West Center is always thrilled when one of our clients gets great press coverage! In early March 2023, the online publication, CanvasRebel.com, reached out to Rosanna Bertheola, the owner of My Chic Farmhouse in Mendocino, for an interview.
We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Rosanna Bertheola a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Rosanna , appreciate you joining us today. Do you think folks should manage their own social media or hire a professional? What do you do?
I do everything business wise for My Chic Farmhouse including managing social media. I take the photos, create the content and post to Facebook and Instagram. At first it was way outside my comfort zone, but now that I have been doing it for a few years, it has become easier.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
My Chic Farmhouse started as a dream. I am half Italian and was going to Italy to visit relatives. I decided I would buy items while there to sell in a pop up space I had rented in the Mendocino Yarn Shop where I worked part-time. I arranged all of this before my trip. While in Italy, I bought linens and pottery. I also came up with my shop’s name, My Chic Farmhouse, in a beautiful seaside town while having dinner with family and friends. Everything just seemed to come together organically. I was excited about my new venture as I had never been an entrepreneur and didn’t think it would come naturally to me. It’s amazing though that many skills one already has can easily transition to skills in another career. Six months later, the yarn shop moved to a smaller location and My Chic Farmhouse could not go with it. It was now time to find a space just for me.
For months, I had been eyeing a historical building from the 1800s known as the Apple Shed. It is part of the MacCallum House Inn in Mendocino, California. The building is charming and five months later the owners of the MacCallum House Inn agreed to let me rent it. The building is small and I love the space. Because the building is very unique, I have had many challenges making it work. It takes hard work and perseverance. In May, it will be seven years that My Chic Farmhouse has been in the Apple Shed. I am very fortunate to have made the space work for me as other retail shops previously located in it closed after a short time of being open.
My Chic Farmhouse is a home decor and accessory shop specializing in Italian table linens, shawls and pottery. I import these items from Italy. I also carry other home decor items made by companies in the U.S. I am proud of the customer service I provide my customers, many of whom are repeat customers, including those who live elsewhere who make it a point to come in when visiting. I am also very proud of the fact that I am able to contribute a portion of my sales to local nonprofits especially those supporting children and animals. My shop currently is open Friday-Sunday and by appointment when the shop is closed. I also have an online store at MyChicFarmhouse.com.
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
The pandemic showed me exactly how resilient I was. I had to come up with new ways of doing business such as starting an online store to attract more customers. I also had to come up with ways to get products to customers including home delivery if they lived in the area, shipping to those out of the area or having customers pick up items all while trying to get through the pandemic. It was always one foot in front of the other. Sometimes it was baby steps and sometimes it was two steps forward and one step back. The constant in my mind at that time was that I couldn’t fail. I had worked too hard for that to happen.
Any advice for growing your clientele? What’s been most effective for you?
Existing customers who refer their family and friends to me. They consider me a friendly professional who provides excellent customer service while selling quality merchandise. They also love my shop. Social media is a close second. Recently I have had a few people who have purchased items after seeing one of my Facebook or Instagram posts.
- Website: MyChicFarmhouse.com
- Instagram: @my_chic_farmhouse
- Facebook: @mychicfarmhouse