Cibeles punto y aparte: an enterprise that started as a dream and today bets on e-commerce
July 30, 2020
Like every entrepreneurial project “Cibeles punto y aparte”, a clothing and accessories store for men and women started as a dream. A dream that today, in addition to being a beautiful reality, begins to venture into the world of e-commerce in Spain.
We spoke with Alejandro Fuenmayor, an entrepreneur of Venezuelan origin who nowadays owns the stores that make up the mini chain “Cibeles punto y aparte”. Alejandro tells us how the process has led him to position himself in the world of clothing and accessories for women and men, in a highly competitive market.
Alejandro, thank you for receiving us and giving us a little of your time. Please tell us how were your beginnings in the world of entrepreneurship?
At the time I was living in Spain for six years and I worked hard with the hand of my boss at the time, Mrs. Macarena Nieto and his sister Lara Nieto. Both were owners of a project that made me very excited: two small stores called “Lola ponte lunares” located in Chueca and Las Cortes, two central neighborhoods of Madrid.
One spring afternoon I stopped by the store in the Chueca neighborhood, and taking the rigorous aperitif with Maribel, my boss’s mother, the idea of ??associating came up. And so my first project “Dale al tacn” was born, a small and exclusive shoe store made of leather footwear made in Spain, brought directly from Elche (Alicante).
Over the years I learn how to manage such a beautiful project with the help of my partner, without a doubt the best life teacher. This is how I started my journey as an entrepreneur.
How was Cibeles punto y aparte born?
The idea arises from a dream, like all my projects. In 2018 Maribel decides to retire from the business, and that’s when “Cibeles punto y aparte” was born for me. Maintaining the concept of the store and with expectations that grew more and more every day, I decided to continue using what I learned from those who had been my bosses and partners.
In 2019 full of concerns, and with the support of my mother and my partner Alfredo Flores Pieros, we embarked on “Cibeles punto y aparte II”, located in the Madrid-based Chamber neighborhood.
In 2020 Alfredo and I bet strongly, for a differentiating project and forgotten in the time that are men’s shirts, thus creating “Cibeles punto y aparte Hombre”, in the same neighborhood of Chamber.
The stores are very striking, they are stores with soul, with joy, with art, decorated with antique furniture, which we call living furniture. They are spaces full of a traditional Madrid, of the Madrid of the Bourbons.
Describe a little the process of foray into online sales
Online sales arise as a consequence of the confinement that we have all experienced during the most difficult moments of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a very personalized way and for our most loyal customers, we enabled a channel via Instragram and WhatsApp, offering our products in photo format, and offering payment options via Transfer and Bizum. We also have an App created by our bank La Caixa, which is called SocialCommerce, which allows us to generate a secure payment link to send it through Instagram or WhatsApp.
We delivered the product personally in our car so that the price of the product did not increase (only in the case of orders in Madrid), the rest of the orders we send with a private company.
In principle we used only Instagram and WhatsApp, now we have created the e-commerce that will work through our website http://www.beles.es, in which we will offer the secure payment gateway that our bank has provided us.
What can customers expect from the new website?
We designed the store look to provide a simple and friendly environment to all our customers; maintaining the concept of physical stores.
Introducing a practical user interface designed for our audience, designed for today’s modern, working men and women. The idea is that those who visit our online store can immediately access our product catalog. For this reason we present two shortcuts: one to the women’s collection and the other to the men’s collection.
We have also made sure to offer an appropriate and secure payment system that facilitates the purchase process.
How do you promote the products?
For online sales we make a selection of products that we call “Star Products”. This consists of a selection of different and little-seen products on the market, which are mainly displayed in the window of each store, to be later photographed and published on Instagram. Then we send them in the form of images by WhatsApp to our clients, and finally we publish them on our website.
How is the product shipping process?
Once the product is purchased, the shipment is prepared in a very personal and very careful way, so that the client upon receiving it feels how special it is for us.
Shipping is done through a private company.
What cities or regions do you cover with online sales?
In principle, Madrid and all of Spain, including the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, but we are not closed to international shipments, only we are currently limited to Spain.
What has been the most difficult part of entering the world of online sales?
Position myself, reach the largest number of customers every day, despite having star products.
What are the new projects for the store?
Without a doubt, digitization in all its expressions.
What do you advise entrepreneurs who like you want to position themselves in the Spanish market?
That they do not stop working for it, that the most important thing is to learn from the professionals of the online world.
In Spain we have been accustomed for a long time to physical stores and to split hours and then take a nap. Now is the time to work non-stop to be able to reach success, and convince ourselves that success is in the web universe. This is a positive thing that the pandemic has left for small traders.
One more thing I would like to say to new entrepreneurs is that “organization is the basis of abundance”. I learned this from a wonderful Venezuelan coach who lives here in Europe, Marielys vila.
What was once just a dream in the mind of a young entrepreneur, is now a reality with growth projections. “Cibeles punto y aparte” has an online store and three stores in the city of Madrid:
- “Cibeles punto y aparte” women’s clothing, located at Marqu’s de Valdeiglesias street 5 28004.
- “Cibeles punto y aparte” women’s clothing, located at Reina Victoria avenue 37 28003.
- “Cibeles punto y aparte” men’s clothing, located at General Ibez de Ibero avenue s / n 28003. In association with Alfredo Flores Pieros.