Nelly Arandia Official discovers self-confidence is the real product
Nelly Arandia reinvented herself at 45. Now she’s showing other women that success can happen at any age.
For Nelly Arandia, founder of apparel brand Nelly Arandia Official age has never been anything but a number. After several careers in her home country of Venezuela, she started over in the fashion industry at age 45. This time, she’s making her own confident self-image part of the product.
Arandia came to the United States for a familiar reason — to pursue her dreams. “I always had it asleep inside me, wanting to be a businesswoman, wanting to be my own boss, having that financial freedom,” she says.
Back in Venezuela, Arandia started her career in the banking industry, where she worked hard and learned all she could about finances, investments, saving and customer service. Later, she worked for 16 years in a Peruvian multinational cosmetics company, where she found purpose in empowering women to improve their sense of self-esteem. With political and economic unrest taking hold in Venezuela in 2014, she took the opportunity to relocate and reinvent herself.
From a young age, Arandia possessed a strong sense of self-confidence and optimism. She credits that positive energy with helping her achieve success even in the face of difficulty. “Our mentality is what leads us to success or failure,” she says. “Your mind is powerful. Your mind tells you, ‘You can do it. Let’s do it, Nelly!’” She listened to that inner voice and began to seek out new skills and training.
“QuickAccept has changed my business completely because it accepts all types of cards. It doesn’t matter what card my client has, because it goes through. It helps me so much because it is so secure for my business and for my clients, because their data is kept confidential."
–Nelly Arandia, Founder, Nelly Arandia Official
New country, new language, new market — no sweat!
"I never imagined that I was going to come to the United States to live," Arandia says. In fact, she had never heard of Salt Lake City, the place she now calls home. Arandia knew starting over would be a challenge, but she didn’t let it slow her down. "The world changes you overnight," she says. "That’s why we have to be open to opportunities and what life presents to you today." Success required building on her already impressive skill set. She began studying English, learning new computer skills and seeking out personal and professional mentorships to help identify what skills she could bring to the table with her new business.
By October 2019, Arandia had begun working to launch her own personal brand, Nelly Arandia Official. She launched the new company and lifestyle brand, which sells apparel and shapewear for women of all ages and sizes, with a focus on the often underserved Latina market. Believing in herself gave her the confidence to start the business even during the pandemic. With her own effervescent sense of style and zest for life, Nelly has become the voice of the brand, promoting her products via videos on social media. Arandia shares stories on the brand’s social media accounts about the women finding new confidence with her products, helping word spread further.
To continue to empower other women, Arandia has set up an ambassador program for her most enthusiastic customers. Now, they can buy Nelly Arandia Official merchandise at a low price and sell it to their own networks, growing both the brand and their own ambitions. Empowering her peers means everything to Arandia. "It’s never too late to go to school," she says, "or to learn a new language." Look no further than the company’s official slogan: "Your age doesn’t measure your silhouette."
As soon as Nelly Arandia Official launched, the products quickly started to sell out. Arandia hasn’t even let the COVID-19 pandemic slow her down. Instead, she’s focused on the positive and using the opportunity to lean in and learn more about social media, videoconferencing and other technologies. She’s also begun offering home delivery for new mothers, women over 40 and those with special needs such as medical conditions. Along the way, Arandia’s business has become more than a success: It has made a real impact on the women in her community.
Choosing a bank that speaks her language
Arandia approaches business on a personal level. She believes in building relationships and making a difference in people’s lives. Fortunately, with Chase for Business, she’s found a bank that has always welcomed and supported her. "I certainly feel at home with Chase," she says. "It’s part of my business, part of my success, having an excellent relationship with Chase."
Her start in banking gave her a great admiration for the Chase brand. She recalls walking by Chase branches and telling herself, "Someday I’ll have my account there." Years later, she finally joined the Chase for Business family in Salt Lake City, after first visiting another bank whose manager told her he had no Spanish-speaking staff.
Arandia easily found a bilingual banker, Saraí, at her local Chase for Business branch. "She calls me all the time to see how I’m doing. She told me about all the services. So I don’t hesitate to call her when I have any questions," Arandia says. Saraí set her up as part of the pilot program for Chase Business Complete Banking℠, a checking account complete with a card payment acceptance solution that modern businesses need. Arandia loves the convenience and security of Chase QuickAccept℠, which allows her to take payments from virtually any card. "It’s very smart and fast," she says. "It doesn’t have me waiting and waiting for the transaction to be successful. The money goes directly into my account the same day."
Now, with a growing business and a name for herself in her local community, Arandia hopes to continue helping Latina women like herself reach their full potential, no matter their age or their doubts. Her advice for aspiring business owners, or anyone with a dream, is to seize the day. "Are you afraid? Do it with fear. But don’t stop doing it," she says. "The best time is always today. Opportunities are given to you and they pass quickly."