Through hard work and sheer force of power, Terray Glasman launched a sophisticated tequila company by carrying over the passion from her nonprofit organization and utilizing her financial independence.
A story of grit and inspiration, Terray Glasman has had multiple successes due to her indefatigable nature. Born in Mexico City and raised by a single mother, Glasman and her five siblings were moved to El Paso, Texas, at a young age. There, she quickly learned the meaning of responsibility.
An entrepreneur at heart, Glasman founded a telecommunications company at the age of 18 and ran the business successfully for over 30 years as a financially independent single mother. However, because Glasman never outgrew her roots and maintained a love for her Mexican heritage, she founded the Amorada Love Movement – a nonprofit organization devoted to helping single women succeed in life via scholarships.
That passion for helping others and inspiring young women is what now drives the business model behind her latest venture – Amorada Tequila.
“I was sitting on my back porch one day and decided to create the perfect recipe for an ultra-premium tequila,” says Glasman. “I needed to appeal to a more sophisticated palette. After many years of trial and error as well as many, many trips to Mexico, Amorada Tequila was finally launched on Halloween Day, 2014.”
Through hard work, focused determination and glowing reviews from consumers, Amorada Tequila is now available in over 255 stores nationwide with three different tequila variants: Blanco, Reposado and the newly launched Añejo. Glasman’s motto strives to keep awareness about the cause behind her brand: “A company without purpose leaves a business without passion.”
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What was your beginning like, and did you use credit products?
There are always challenges when starting a new business of any kind. For me, it was not so much my FICO score because that was good, it was getting the lines of credit that it takes to grow a business.
When an entrepreneur starts any business, I would say that 99.9 percent of the time they work with credit lines offered by credit cards. It makes sense since most banks will not provide a line of credit to young companies.
However, I would not call using credit cards this way a mistake. You do what needs to be done in order to grow your business. I believe that without a credit card, it may be hard for any company to grow.
You do have to use the cards the right way, though. Most companies charge a high interest rate; if you’re not careful, the financing fees will quickly add up. They didn’t take me by surprise, though. I suppose this is in part because I always make it a point to read the fine print, no matter how long it may be.
How do you use credit cards now within the business?
I have three cards I use the most, each for a different reason. The first is the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, and I use it the most to earn miles. I also use the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. That’s a travel card, so I use it primarily for hotels and other travel expenses. But the credit card that my employees use the most is Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card. The breakdown per card is helpful to me so I can better see where the purchases are occurring.Amorada Tequila is available throughout all 50 states, via Total Wine & More, and we have just entered the Chinese market. Since our future plans involve introducing our product to the EU and beyond within a few years’ time, I use credit cards for pretty much everything. Office products, gas, goods, services, marketing, travel, entertainment, lodging, etc. Other than inventory and payroll, everything goes on the cards.
In our type of business, there are a lot of unique expenses. For instance, buybacks consist of us buying back the product at wholesale cost, so that our expense is minimal, and the customer doesn’t have to pay for the bottle up front, which means pure profit for them on said bottle.
Then there are the brand ambassadors who do tastings every week. We have a lot of events and every customer is different in what they require from us, so every customer experience is unique in its own way.
What lessons have you learned about borrowing money and what is your advice for other business owners?
Do what works best for you as a company. You may not be able to escape debt, but you can try to be smart about it and set a realistic budget.
I would strongly advise small business owners to avoid using credit cards with very high interest rates. If you do use them, try your best to pay them off at the end of the month. Credit cards are beneficial but only if you use them wisely. Of course, there will be times when you, as a business owner, might not be able to pay off the balance that quickly but if possible, it is something that should be a priority.
Also, your FICO score matters. If you use your credit cards and need to carry over a balance, try to keep that debt no more than 30 percent of what the credit line is. That will help maintain your credit scores, and you’ll also have plenty of available credit open to you when you need it.