The Perfect Fit with Rach Montano
Girl-mom of two fills us in on the current fashion retail woes, the importance of supporting local, and her journey as Mosaic’s boss-mama.
Running a company in these pandemic-ridden times has been tough for everyone, but for Mosaic’s Rach Montano, it’s business as usual. Adapting to changes hasn’t been easy, but going with the flow has proven to work in her favor, and the brand’s success speaks for itself. Curious to find out how everything was pieced together, we caught up with Rach to ask her to dish out a bit of her story, and what to expect in the months to follow.
How has the adjustment been to the “new normal” in fashion retail? Any roadblocks in particular that you were able to overcome?
The adjustment to the new normal has been challenging. Our physical stores aren’t doing as well due to the low number of customers visiting the malls, but our online sales have greatly improved. One hindrance that we overcame, in particular, is enabling our customers to buy our clothing without physically trying them on. So, we released several new photos of our items so that our clients could picture how these would look or fit them.
Where are you seeking inspiration from these days?
Inspiration is drawn from our clients’ needs. Most people stay at home and just go out to do errands— Mosaic makes sure that our clothing is comfortable and easy to wear, yet remains fashionable and chic.
What does time management look like for you, with a family (kids are 9 & 14 y/o) and running a business? Has there been any significant changes since the pandemic hit?
Since my girls are already getting the hang of Online Distance Learning, and I’m spending more time at home, it is easier to manage them now. I just make sure that they have all the materials they need, fast internet connection, and meals prepared on time, and they’re good to go.
Can you tell us a little bit about how MOSAIC started, and how the company has met your expectations throughout its eight year journey?
Our company bought Mosaic eight years ago. It had branches in Rockwell and Glorietta, but was completely different from the Mosaic you know now. We developed it, made it our own, then expanded. Mosaic is now in eight locations around the metro, and has truly exceeded our expectations.
This has always been a dream for you. Is it everything you thought it would be? Can you share some insight? (pros and cons of the business, or anything you’ve learned about running a fashion brand)
In most aspects, yes— it’s everything I thought it would be. We really wanted a premium brand to compete with other global brands (in terms of quality and style), and we believe Mosaic has achieved this.
Our goal is to penetrate other parts of the country, and then the region, and finally global. Although we want to have physical stores in every location, having local clientele shop online is good for now.
One of the pros in having your own business is that you can maximize your creativity and reap all the benefits. Cons are you’re all in and the risks are all yours as well.
Having no background in fashion, what would you say was your biggest driving force in pursuing your ambitions, and what was your biggest fear? Can you explain why?
Team Mosaic has always been exposed to fashion and making clothes. Both owners (Jojo Chua and myself) started in different areas of the industry— from garments manufacturing, design, merchandising, and brand management. We’ve always been confident that the experience and skills were there.
The driving force has always been the brand— making it better than ever and sharing it with the clients. Our greatest fear is having to settle, to be just like all the other brands instead of getting ahead and creating the trend.
What is your essential fashion go-to piece? and do you have a favourite from your line?
Essential go-to pieces would be a black dress or black jumpsuit; they’re versatile and can be worn in different settings. Right now, my favorite from our current line is definitely the Pat Skirt Set; they’re stylish and so comfy.
What can we expect from your Holiday collection?
Red, red, and lots of red.
How would you encourage everyone to support local businesses, and how do you feel about the progress of the support local brands movement?
We encourage buying and supporting local through our social media posts, advocacies and advertisements. We feel that this campaign really helps local businesses get through these tough times. We’re proud to say that Filipinos are being very responsive to this calling.
What is the greatest challenge for you, being a working mom? and how do you deal with it?
During the old normal, our job demanded a lot of travelling, and there were times that I would miss school events that my girls had. These are the things that you can’t get back. We managed to solve this through proper scheduling.
Any important style advice you’ve ever been given?
My husband always tells me to trust my own opinion, which kind of relates to what Carolina Herrera said:
“We always know better than anybody else what looks best on us. Even if people are complimenting you, if you think, ‘I hate what I have on’, it’s not right. It’s important to find what really suits who you are, because style isn’t only what you wear, it’s what you project…”
To shop online, visit mosaicph.co