Laura Rios, WHAT A WOOD WORK, Dover, NH: 2023 Rising Star Nominee
“CWE has not only supported me with resources that are extremely helpful to any entrepreneur, but has also provided me with a sense of community and an inspirational pool of potential mentors.” - Laura Rios
What inspired Laura’s Business?
Laura’s business idea for WHAT A WOOD WORK (WAWW) stemmed from a combination of pandemic-related hardships in early 2020. The resulting lockdown triggered an extreme rise in puzzle demand and an unprecedented world shortage. In May 2020, she reached out to her co-founder, and they began making and selling wooden puzzles in handcrafted boxes in less than two weeks and now they provide unique jigsaw experiences to people everywhere.
Each of her laser-cut puzzles is a unique wooden jigsaw experience. Many of the puzzles are custom photo orders. Others are curated vintage images. All puzzles come packed in a handcrafted wooden box.
Almost two years into her business, Laura has ventured into local makers shows on top of the wholesale platforms she participates in. This has helped WAWW grow exponentially, which has led to her need to hire and grow her team in the upcoming year. The launch of her brand in the US in April 2021 now has retailers in several states in the USA and is on its way to tripling sales from the year prior - as well as shipping internationally.
How Has CWE Helped Her in Her Journey?
As a small business owner and entrepreneur, Laura relies on the resources available from CWE to help juggle her many hats. She has been able to learn how to properly start a business, handle taxes, arrange bookkeeping, and more. The multiple courses she has engaged with have been a welcomed challenge, but Laura is always able to find a course or forum to ask questions and continue to expand her knowledge.
As an expat, and non-native English speaker, Laura feels that these tools have given her not only information and advice but also a sense of community and an inspirational pool of potential mentors. CWE has provided her with infinite opportunities to listen and network with other local businesswomen, which she finds empowering tools.
WAWW is a Latinx/woman-owned business that is run by a mother of two and employs a staff of three. Laura encourages anyone with a business idea to trust in themselves and reach out to an amazing organization like CWE to make it happen.
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