When we did market research on Americans who wanted to be expats a few years ago, we discovered that about 40 percent said they were interested in starting their own business. We also found that Mexico is fertile ground for entrepreneurs.
In our new article “Expat Entrepreneurs in Mexico: The Pearl of Lake Chapala” we follow the entrepreneurial life of Diane Pearl. She’s an artist who was born and raised in Connecticut, lived in San Francisco, New York City, Tacoma, Washington and Santa Fe, and then found herself on the northwestern shore of Lake Chapala at the ripe age of 51.
Having had successful art galleries in New York and the Tacoma-area, she plunged right in and started her own art gallery.
“I didn’t have much money at the time, so I put together nine other people to form a cooperative,” Diane told us. “The cooperative only lasted about a year before I started my own gallery, Diane Pearl Colecciones in 2003.”
She has owned her gallery for about 13 years now and sells a wide range of art, including jewelry, arts and crafts and sculpture that sell for as little as 10 pesos to as much as 50,000 pesos.
“When I first opened, it was a cooperative so we sold just what the people who lived there made,” she said. “Since then I have expanded our offering substantially to include Mexican antiques, carved icons, straw paintings from Uruapan and, of course, lots of arts and crafts from Jalisco and other areas within Mexico.”
You can see many of her artworks at dianepearl.com. She also recently began a new creative project called Creatively Mindful Art, which invites artists to become members of a Creatively Mindful Artists community, where they can upload and share their colored drawings, useful tips, experiences and comments.
She keeps her operating expenses low to remain in the black. She operates her business as a sole proprietor, her business license costs just 180 pesos (less than US$10 with today’s exchange rate) annually and the rent for her space is just US$630 a month.
Check out Diane’s path to entrepreneurial success in Mexico. And if you have a story about your own experience as an entrepreneur in Mexico, contact us. We’d love to feature you.