We had the good fortune of connecting with Cindia Margarido and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cindia, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I moved to the United States ( Metro Detroit, MI) over 8 years ago: I did not have a driver license, I was waiting on my work authorization. I was not sure I wanted to go back to the corporate world mostly because I wasn’t confident enough with my english. So I took time for myself and started a few Business Plans, I always wanted to own a Business and had many differents projects in mind. While living in Michigan, I discovered a store called Rail&Anchor, I fell in love with everything about it and remember thinking if “One day I have a store it will look just like this”. I studied Business in Europe but had no experience with american customers so I applied to that store hoping to learn as much as possible about all aspects. I was hired as a Sales Associate and for the next 3 years I learned about american customers expectations, american customer service, the Products etc. When I moved to Dallas over a year ago, I thought I should not wait for fear to settle in and I started to look for a space to rent right away, I wrote my Business Plan adapting it to Dallas and with my experience from Michigan it was surprisingly easy. Working in that store as a retail associate was the best decision I made during this long process of owning my Business.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Urban Owl is a Gift Shop set apart from the others by its selection of products, a curated mix of Vintage and Products from all over the world and the customer experience centered around the 5 senses. Happy Customers is our number one Priority, we love to amaze them with our displays, the music we play, the candle we burn, the tea we offer to welcome them in ( Before Covid…Now we sanitize their hands…). As a unique touch: I speak english with a French Accent which I realized now that we’ve been open for almost a year, adds something special to the customer experience. The biggest challenge beside Covid 19, is to keep a curated selection for the customer, it is very important to me not to sell the same products and brands that the other stores around. I spend a lot of time curating my selection of products.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ll take them for a walk in Swiss Ave, to see the amazing mansions. We’ll check out the different neighborhoods : Bishop Arts, Lower Greenville, Highland Park, Farmers Market, Uptown… We’ll go for a Free Concert at the Klyde Warren Park and an early walk at the Arboretum. I’ll take them for Seafood at Aw Shucks, Brunch at Oddfellows, diner at Nora and Paradiso. A rodeo in Fort Worth and the JFK Museum.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
For very different reasons, I would like to dedicate this shoutout to Mathew Abraham, owner of Rail & Anchor in Royal Oak, MI and to my Twins : Rose & Isaia. Mathew is my mentor, I have been observing him and his work for 3 years. Rail & Anchor is my inspiration for Urban Owl. He has been helping me and advising me since I decided to make the Big Step. I found the courage to open my Business because of my Twins : Rose & Isaia. They are 3 years old but I always tell them that they can be whoever they want, do whatever they are up to and I realized I had to lead by example if I wanted them to realize their dreams.
Luis Samaniego & Selena Munoz from LS Photography Connie Meinhardt from Connie Meinhardt Photo