One of the greatest joys of traveling is the shopping experience. No matter where you go, one thing that is always distinct about a new place is the fashion of the local people. So what happens once you decide to make a new travel destination your home? Where are you supposed to turn when you no longer have your trusty boutiques at hand? Well for those of you who have fallen in love with trendy European fashion that can only be find in local boutiques, we may have an answer.
Meet Maria del Puy, Co-Founder of Trendy Mondays. She is a well known fashion advisor who specializes in personal styling and shopping. She took time out out of her busy schedule to share what her journey co-founding Trendy Mondays has been like. Get to know her more . . .
TEW: What made you move to the USA?.
Maria: My husband and I lived in different places in Europe and were always looking for new opportunities to live in the USA. We finally had a chance to start our adventure in San Francisco and we moved here 5 years ago.
TEW: What is Trendy Mondays and where did you get the inspiration to launch your business?
Maria: Trendy Mondays is an online boutique that offers European brands and designers to the USA market. We wanted to go further and decided to open a physical boutique in San Francisco to support our on-line business.
TEW: These days there are so many online shopping boutiques. How does Trendy Mondays stand out?
Maria: E-commerce is an amazing tool for online boutiques. We wanted to go further and reach customers from all over the word, but first it was necessary to build our community, clientele and invest in important resources. Having both the online and physical boutique is both complementary and beneficial to grow our business in the online market.
TEW: What is your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur? Your least favorite?
Maria: I most enjoy living an adventurous life. This experience has been amazing. Planning strategies, making decisions, interacting with designers and customers, and seeing results also make being an entrepreneur exciting. My least favorite thing, if any, is that there is no time to rest. It feels like we are running a marathon and cannot stop to rest, but we are enjoying it.
TEW: If an expat woman has a great business idea, what are the three most important steps she needs to take to launch her business?
Maria: First, Research the market and see how the idea would fit in. Second find a strategy to launch her idea (format, concept, marketing,…) and last make an investment plan that she would need to develop her business.
TEW: What advice would you give to professional expat women trying to start their own business in the US?
Maria: Go ahead with your dream, do not give up and ask for help when you need it.
TEW: What is a typical day like for you?
Maria: In a typical day I would need at least 12 more hours per day to balance my personal life and work. I usually start my days very early checking any communication with our designers in Europe, then I take my kids to school and keep working from the boutique, focusing on store management, on-line orders, customer service, and organizing new events.
I get home late everyday and I like to spend time with my kids before they go to bed to talk about their day at school and read some history to them. After, I check my email and social media and go to bed thinking about next day.
TEW: What three things do you like about the USA?
Maria: 1. Diversity 2. The opportunities that the USA offers for entrepreneurship makes it is easier to start your own business than in my country 3. USA likes Europe and makes us feel welcome and comfortable.
TEW: What three things have you found most different in the US from your home country that have also been difficult to adjust to?
Maria: 1. When I first moved here I realized that the day finishes really early. There is no break in the middle of the day and it was a bit hard for me to adjust to this new schedule, but now that I’m in I really like it.
- Most Americans center their free time around their friends instead of family. At first we really missed our family, but now we have a good community of friends that are our family here in the USA.
- Not really a third one, but sometimes the language… all in all we are getting there.
TEW: What are three fun or interesting facts about your home country?
Maria: 1. Something unique about Spain is the way we see life and how that affects our daily schedules. We finish work around 7pm and then spend time with either friends or family until about 11pm, this is very important to us.
- Summers in Spain are an amazing time of year. There are festivals all over, and we basically live outdoors. It’s just a great time to really enjoy life, family and friends.
- Lastly, in Spain we are really passionate about everything, life, love, work, etc. That makes us very perseverant people to accomplish our goals in life, love and work.
TEW: What is your favorite quote?
Maria: “Unlock your dreams and explore your new reality”
Writing by Martina Trejo and Maria del Puy
Photography courtesy of Maria del Puy