Q+A with Rodrigo Pineiro and his wife, Ximena Alfaro
After working at home for 16 years in Miami and then Palm Coast, a husband-wife duo have taken a plunge. They’re now in a storefront as Pineiro Marketing Group, at 160 Cypress Point Parkway, Suite A201, in City Marketplace.
Ximena Alfaro and her husband, Rodrigo Pineiro, both of whom used to help design pages for the Palm Coast Observer and still design ads, spoke with the Observer about commitment, work and the best business advice they ever received.
What will you miss about working from home?
Ximena: Probably not having to get dressed — working in pajamas and slippers. (Laughs) When the girls were little, we wanted to be able to be with them and have that flexibility to go on field trips with Angelina, or be home with Isabella when she was a baby. Now that they’re older, we thought it was a good time to move back into an office setting.
It’s a big commitment to open a storefront. What made you decide it was worth the risk?
Rodrigo: Many customers are not ready to work with us online or through the phone, like when you’re working from home. We discovered that last year when we were working as a marketing agency for the Chamber of Commerce.
Ximena: They wanted to see us face to face, so we decided this was the right time to open up a place.
"For us to be as successful, you have to have clients that are growing strong alongside with you."
Although they love each other, some couples would never want to work together. What makes it work for you?
Ximena: We’re really good about separating things. We can completely disagree when it comes to things in a work setting, but we can easily pick up and go eat and have the time of our lives, or go back home and switch it off. Personal is personal, business is business. We’re still humans — we still have our moments — but I think that’s the best thing about us.
What inspires you as you design marketing strategies for customers?
Ximena: We’re nonstop thinking of ideas. If we see something, we think, “That would be great for a client.” For me, my background is illustration. It’s putting myself in the place of that client — their customer. I remember having to design art for JC Penney for clothing, and it had nothing to do with me. It was a masculine line; it had to do with fishing, but I had to imagine what would my life be like if I used this kind of product. I put myself in the shoes of that buyer or that customer.
What’s the best business advice you ever received?
Rodrigo: In new systems, new markets, it’s possible. Find a way to do it. Find your way.
Ximena: When I was younger, I liked a lot of different things, and I always got told that I couldn’t do it. It makes me want to do it just someone told me I couldn’t do it. Every single time someone shut me down or said I couldn’t do it — I don’t listen. My parents always told me to follow my dreams. I have that support from my family constantly, to follow my instinct.
What is your vision for your business in the next 10 years?
Rodrigo: We have a lot of customers outside the town, like Miami or other countries, but I think that we are excited to get more visibility in Palm Coast.
Ximena: It’s definitely to fully stabilize the business to where it’s running solidly on its own. We’d like to venture into making a bigger impact in Flagler County and Palm Coast, so that we all grow together. For us to be as successful, you have to have clients that are growing strong alongside with you.