Juan Manuel Alvarado
“I saw an opportunity to create high-quality Mexican products both traditional and modern. ”
- Year selected
In 1995, the Mexican craft and home decor industry was stagnant, dominated by small-scale artisans who turned out lackluster products, often handmade, that remained unchanged year after year. Juan Manuel Alvarado, a law student at the time, recognized an opportunity to enliven this market and founded Accento Mexicano – Spanish for Mexican Touch, or Mexican Accent. He began revitalizing old artisan crafts, and investing in the technology necessary to industrialize their production process. The result is Accento Mexicano’s unique line of high-quality, stylish products that are the modern guise of traditional Mexican artisan crafts. From its humble origins, Accento Mexicano has become a trendsetting, well-known brand. It currently exports its products all over the world, from Latin America to Europe, from the USA to The Philippines, where they are sold in stores the likes of Liverpool, Target, Sam’s Club, and El Corte Ingles. The company was selected by Target as one of its “Best Practice” suppliers, and in 2007, Juan Manuel was chosen by CNN as one of the Top Ten Mexican Entrepreneurs of the Year.
Accento Mexicano’s fabulous success belies its humble origins. In 1995, Juan Manuel was a student struggling to pay tuition and help support his family. He decided to rent a hallway stand in an upscale Mexico City shopping mall, and after informal market research chose to use the space to sell traditional Mexican crafts and home décor products – items he bought, first-hand, from several different artisans. His entrepreneurship paid off, as sales exceeded expectations: within two years he had expanded to four other locations. In 1998, with distributors in every major city in Mexico, Juan Manuel had his visionary idea: to move from simply selling these products to designing and manufacturing them on his own.
By 2000, Juan Manuel had opened a manufacturing plant in Ixtlahuaca, near Mexico City, becoming the largest employer in the area, and the first to bring telephone services to the small, impoverished town; thereafter, he was able to begin outsourcing portions of his manufacturing. He also began hiring full-time, in-house professional designers and renowned external designers so his company could sell integrated décor collections for setup in proprietary corner displays in addition to individual items.
Juan Manuel’s company is currently known as AMV Design Group and is comprised of four brands: Accento Mexicano, Motivo, Vivant and Accent Corner. Accento Mexicano manufactures, distributes and sells home furnishings with a contemporary rustic approach; Motivo develops desktop products with different materials, colors and textures; Vivant markets tableware designed for Mexican consumers and Accent Corner sells a wide variety of crafts and collections that seek to reach broad segements of the global population.
Endeavor and Grupo AMV (Acento Mexicano)
Juan has received eMBA support and attended our Entrepreneur Summit. Locally, he has benefited from an advisory board, marketing support, strategic assessment, and mentorship particularly in the area of brand development.
He speaks on behalf of Endeavor at universities and on radio programs.