof of this!
To this day, I’m grateful and happy for how things have turned out.
8- What personal sacrifices have you made throughout your career?
The steady income and the networking a paid job provides.
9- How do you stay focused?
I have some strategies like writing down my weekly or daily goals, putting my smartphone down regularly throughout the day and waking up early.
10- How do you differentiate your business from the competition?
When working with me, my clients can get a unique perspective from a business consultant with a passion for her work, creativity and integrity.
11- What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?
By consistently creating educational content about my expertise and improving my skills.
12- What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
I’m a big fan of SWOT Analysis. It’s a business tool that helps you assess the opportunities and threats of the environment, as well as your own strengths and interests.
In short, find the sweet spot between what you’re passionate about and what the world needs.
13- What’s the best work-related advice you’ve ever received?
Take imperfect action.
14- How do you manage self-doubt?
Just knowing that the way to becoming good at something is by it practising a lot!
15- What’s your favourite app, blog, and book? Why?
Favourite blog: Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger Podcast. She gives fresh and useful advice on how to grow your business in an enthusiastic way.
16- What’s your favourite business tool or resource? Why?
WP Beginner blog. It’s a great resource to learn WordPress. I always find good advice and solutions to tech issues.
17- Could you name a woman who’s inspired you the most?
18- How do you balance work and life?
By allocating enough time for my family, my work and personal care. And by asking for help from my husband and children.
19- How do you unplug from work?
By putting my phone in another room before going to bed, cleaning up the house or when having dinner with my family.
20- What do you have planned for the next six months?
Promoting my new web copywriting service and hopefully start getting clients.
21- How can our readers connect with you?
Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest: @stellawebstudio