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Meet Mitshi Rodriguez of Chichi Mary

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mitshi Rodriguez.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I originally came from the Philippines. I’m an Industrial Engineer by education and a Supply Chain Professional. I moved to the U.S. when I got married because my husband’s work is based in the Boston area. My first few years in the U.S. was focused on getting my master’s degree from Penn State and taking care of my daughter. When I finished my master’s, my husband encouraged me to start a business that is based on my passion instead of going back to the corporate world.

My family is in the fashion business in the Philippines. I grew up watching fashion shows, observing my grandfather’s atelier, and always felt amazed at how beautiful clothing is constructed. I grew up knowing the importance of proper dressing, and how it impacts a person’s confidence and identity. I knew then that I wanted to be in the fashion business but because I was influenced by my 3-year-old daughter at that time who loved to dress up, I decided to be in the kids fashion industry. I want to provide options to parents who were looking for girls dresses that put great emphasis on design, quality, and comfort. So I decided to start my passion business, Chichi Mary – An Online Kid’s Boutique, where my goal is to be a source of curated designer girl’s clothing sourced from different parts of the world.

Chichi Mary was first established to cater to the Philippine market. But after gaining loyal Philippine customers, we launched Chichi Mary in the U.S. as well in order to serve even more customers.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It was definitely far from being smooth. Just like in any business, it was a roller coaster ride. At the start, I thought online retailing was simply creating my website, uploading my merchandise and then, customers will automatically flock to my website. I realized that online retailing was a huge industry itself that I had to research and study the technical side of it. The process of choosing our third party service providers was also a challenge. I learned that before starting an online business, it is important to start with a strong team armed with a concrete marketing plan because it will end up very costly if these were not taken cared of at the very beginning.

Also, we had experience receiving online orders that are fraudulent and as a result, we ended up dealing with a number of credit card disputes. I learned from then on that there should be key control measures that will protect our business from fraud.

Chichi Mary – An Online Kid’s Boutique – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Chichi Mary is an online girl’s boutique that provides curated collection of girl’s clothing, shoes, and accessories from different parts of the globe. We see to it that we get the latest updates from the kids fashion industry by travelling to major fashion cities like New York City, Tokyo, London, and Madrid. We are always proud to say that we are a small online boutique that is present in the most important and prominent kid’s trade shows in the world.

Through Chichi Mary, our customers have easy access to many global brands of children’s wear at reasonable prices. We curate our collection with great emphasis on quality, design sophistication, and reasonable prices.

At Chichi Mary, most dresses are woven, which are more breathable and suitable for children. Chichi Mary’s concern is not just about being stylish but for the kids to be comfortable as well. Most of the styles found at Chichi Mary can be worn for years and can be passed on to family and friends for years to come. A classic example of this is the bubble dress which looks great whether it is worn below or above the knee. The fabric prints also do not fade easily. On top of that, the prints are exclusively done for these brands, which is why they’re unique.

Some of the brands that Chichi Mary currently carries are Tartaleta and Oca-Loca from Spain, Imoga from New York, Djaknemala & Stella Cove from Sweden, Siaomimi from Hong Kong, Petit Lem from Montreal, and Biscotti and Kate Mack from California.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is finding your purpose in life, having the sense of fulfillment and peace of mind, and being confident with who you are no matter what path you chose to take.

Most importantly, being successful means being a blessing to many people and being able to help them improve their lives.

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