Mariana Castillo, Ben & Frank: Direct-to-Consumer Eyewear for Mexicans, Ep 124

You can now find the full show notes of the Crossing Borders podcast on LatamList.com’s new podcast section. I’ll still post the audio of the podcast on my blog and I’m planning to start writing more again on my blog, like I used to.

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Outline of this episode:

  • [2:10] – About Ben & Frank
  • [2:36] – Traditional retail experience for eyewear in Mexico
  • [3:55] – Mexican roots, nomadic upbringing
  • [4:53] – Entrepreneurial journey
  • [5:40] – Internship at ALLVP
  • [7:38] – Lessons learned at the Central Bank and ALLVP
  • [8:36] – Why tackle this specific problem?
  • [9:42] – Ben & Frank’s inflection point
  • [12:26] – Building a brand in Mexico
  • [13:58] – Insights into Latam’s direct-to-consumer category
  • [15:14] – Competing with traditional retailers
  • [18:13] – Expanding Mexican direct-to-consumer brands
  • [19:05] – Advice to Mariana’s younger self
  • [19:33] – Fundraising for a direct-to-consumer startup
  • [24:14] – Being a female founder in Latam
  • [27:26] – Avoiding biases in the VC ecosystem 
  • [30:00] – What’s next for Mariana and Ben & Frank?

Show notes on Latamlist.com.