I am super excited to kickoff this interview series highlighting girl bosses all over the world. Women entrepreneurs are popping up daily and it’s amazing so many people are stepping out and making their dreams a reality. With this interview, I wanted to feature someone who is handling motherhood plus being a boss of a super successful brand. This #girlboss shows daily how she’s a kickass #girlboss and an amazing mom making her own way.
1) Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Thais Moses. I was born in Brazil and moved here at age 5 where I first met my parents. I was raised by my grandmother while my parents moved to the US when I was a baby to work and build a life until they could bring me here. I moved to Austin from Dallas 7 months ago and I love it here.
2) What is your occupation?
I’m the owner, buyer, & blogger for Rio Ritz Boutique. I also like to blog about other things like business and family. Oh yes, also mom of three toddlers under 5, that’s a whole occupation in itself!
3) Describe your personal style?
My personal style is all over the place…I guess it depends on which hat I’m wearing that day! I am typically bohemian on a day out, relaxed in earthy colors and offbeat accessories. When I am out and with my kids I tend to be a little more grungy in a stylish way, ha! Tees, tucked into distressed jeans, with some booties cause you get really dirty with those 3!
4) Give us a run down on the history behind your business and how it came about?
My grandparents have a textile factory in Brazil and my aunts have their own boutiques. I always grew up around fashion and went to fashion school. I interned a lot anywhere I could and mostly for free so I could learn. I always knew I wanted to do something in the industry, but wasn’t sure what it was. When I was 18 my father passed away suddenly from a brain aneurysm & he left me a little money. I was very young and made poor choices with my money and was left with a few hundred dollars. I knew I had to do something worthy with that money and so I started my online boutique with a few pieces of inventory from $500. Now we have grown to 2 stores & our online boutique.
5) What are your long term and short-term goals for you business?
Long term goals for the business would be to hopefully grow into other cities and establish a well rounded brand and short term goals would be to expand our marketing reach outside the city limits for our stores and bring in more customers from other areas as well as get the word out about our new Austin store.
6) What are the top three things you wish you would have known when you first started your entrepreneur journey?
a) Little details matter. There are so many little details I never realized it takes for a business to run smoothly and I’m sure a lot of people don’t realize that as well when just out shopping. Little things such as receipt paper or bags or enough hangers..crazy to think a business can’t run without those tiny details! b) I wish I would have understood more of the business side of having a store. The buying part and the styling part is easy, but you mostly spend your day doing taxes, accounting and all that other fun stuff and I wish I would had more hands on experiences with those things. c) You work ALL the time. being self-employed doesn’t necessarily mean you work less, it actually means you work more. At night, I’m watching my shows and making the schedule or paying bills, there’s just always something to do and nobody else will work as hard as you.
7) So along with your Dallas store you recently opened another location in Austin, Texas. What made Austin the next stop for Rio Ritz?
I have always loved Austin. It’s very similar to Brazil. The culture, the people, the uniqueness in Austin and the love for small business here make it a place you want to be. My buying has always fit in with the overall bohemian style that is loved in Austin and I knew the store would be a good fit here.
8) What and who influences you when buying for your stores?
I read the Free People blog and I get Anthropologie and FP magazines sent to my house. I love just looking through their, rather expensive, clothing & textiles along with their avant garde way of merchandising and photography. It’s always very free & unique and embraces other cultures which I love and am influenced by.
9) What are your three favorite things in your stores right now?
a) our embroidered large totes made in India. The colors and details are absolutely stunning. b) Our suede dresses that are rich in color and can still be worn in the summer. c) Our super comfy solid tees that are any girl’s favorite go-to items.
10) Being a #girlboss is hard work and it is not for faint at heart, what is your one piece of advice to all aspiring girl bosses?
You are not working, when you are doing something you love. Having a business is not for the faint at heart. There will be sweat, tears, and betrayal along the way, but you have to embrace the hustle and love it.
11) What are your go to business resources or apps?
We use several of our own in-house apps to communicate between employee schedules and communication such as When I Work App, but Google Drive, Instagram & the Apple Cal we couldn’t live without. For editing our Intstagram photos we love the app Afterlight & VSCO.
12) You’re a busy bee, how do you keep sane and balance both your personal life plus entrepreneurial life?
Sane? I’m sorry can you define that? Haha. Life is crazy at all times, but I love it. I can’t sit for an hour without wanting to do something. Balancing everything comes really from prioritizing tasks and my schedule. Every morning I check my calendar and my to-do list ( I write the night before) and my helpful friend Siri who gives me my daily reminders. I also have a staff of girls who I am beyond thankful for.
13) I’m sure being an entrepreneur is not a typical 9 to 5 job. Give us a quick run down on how your days usually go.
Everyday is different, literally everyday. You just have to start with coffee…and go! Some days can go from groceries in the morning, then going to the store & putting in new inventory, doing budgets, making the schedule, implementing sales, to leaving the store & going to buy dirt for a school project! (Lol, that was all actually my day last Monday.) You just have to have fun with it and TRY not to get stressed if you don’t get things done. On days that I fully complete my list I feel so empowered to take on the next day!
14) What has been your most favorite experience to date as a boutique owner? What has been your least?
My favorite experience of having a store is seeing customers in public and having them come talk and interact with me about the store. They tell me about a certain outfit they wore on a very special day or they tell me how much they love the store or they tell me they follow me on IG and lookup to me as a mom and business owner. Those things mean so much to me and it brings tears to my eyes. I consider the store another child, so it’s like having a stranger telling you how great your child is and it makes all the hard work you put into it and the reasoning behind it all worthwhile. You never really think you’re doing a good job or need to do a better job. I guess we are all hard on ourselves and I can be that way with myself often. My least favorite experience is having to have dealt with backlash or comments from unhappy customers. We are all humans and we all make mistakes. Sometimes I think people forget that we are a small business and things don’t always go perfectly as hard as we try. When you have people get on Yelp or other sources and say mean things or personally criticize girls who work for me that are in college and trying to learn, it’s just really hurtful and negative and that can be hard, but it’s a part of business and it helps us to learn & grow to do better. I try to get one on one with my customers so they can always email me if they are not happy because I can directly change things, but when I’m not given that chance it’s hard for me to do my job.
15) What do you have planned for the future of Rio Ritz?
I would love for Rio Ritz to expand as a storefront & continue to provide unique styles that women love in different cities, as well as providing work for young women in those cities & growing our handmade inventory.
Any Closing Remarks you would like to share?
I think I’ve taken enough of everyone’s time, but if anyone has any questions about owning or starting a business as a mom then they can personally email me and I will be happy to be any help I can! 🙂
You can follow Thais & Rio Ritz on Instagram @: