PILSEN — After more than a year in Pilsen, the owner of Pocha Pets Boutique is leaving the neighborhood and plans to move the business to social media and pop-ups.
Cynthia Soto created the shop to sell clothing, accessories, snacks and more for pets after losing her job in early childhood education during the pandemic. She closed the store at 1840 S. Racine Ave. this month due to financial issues, and it didn’t make sense to renew the store’s lease, she said.
“We weren’t having a lot of sales during the winter,” Soto said.
Soto said she’s sad to close the Pilsen store, since she enjoyed hosting pop-up markets to support other local business owners.
For the rest of this year, Soto will operate out of Berwyn Shops, a retail incubator designed to support growing business owners and artisans. Soto said customers can visit her 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and noon-4 p.m. Sundays at 6931 Roosevelt Road in Berwyn until mid-December.
After that, the shop will operate through social media and local pop-ups, which is how Soto got started, she said. Since she lives in Pilsen, neighbors can still easily set up pickups nearby, she said.
“It’s been amazing,” Soto said of having a physical store. But social media “is where it’s at,” she said.
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