We had the good fortune of connecting with Rita Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rita, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Cesar and I both come from hard working families led by strong single mothers with a strong work ethic as being fundamental to excel in a good job and to achieve a successful career. Later on in our marriage when we had our children we developed this idea that starting our own small-business venture would be a good way to combine my life-long dream of running my own business with the opportunity to teach our children that we can aspire to more than a good job or career. That we also have the capability of creating our own opportunities by being our own boss or running our own company.
Our kids are now in high school and college and we’d like to think that through our entrepreneurial spirit we are giving them useful life lessons. By leading by example and involving them in our business planning, and some of our every-day struggles and successes, we hope that our experience will be useful to them as they advance through life.
What should our readers know about your business?
Our business is a Boutique with women’s clothing and accessories, beauty products, home decor, and gift items including artisanal pieces made by local and Mexican vendors. Even though a lot of our products can be procured from common vendors by other boutiques, we take pride in searching for products that are not only of excellent quality, but that also have a story behind them that will inspire us personally and at home. We see this as the pursuit of beauty and unique lifestyle. I can say that we feel very proud and excited of the fact that our business has been succeeding little by little as well of the beautiful relationship we’ve achieved with our customers so far thanks to the emphasis we place in providing excellent customer service. Making our customers feel happy and welcome in our store is our top priority. We want them to bring home with them an experience that will be cherished.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We are lucky to live in San Diego, one of the most wonderful cities anywhere that has plenty to offer. I would start by exploring my lovely neighborhood of La Mesa taking my best friend up a hike to the top of Mt Helix and enjoy the beautiful cross and amphitheater with its 360 breath-taking view of San Diego County and even Mexico! After that we would go down to the “Village” which is the quaint and lovely downtown in La Mesa and enjoy a delicious breakfast and coffee in Sheldon’s Station followed by some shopping in the fun little shops in the Village culminating with getting her some gifts in our very own Rustica Boutique. After all this exciting shopping we probably would have an appetite again and we would go to get some grub at City Tacos. After all this we would head out to one of our favorite towns in San Diego, Coronado Island, home of the world famous Hotel Del! We would grab our favorite dessert at Gelato Paradiso (try out the delicious Panna Cotta!) and enjoy it while walking on the lovely beach. Now, what’s for dinner?
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My first Shoutout is for my husband, Cesar, who gives me unconditional love, support ,and trust to make this business enterprise a reality for our family; to my children for their encouraging words and being understanding of the long days of work; to all my family and friends who are always there to support my dream in thousands of ways, including even investing capital when we’ve needed it.
And of course a very special Shoutout to all my lovely vendors, beautiful customers and our great community of La Mesa for their constant support, enthusiastic ideas and for cheering us up everyday!
Isabella Martinez-Funcke Ivanna Banales