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Meet Caroline Rodrigues of Shop Merci Milo in Highland Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Caroline Rodrigues.

Caroline, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My husband Jason and I started our little online shop in 2016 with hopes that one day we would be able to have a brick and mortar shop down the road. We started it with so much love for curating the best toys, and now it’s become such a passion project.

Milo, our daughter, is our biggest creative driving force. I have always dreamed of having a little shop, I never imagined it to be a toy shop, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I just knew one day I would be a shop owner just like my parents and my grandfather.

Has it been a smooth road?
I believe that in starting any kind of business, you are going to go through roadblocks, challenges, and struggles for the first few years. We both worked full-time jobs while running the business and my husband Jason quit his job to work on the company full time this last year. It was a game changer! In running a retail business you are hardly able to pay yourself for the first few years, we initially invested our entire life to get it up and running.

We were always burnt out – tired- and hardly ever slept. I mean it’s still like this till this very day after two years of being deep in it… I don’t think we will ever get a day off but that’s what we committed ourselves in doing, and we plan to do it for as long as we can. It’s our passion, and we love what we do, we were meant to do this.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Shop Merci Milo – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I curate a collection of the best toys that are from all over the world that is made ethically, are eco-friendly, and that foster imaginative play for children. I only find the best of the best that I feel align with our brand and our shop.. our vision.

I work with so many different amazing artists, brands, and local toy makers who truly inspire me. As a family, we travel a lot to different countries and cities to spark our creative energy. So much to discover out there… the world is full of inspiring artists, makers, and brands. I try to build strong relationships with my makers, they are like part of the Merci Milo family now.

What sets us apart is that we don’t look at other retailers in what they are doing, we do our own thing. We do what we feel is right for our company. We don’t follow trends, we just bring in products we love and have been tested and hope that our customers love them just as much as we do. We want to share that experience with everyone.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I’m from Los Angeles born and raised! I love my hometown, but I can not stand the traffic. Luckily our commute isn’t so bad most of the time. I really love the diversity of our city.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
The Grey Endeavor, Lily Glass, Laura Dart, Stephanie Hauptlis

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