We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Rivera and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrea, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I couldn’t do what I do without the support of “my village”.
My parents are the foundation of that village and support me in multiple ways. Besides being entertaining, they provide endless encouragement and work every event with me. They’re also my shipping and receiving department, my couriers and my warehouse. I truly couldn’t have started this entrepreneurship journey without their help, especially since I have a full time day job. As crazy as my days are, I truly enjoy the time we get to spend together and value the memories we are making. I’m so very grateful they wanted an active “retirement.”
I’ve always been a very social and outgoing people person, so interacting with customers is totally my thing. Networking with others, especially women, has proven to be both the most fun part of starting and running a business, as well as the most rewarding and beneficial. The concept of women supporting women is alive and well here in Houston, and I am so happy and grateful to be a part of it. Women love to see other women succeed as much as they love to shop!
I am also blessed to be a part of a boutique in Rice Village called The Hive Pop Up Collective, which has opened many doors and continues to provide me not only with new friends and mentors but also multiple opportunities that I wouldn’t otherwise have. The Hive is comprised of 13 permanent showroom partners who all strongly believe in supporting other small businesses and shopping local. Being a partner at The Hive provides all of us with many networking and learning opportunities and the benefit of introducing all of our family, friends and customers to each other’s brands and products. We love to have fun and have come to be known as “the boutique with a bar” – so come sip and shop and have fun with us, we would love to meet you!
I love that I continue to grow and learn from others who have gone down this road before me, from longtime friends who have run their own businesses for years, to new vendor friends I meet at events. Everyone is always so gracious with sharing knowledge, information, and contacts and so giving of their time. It truly takes a village to start a business and keep it going, and I am very grateful and thankful for mine.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
What I am most proud of, and what most people are shocked to learn, is that I have about 5 full time jobs, at least! There’s my full time day job, my business Hide and Chic Shop, our store in Rice Village – The Hive Pop Up Collective, I sell wholesale to multiple stores in and around the Houston area, and on top of all that I still do 15-20 markets a year to get my brand in front of people. I’m tired. But oh so grateful to be so busy.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am a native Houstonian, so I obviously love everything about this city because I am still here. We have good food (I don’t cook, so I have LOTS of favorite restaurants – too many to pick just a few), live music, museums, parks and green spaces, art exhibits, the zoo, the medical center, our unique neighborhoods, festivals and live theater productions. Even a trip to Galveston and NASA would be on the list too. I do it all. Just not in July, August or September. It’s way too hot to be outside.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Two groups of people immediately come to mind: my customers and my makers.
I adore my customers! They rock. Nothing makes me happier than meeting people who love my products as much as I do – from new customers that I get to introduce to my gorgeous tooled leather bags to my repeat customers who are as obsessed with them as I am. My customers have even been the creative inspiration behind some of my products and designs.. And the best part? When my customers become my friends. Day made.
And of course, my talented makers in Mexico are the sole reason my business exists. Without their skills and craftsmanship, none of us would have these gorgeous, brightly colored tooled leather beauties.
Ilse Gonzalez with Connect Media Firm
Tracy Feldman with Tracy Feldman Photography