This Entrepreneur Satisfied His Mentor to Be His Co-Founder

Daniel Álvarez Yunes wove by way of the mass exit searching for the person.

The occasion at Panamerican College was ending, and Yunes was looking for the alumnus who had spoken at his desk earlier within the day.

Yunes was an engineering scholar moonlighting as an entrepreneur. Throughout his freshman yr, he launched a clothes model known as VIDANO. The enterprise had scrappy progress, however Yunes wanted assist.

That’s why he scanned the room in desperation.

Yunes lastly caught as much as the person he hoped would have a solution to his query. The person’s identify tag learn Daniel Castro Ceballos. Six years prior, Ceballos had been in Yunes’ similar place, however now he had a half decade of expertise working in fintech and ecommerce.

VIDANO bought its merchandise through Amazon, however Yunes needed to open a direct-to-consumer (DTC) retailer. He requested Ceballos what steps he ought to take to begin an internet retailer utilizing instruments like WooCommerce.

The reply, Yunes says, “was excessive and direct”: You need to do Shopify.

Yunes was involved about Shopify’s price however trusted Ceballos’ confidence. Yunes requested Ceballos for assist, and Ceballos agreed. He spent three months serving to Yunes construct and launch VIDANO’s Shopify retailer, asking for nothing in return.

“He did it with the guts. And I used to be at all times actually grateful for that,” Yunes says.

Ceballos turned a mentor and good friend. And two years later, Yunes may pay him again.

At present, Yunes works alongside Ceballos because the co-founder of Levely, an company that helps ecommerce manufacturers with technical advertising and marketing. Together with operating VIDANO, Yunes continues the observe that’s allowed him to generate $1 million in income at simply 22 years previous.

Fueling the Hearth

VIDANO began at a university home celebration in 2017.

Yunes scanned the room and observed everybody was carrying the identical generic T-shirts.

“I recognized this lack of possession of authenticity [in] the best way we put on issues,” Yunes says. His concept was to print numerous designs from younger Mexican artists on T-shirts, hoodies, caps, and jackets.

He was 18 when he began VIDANO. With no background in T-shirt printing, attire design, or operating a enterprise, he used his spare time between courses to construct VIDANO from nothing.

“When … I used to be beginning faculty, I had this fireplace in me saying, ‘I must create one thing. I must do one thing that’s my very own,’” Yunes says.

Yunes began studying every part there was to find out about print design. He watched each YouTube video and visited a neighborhood attire truthful in Mexico Metropolis to study cloth.

“My market was my age [bracket],” Yunes says.

“I really began designing a product that I might be pleased with and that … I’d put on.”

Yunes says throughout this exploration section of the enterprise, he remembers researching a printing machine he wanted however stopped investigating when he noticed the worth. However Yunes didn’t hand over. Leveraging the distinctive designs of Mexican artists in his community,

Yunes made T-shirts in his bed room and bought them immediately by way of Instagram.

That Instagram account? Yunes constructed it from a number of hundred followers to 40,000.

“I’m actually grateful for that fireplace that I had,” Yunes says concerning the first two years engaged on VIDANO. “It was the best way I created VIDANO and the best way that I’m the place I’m at proper now.”

Amazon contacted Yunes immediately, and he began promoting VIDANO merchandise on the platform. However he couldn’t absolutely make the most of the Instagram viewers he’d constructed with no DTC on-line retailer.

“We have been rising actually sluggish. I’ve to say it was actually, actually sluggish, nevertheless it was safe,” Yunes says.

“As a result of we really had no concept what we have been doing. It was like study and do, and fail and study once more.”

Due to Yunes’ urge for food for information, VIDANO’s progress was about to hurry up.


Two years into VIDANO and Yunes’ undergraduate diploma, he attended an alumni exhibition the place professionals returned to campus to talk to college students. That’s the place he met Ceballos.

Yunes says their assembly is when VIDANO was reborn.

Collectively, they arrange a Shopify retailer, garnered exterior funding, and switched from polyester to one hundred pc cotton merchandise. And at last, Yunes bought the coveted printing machine.

“That was an incredible accomplishment as a result of it was in my first years that I used to be researching, saying, ‘Wow, I really need that machine. I actually need to do this,’” Yunes says. “And I have a look at it proper now, and I’m doing it. I’ve that machine. We purchased it. And we’re engaged on it.”

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With VIDANO buzzing, Yunes ventured into his subsequent space of enchancment—digital adverts—aware that his cash and established enterprise have been on the road.

“That made me much more cautious of what varieties of buttons or ways or completely different methods I wanted to implement to truly see outcomes,” Yunes says about studying find out how to promote by way of Fb Enterprise Supervisor (now Meta). “There was numerous uncertainty as a result of if this month didn’t work out, I didn’t have cash for the subsequent one.”

In 2019, whereas researching Fb adverts, Yunes watched Nick Shackelford converse nearly on the Advert World Convention. He began following Shackelford and found his Fb adverts course with Foundr.

“For a man that noticed every part on YouTube, that’s purchased each single minicourse that he may get his fingers on, I can say Foundr has been your best option,” Yunes says.

In keeping with Yunes, Shackelford’s course was in contrast to something he’d discovered earlier than as a result of it teaches entrepreneurs a advertising and marketing technique—not only a tactic.

“It was my model, my cash, my outcomes on the road, [and] that made me actually cautious and actually embrace failure however really as properly, embrace studying,” Yunes says. “I take into account [Shackelford] a mentor to me as a result of he’s [worthy of] my funding.”

The extra Yunes discovered, the extra VIDANO grew. In 4 months, the corporate doubled and tripled its gross sales. He realized that promoting was the profession he needed to put money into, however that meant embracing failure as soon as once more.

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Leveling Up

In 2020, Yunes was nonetheless operating VIDANO whereas working a day job doing digital advertising and marketing at Coca-Cola. He was additionally remotely incomes a specialization in digital advertising and marketing by way of the College of Colorado Boulder.

That’s when he reconnected together with his mentor, Ceballos.

“He instructed me, ‘It is best to make an company as a result of you’ve gotten this actually particular means of reaching folks and truly making them perceive actually advanced issues,’” Yunes says. “[Ceballos’] specialty is in analytics, and he can learn numbers [like] no one can.”

Naturally, the 2 mentioned beginning an company collectively, however Ceballos admitted that he couldn’t cowl the prices of paying Yunes a wage.

“I mentioned, ‘ what, overlook it, you really helped me loads on VIDANO. Let me do the identical [for] you,’” Yunes says. “‘I’m going to begin the company, no fee, and let’s carry it on and let’s create it.’”

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In 2021, he give up his job at Coca-Cola and dedicated to the duo’s new company, Levely. Two years on, Levely is a thriving company specializing in technical advertising and marketing for ecommerce corporations in Mexico. Yunes credit his embrace of failure for his success within the advert company.

“I do consider we’re by no means going to search out that excellent advert, however we’re going to search out the right means of working with our group to truly take a look at,” Yunes says. “And that [is the best] means of approaching Fb adverts.”

Yunes says they’ve been capable of carve out a aggressive benefit due to the rampant quantity of digital fraud in Mexico and the technical expertise they provide purchasers. However extra importantly, Yunes says the technique of studying quick from Shackelford’s Foundr course retains Levely and VIDANO rising.

Due to the course, Yunes says, “I’ve seen double earnings and double income in VIDANO and truly on all of our purchasers.”

By no means Cease Studying

Due to Yunes’ dedication to testing, studying, and making use of, he’s created a lifetime million-dollar income ecommerce enterprise and leveraged his ability set to develop an company.

“I really consider that we’ve got been working fairly properly not due to the ability we’ve got—we do have the ability—however due to the mentality that I began my very own firm,” Yunes says.

“I’m no guru. I began from scratch. I’ve been looking for my very own means, my very own processes, my very own methods, my very own technique, every part from my very own.”

That’s why Yunes is so adamant that founders should put money into themselves. He credit the Foundr neighborhood as a useful resource to community and study from others in his place.

“That sort of networking is priceless, and the power, the vibe that we’re seeing in that sort of neighborhood is all about serving to one another.”

From a teenage entrepreneur making T-shirts in his bed room to an promoting skilled and founding father of two companies, Yunes is aware of that success comes with the need and willingness to study by way of failure.

“If we’re not failing sufficient, we’re not successful sufficient,” Yunes says.

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