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Inspiring Conversations with Wendy Hsu of Sanrio Monrovia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Wendy Hsu. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Wendy is an advertising executive, entrepreneur, and mother of two boys. She works full time as the Sr. Account Director at PETROL Advertising, a leading global entertainment and video game advertising agency located in Burbank, CA. When she’s not managing campaigns for clients during the day or watching her kids in the evening, she spends whatever free time she has running the Sanrio store located in Monrovia, as well as an online extension of the gift shop called

Her inspiration for her professional career started way back in kindergarten when her teacher asked the students to write in their yearbook what they would be doing in the year 2020. Wendy had written down that she would one day work at a company where she would get paid to play games. Fast forward to 2020, her childhood dream had become a reality. Throughout her 15 years at PETROL, she has worked on over 100 video game campaigns, including games from the Call of Duty, Destiny, Guitar Hero and Uncharted series. Her client roster consists of Activision, EA, Sony, and she has recently led a team that helped JBL successfully launch into gaming space with their JBL Quantum range gaming headsets.

When Wendy was a little girl, her mom used to take her to the Sanrio store in Monterey Park on Sundays after church, and collecting Hello Kitty items became one of her fondest childhood memories. Twenty years later, the very store that her mom used to take her to was looking for a new owner, and Wendy used her savings from working throughout the years and took on the challenge of becoming a small business owner. A few years later, she moved the store to Monrovia where she could bring the “Small Gift, Big Smile” experience to a new community that was closer to home. Sanrio Monrovia just celebrated its 3rd anniversary and has been fortunate enough to survive the challenges of the pandemic with an online extension of the gift shop, With, they are able to ship out orders and provide the same friend service to customers throughout the country.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
With many retails stores shutting down during the pandemic, we had to find a way to survive and continue bringing Hello Kitty and friend goods to our customers who weren’t able to come into to shop. We refocused a lot of our efforts to our Instagram and online shop to bring that same experience to our customers from afar.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
“Small Gift, Big Smile” is bringing smiles and spreading friendship through small gifts.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
Join industry organizations and attend industry events. Spend some time with the speakers and get to know them. Learn from leaders in the space and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

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