Inspired by her young daughter, U.S.-based Mitshi Rodriguez started her online boutique, Chichi Mary. This mom of one started to get interested in children’s wear when she first dabbled in the world of online shopping. What was essentially a hobby eventually turned itself into a business — and a truly chic one indeed! Chichi Mary’s inventory features a repertoire of hard-to-find designer couture for young girls, giving shoppers, including momma-fashionistas here in the Philippines, a taste of international brands.
How did you get involved in the kids fashion industry? Having a four year old daughter got me really interested in children’s wear and online shopping. As a mom, it is very convenient for me to shop online for my daughter, and as long as I have her accurate height and weight, I ‘m confident that I will get the right size for her. Online shopping gives me a wide variety of options and lets me discover more unique clothing for my daughter, which gave me the idea to open an online boutique shop. We also realized that having this kind of business will be the best set-up for our family, so my husband can focus on his corporate work, which is really demanding, while I can pursue something for myself and at the same time, be a hands-on mom to my daughter.
You run the business from the U.S., but you cater to an international clientele. How are you able to manage this? I’m also lucky that I have a supportive family in the Philippines. My brother oversees the operations in the Philippines. I think one of the skills I developed through the years is how to collaborate online so I am confident that I can manage my business remotely while keeping the core of my business here in the US, which is the buying part.
What kind of parents would most benefit from Chichi Mary? I target Moms and women who love to dress up their kids or nieces — someone who also loves to shop designer children’s wear. These are the women who usually shop abroad or shop on international shopping sites. I’m already bringing some of these beautiful brands without the hassle of dealing with international shipping. Because the operations is in the Philippines, you can easily return and exchange the item. If you’re unhappy about your purchase, you can expect refund within 10 days.
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What kind of fashion and style should we expect from Chichi Mary, as a whole? I’m carrying children’s wear fresh from New York City and Boston showrooms. These are in season collections of different European and US brands. The brands that I carry in my store cannot be found in outlet stores or discount stores here in the US -- these are usually available in boutiques only, making each piece really special. As a buyer, I’m always on the hunt for something unique and special. For some brands, I coordinate directly with the designers making me more knowledgeable about how they manufacture the clothes and the work behind the textiles/fabrics they used. The fabric prints are exclusively done for these brands, which is why they’re unique.