In the town of Kennedy, in Bogotá, there is a three-story house, black, which in gold letters says EPA Colombia. It is surrounded by gates and to enter you have to buy, it is the distribution center of the most famous beauty products made in Colombia. There is no other way to enter, the guard is highly recommended not to let anyone pass. In front of the large office there is a street stall selling reds and fried foods, a group of men sit down to look towards the house, “at any moment it will appear”, says one with some hope. Daneidy barrera It is the miracle that everyone hopes to see, the same one that has become famous by a strange nickname: Epa Colombia.
There is no week in which Epa does not scandalize. Well she said recently in her social networks: “I am going to sell too much, friend, I was born to be a successful woman, I am the Colombian Kardashian, friend, and I thank you because thanks to you I can be where I am now.” He said it hours after getting on a helicopter to throw 50,000-peso bills on the Suesca neighborhood of Bogotá.
His extravagance was a trend on Twitter and Facebook for more than two days, his name is the favorite of social networks in Colombia. His fortune is based on his own fame, which was born on June 22, 2016 when he recorded the video in which he encouraged the Colombian National Team with the song “eh, eh, epa Colombia”, a video that he republished Juan Manuel Santos on his social networks, because his son Martín advised the network coordinators of the then president.
The foam grew, as did the scandals, the convictions, the millionaire fines and now she seems extravagantly rich, so much so that some on social networks accuse her of money laundering or drug trafficking, but she replied: “My money is 100% legal, Dian You can come visit me and I know they would award me because I do pay taxes, this is black or white, no gray. I am a tax declarer ”.
The distribution center — the big black house — constantly leaves loads of boxes for the main warehouse, located across the street. The warehouse must be about a hundred square meters and it is managed by a boy who only has praise, says that Daneidy is a very good boss and that he can show up at any time. Right after a promise of an interview, of a possibility, this visit to the Epa Colombia keratin center arises, but Daneidy is now a celebrity and says she is tired of being asked by journalists about the sentence against her to 63 months and 15 days in jail, a ruling that he appealed and that accompanied the payment of a fine of more than 400 million pesos.
Thus, Epa Colombia has become a myth that sells millions. A woman leaves the distribution center, she is from Cali, the official distributor of beauty products in Cali. He says that he is forbidden to speak to the press, but he says that he has just bought more than 30 million pesos: “I buy them because the real products are very good, they work.”
Although Epa Colombia does not speak to the media these days, and prefers to tell his life directly on social networks – he eliminates the mediator. She grew up in the Bochica Sur neighborhood, one of her childhood friends says that she has always wanted to record her life on video: “She always had her cell phone camera on. We made a lot of jokes when we were in school. It was always very funny, when the epa Colombia video came out, she was lucky, because it was something she always did. Now we do not speak, because it became famous, but they say that it continues being the same ”.
In the same neighborhood, and in front of the large Epa Colombia hairdresser – three floors where there is a product store, a hairdresser and a call center– There is her uncle’s tailor shop: “I didn’t speak to my brother again, who is her father, we became very distant. She was a happy girl, she was a cheerleader and she liked sports a lot, that’s why she made the video that made her famous. But we no longer speak, I haven’t seen her for a long time and I don’t even know where she lives ”.
Beyond throwing tickets from a helicopter, Daneidy has 370 direct employees, all of whom are very discreet. But how did an influencer become an entrepreneur? Someone close says: it all started with her going to the World Cup in Russia in 2018. For that year, Daneidy had some fame on social networks, however, she was not a businesswoman. With the money she raised as an influencer, she bought tickets and traveled to Europe, was in France and bathed in public sources, the videos went viral.
He arrived in Russia and made live comments, posts. “He met people there, and those people paid him the ticket to enter the games, because they had no money. At that time, several keratin brands contacted her to make videos from Russia saying that she had had a hair treatment to have straight hair, and they paid her ”. In Russia, Daneidy found out about the best keratin he had ever tasted, owned by a Muslim. She was amazed and realized that she had found a treasure. “She made loans and bought the formula for more than 1,500 million pesos, then she returned to Colombia to produce.”
Business exploded during the pandemic. Epa was in charge of selling it through his social networks, with an advantage: he showed his clients that it was not necessary to go to a hairdresser; Through tutorials published on YouTube, he showed his application step by step. Sales through call center They grew, it had days when it sold up to 50 million pesos.
Not only in social networks is it believed that it laundering money or that it has entanglements with drug trafficking, sources from the Dian assure that they have looked for irregularities even in the piggy banks, but they have not found anything, much less that is related to Russian bosses. A nearby source laughs: “Everyone talks about Russia and the formula came from a Muslim. They are stories that do not even make her angry, they only make her laugh ”.
With the growth of his company, Epa Colombia has stopped the controversies. The girl who beat ATMs and buses in the midst of the protests that moved the country in 2019 seems distant. Now she makes videos with the former president Alvaro Uribe and get into fights with personalities like Alejandra Azcárate, in that episode where the comedian said she had walked the cellars of hell.
Some internet experts say that only with his movement on social networks – and despite the fact that he is forbidden by justice to profit from them – he can earn about 50 million pesos each month. “At some point she knew how to connect with people, she found a niche, people who are looking for inspiration, and it is those people who buy her products from her. She is very intelligent, ”says a Colombian influencer with more than three million followers on YouTube.
On the outskirts of the distribution center, a woman confesses that the real gain from buying more than 20 million pesos in products is that Epa Colombia itself advertises the hairdresser, “I buy her and she makes me a video giving my address and my name, that makes me sell a lot ”. The distributor says that with a single keratin combo (includes treatment, shampoo and capital surgery) worth 120,000 pesos, you can have profits of more than 800,000. “That is the miracle of Epa, it makes money for her and allows us to win.”
Daneidy has fulfilled the Colombian dream: to be born with very few opportunities, far from privileges, and with the idea of becoming famous, rich. The girl from Bochica Sur is already far away, behind her trucks, her escorts, her surgeries, her houses, her keratins