5 Questions With - Rosario Chozas
I admired Bammies for quite awhile now, "business jammies" aka the comfiest clothes you can dress up and down and wear to work. Yes please! I was able to meet Rosario Chozas, the founder, at one of the best spots around for startups and entrepreneurs, The CIC. Rosario is such inspiration, she helped to create WIT, Women, Innovation, and Technology, is part of Prism Creative Group and her warm and friendly personality makes you instantly love her! Rosario and I chatted about being brave in business, our Boston connection, style, and the come as you are vibe that is Miami fashion. Below Rosario talks about her latest venture Bammies, read below and make sure to follow them on InstaGram and check out the newest collection on their site!
When did you make the big decision to start your own business? What inspired you? What scared you?
I decided that I should try to make Bammies and see what happens around May 2015. I had started a couple of businesses before while living in Buenos Aires; so, coming up with an idea and introducing it to the world and trying to make it happen was incredibly familiar to me. This felt like another one of those moments of, “well this could be cool and fun, why not?” What inspired me was the compliments that I would receive at my job, at the time, that was incredibly corporate and conservative on the wardrobe side. Everyone would say, “Oh Rosario you always look so comfortable.” I took that as a compliment because in my brain I was like, “Who doesn’t want to feel comfortable?” So this joke started with me and my colleagues about the fact that I was always wearing “Business Jammies,” which then turned into Bammies. Clothing is something that is easy for me to play with and utilize to express myself, and I wanted to create some pieces that would help other women do the same.
I guess what scared me was making sure that I never lost sight of the type of lifestyle that I want to live. I would never want a project, business, or job to be so overwhelming that I don’t have space to rest, get inspired, enjoy the process of what I’m doing, etc.
What has surprised you most about this process?
Unfortunately, what surprised me the most was the lack of resources there was here in Miami for clothing companies. It then led me down a rabbit hole of realization around the support that the creative industries need here as well. Even if you are a great designer or a fashion entrepreneur, you still need the team, the machines, the production managers, the pattern makers, etc. And, sadly,here is no special hub for that. There are a couple of great pattern makers, excellent graders, fantastic fabric cutters... but they are all spread across South Florida and don’t speak to each other in terms of the production line. So, the end result is that your designs have about 4-6 touch points with different vendors where things could go wrong and many times you can never trace back where the mistake was made. I wanted so much to stay in Miami, but it was the most expensive idea, so we moved production out to LA.
What do you wish you’d known before starting your business? Any advice for future small business entrepreneurs?
I wish I would have known that creating product in Miami was going to be costly, and who the right vendors and artisans were that I needed to connect with. My advice would be to just do it, start, go. There is so much buzz and new structure involved with starting a small business. But these businesses start because someone once had an idea. So forget finding investors or renting office space... if you have an idea, make it happen, even if it’s just a smaller or modest version of what you really want. Get it out there, try it, see how people respond: what’s the feedback, how you feel about it, where you need the most support from, what’s missing, etc. If no one likes it, who cares? You’ll have another idea on another day and then you can test that out too.
Where do you go in Miami when you’re looking for inspiration?
It’s not so much where I go, but with whom I speak with. I am very much inspired by people that I keep close to my life, people that I collaborate with on Bammies (shout out to Jessica Rivas // Mikael Romero// Jess Mendez), and friends who are bold enough to live lives that make them proud and fulfilled. Whenever you meet up with people like that, it can be pretty much anywhere…..you leave feeling recharged and excited and alive, no matter what.
What local group or business do you look up to?
The Miami Flea, and most pop ups like it are incredibly insightful, inspiring, and a great way to remember that when you have an idea, do it—go and do it. Pop up a tent, make a sign, talk to people and show them what you do. The vendors at the Miami Flea that I have met are all great people who have a passion. So, make it happen.
Photo credit: Jessica Rivas