Carlos’ Story

How a young man's NFTE experience helped him take control of his future and find his path forward.

  • Carlos started experiencing skin problems when he first came to the U.S. from Brazil and, as he worked to come up with a business idea for his NFTE class in high school, he decided to solve his own problem by developing a gentler, all-natural soap.
  • After some experimentation he launched his NFTE business: an all-natural, chemical-free soap enriched with botanticals. He did pretty well pitching Shine Soaps at the NFTE New York Metro Entrepreneurship Challenge that year, but he didn’t qualify to compete at nationals.
  • Determined to improve, Carlos enrolled in NFTE Startup Summer, where he met some of the NFTE mentors who continue to advise him today. With their guidance, he refined his business plan and worked on his pitch – and at the end of the summer won the highest funding award at the Investor Panel.
  • The entrepreneurial mindset helped him again when his college plans were disrupted due to an immigration paperwork issue. He found a job with a tech startup and devoted all his spare time to his business, developing additional soap scents and expanding his product line with new types of liquid soaps, body butters, hand creams, and balms.
  • After just two years he was able to resign from his job at Amino Apps to focus full-time on his business. Carlos now has U.S. residency status and a thriving start-up of his own that includes multiple additional product lines. Shine Soaps are sold via an online store and through sales representatives, and Carlos sees healthy growth ahead as he plans to begin distributing his product through stores.
  • Carlos says his NFTE experience has been pivotal in his life and the most profound impact NFTE had was in helping him learn how to not to be discouraged by the problems of his circumstances — but instead to go out and decide his own future.

Growing up on a farm in Brazil, Carlos was surrounded by natural products, but after moving to the U.S. he started to notice developing problems with his skin and he believed the problem was using name-brand products full of chemicals. The idea for all-natural Shine Soaps was born when Carlos took his first NFTE course in high school. He developed his first product at home in the kitchen and went on to win the top award at a NFTE Startup Summer Investment Panel, taking home $3K in seed funding to grow Shine Soaps. Later that year he made it to the semfinal round in the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. He now has a thriving business developing and marketing natural skin care products. He sells online and in-person through sales representatives, and he foresees more growth ahead once he’s able to get his product onto the shelves of retailers.

Carlos likes to give back to his community by volunteering. He’s been a computer literacy teacher in his community and a volunteer at local NFTE events. He even served as an assistant NFTE instructor for a class at his old high school.

“NFTE helped me in the most difficult times I’ve encountered, when I first moved to the U.S., and created a community of people whom I can trust and seek out for guidance, both in business and life-wise.” — Carlos Feitosa

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NFTE drives student success in many ways

IGNITING AN ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET

Here are just a few of the businesses that NFTE students have gone on to build

Keegan Bond Harmon

Laura Martinelli

Ehfar Films

Dylan Martin

Mill Brook Honey, LLC

Mathew Galvez

Lotta Worldwide

Carlos Feitosa

Shine Soaps

Arti Shala

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