We had the good fortune of connecting with Elizabeth Arenas Alegre and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elizabeth, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I was very nervous about starting my own business. Thoughts of failure came to mind several times. What if people did not like my product? What if all this work was for nothing? What if I never made a sale? I really had to mentally put all those negative thoughts aside, and focus on what I would lose if I did try. The answer was nothing. I figured out my business plan, my audience, and gave it a shot! I realized that my business was a formalized way of practicing my hobby. I enjoyed my hobby, so it was worth the risk. I have always enjoyed making charcuterie boards for family and friends. I love the fact that I can now share this with all my customers. I also sell curated gifts. I am very intentional when it comes to gifting and UTP has become an extension of that. I work with customers to create personalized, meaningful gifts. I have zero regrets about starting my business and look forward to its growth.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I was born and raised in Miami, FL, and I’ve been living in Texas for about 2 years. I think that if I was still in Miami, I would have not started a business as this was only a hobby. With a little more time on my hands and frankly nothing to lose, I decided to turn that hobby into a business. I make charcuterie boards and curated gifts for all occasions. I have had a passion for both these things for a long time and instead of just limiting myself to providing for family and friends, I decided to share with my new community. Every board or gift I am commissioned for is unique and special, I love the fact that I get to work with an individual and get to throw around ideas to ultimately create their vision. Being about a year into this business I have learned a lot already. I am so thankful to be in a city that is supportive of small business and puts community over competition. I have made so many relationships over the past year and learned a great deal. I have learned to believe in the quality of my products and know their worth. I’m grateful for the opportunity to run my business and connect with all types of people daily and bring joy to their lives.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
How much time do we have? I am a huge foodie and coffee addict so the itinerary would revolve around these things. I would give them a tour that extends from downtown Dallas to McKinney. I would definitely take them to Klyde Warren Park and the Dallas Arboretum because they are beautiful outdoor locations. Visit Downtown Mckinney because I’m biased and it’s the cutest square in DFW. We would enjoy meals at Partenope, Rye, Ebesu Robata, Hutchins, just to mention a few. We’d sip coffee at George’s, Edison coffee shop, Summer Moon…I could go on for a while here as well.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I could not have initiated the business making process without my husband who encouraged me to give it a shot. My brother also encouraged me to pursue this business and helped me become more efficient with my productivity and inventory. The community in McKinney has embraced what I have to offer. I have worked with several other small businesses in town that have collaborated with me, shared their business experience, or simply have purchased from UTP.
Andrea Elizabeth Photography