As a first-time business owner, Vivian Campo learned quickly the value of being a planner.
“You always have to have plan A, B and C because you never know what’s going to happen,” said the owner of Wall Words, a vinyl lettering manufacturer.
It was a lesson only heightened when the pandemic hit, and Campos was forced to furlough most of the staff, who were like family to her, she said.
That lesson was again cemented in when the Wall Words website was held for ransom in March, forcing Campos to invest in building an entirely new site in the midst of economic hardship.
A Latina woman who grew up poor without family to support or guide her, Campos started working at the age of 15 and never stopped.
It was that philosophy of hard work that has pushed Campos to not give up, even though the last year and a half has been trying.
“It’s been a wild ride, owning your own business,” Campos said. “Owning Wall Words is one of the greatest accomplishments I have made in the steps I took to get where I am today.”
Since 1997, Wall Words has specialized in inspiration and motivational quotes for businesses and residences for walls and glass.
Campos purchased the business from its founder Carrol Cardwell in 2017, adding, “I had saved for many years and it was an opportunity that kind of fell in my lap.”
With no knowledge of the printing business, Campos delved into learning all the aspects of the business, its processes and the industry, focusing on customer satisfaction and support as Cardwell had, Campos said.
When the pandemic hit and many lost their jobs, Wall Words saw competition increase dramatically, as people who were trying to figure out how to make money bought their own digital die-cutting machines.
“It hit us very hard,” Campos added. “Our sales went down over 75% during COVID.”
Campos has applied for federal assistance to no avail and even started a GoFundMe to help garner any support she could.
Even so, Campos is aware of how widespread the struggles are and has therefore created a special discount to small businesses who are also in trying times.
For more information, visit wallwords.com.