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Paola V. Murillo

We are a boutique agency that provides a full spectrum of marketing, consulting, recruiting, and communications services.

Tell us about yourself?

In the winter of 2005, I moved to Montreal, the city of lights in Canada, where the streets are full of life, and the French style of living attracted my Latino blood. Going to Jean-Talon market reminds me of going grocery shopping with my dad at the Plaza de Mercado Paloquemao en Bogotá.

From the beginning, I knew I was going to bring something to sell in Canada, so I did my research, and it was between coffee and women’s lingerie. I decided the second one would be my best option since women in both regions have many similarities, so I got exclusivity from a well-known Colombian woman to sell their women’s underwear in Canada. I was excited about this new venture. However, my fashionable snow jacket from Colombia didn’t do the job when it came to dealing with the weather in Montreal. There were days when I had to wait at the bus stop while my tears were frozen halfway down my face, and I sometimes felt as if my nose was going to fall off. Soon, I realized that I wasn’t equipped for this beautiful city.

Weeks later, my brother asked me to move to Vancouver, bragging about the beautiful nature and a free soul spirit city that was surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. Vancouver is home to the well-known lululemon athletic apparel, where women are into yoga and hiking vs fashion. I had to change my plan when I arrived in Vancouver about what kind of ventures I was going to have as my colours and accent was very unique. There was more knowledge about noodles and sushi than tacos and Arepas.

My first job in Vancouver was in recruitment. I realized that Canada was looking for a lot of talent since companies were desperate to find the right candidates. In my second job in Canada, I was working in preparing for the 2010 Olympics Games in Vancouver.

I will never forget the question that was once asked of our communication team. “In the opening of the games, we need to represent all the cultures that we have in B.C.” I raised my hand and asked, “Can I help find the Latino community?” The response was, “Latino? Do we really have many Latinos in B.C.?” And I responded, “Of course, we have many Latin American cultures here.” This lack of awareness broke my heart but inspired me to find a new passion and my next purpose – creating a voice for the Latinos in BC. I wanted to bring them together, so they can help each other while we create an awareness of who we are and what we can offer to our new home.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

You can not do it all. Surround yourself with great people.

What problem does your business solve?

We provide our clients with in-depth knowledge of the latest marketing trends and create a lasting impression of your brand. Mirrai also supports your company at every step with strategic, organizational and financial services and support to help foster trade and investment opportunities in new markets. And we also provide recruiting services. We were able to promote cultural exchange and connect local and Latin American entrepreneurs and business ventures.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Fueled by Latin passion and drive to create meaningful long-term relationships and lasting impressions, we aim to amplify your vision, develop your brand and, most importantly, tell your story. We are inspired to connect the new generation of companies from Latin America and Canadian markets, supporting and helping entrepreneurs to fulfill their dreams. Our consultants, with over 10 years of experience, understand the challenges faced by modern-day markets.

What is your magic sauce?

I am really persistent. Whatever the situation is, I don’t give up easily.

Also, I am not afraid to ask for help because I believe that there is always someone who knows more than me, so I like to learn from different perspectives and how this can help me to achieve any current challenges. I really enjoy communicating with people from different backgrounds.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Aside from Mirrai, I am the founder and Executive Director of Latincouver, a non-profit organization that creates a stronger voice for Latin Americans living in B.C.

I also launched with my partner a new project called My Latin Store, which is a unique marketplace where you can find products and experiences from Latin America while we tell the story of other entrepreneurs.

I plan to have Latincouver’s prime event, “Carnaval del Sol”, celebrated in all the Canadian provinces and territories.

I am expanding My Latin Store to be the main Latin American marketplace in the world. It will showcase the products from Latin America. The store will also highlight the story of the people behind the products.

Also, I would love to work closely with the Canadian government to provide new opportunities to create a stronger voice for new immigrants in Canada and build stronger bridges with the Latin American Region.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

My happy ending is that after dedicating 14 years to building bridges between Canada and Latin America with any of my three ventures, Latincouver, Mirrai Marketing Group, and MyLatinStore, I feel complete because, as a new mom of an 18 months-old baby, I am able to connect my little one with my Colombian roots.

I always say that as entrepreneurs, we sometimes overlook the contract because the excitement of doing something is bigger than some of the challenges that we go through, but when we love what we do, we understand that everything will pay off.

How can people get involved?

Mirrai supports your company at every step in your growing process. Contact us today at 778-878-1025 to learn how we can help you to change the way you have been doing business.