At 30 years outdated and with R$ 60 million: entrepreneur achieved success with lab coats and coffees

At 30 years outdated and with R$ 60 million: entrepreneur achieved success with lab coats and coffees

Cici Navarro owns the custom gown company Dr. Cherie and Café Cherie, brands that together earn BRL 60 million

The digital influencer Ana Cecília Navarro, or Cici Navarro, was not very keen on the idea of ​​opening her own business. With a degree in dentistry, she could easily have reached her professional peak by maintaining the routine of appointments in her private office in greater São Paulo. The passion for fashion, however, spoke louder.

She didn’t like the traditional lab coats offered by medical stores. Without much style or differentiation, the work uniform was not very feminine and was not fashionable, according to her. Given this, in 2014, she created the Dr. Cheriea brand of luxury custom gowns that appeals to style, colors and special collections.

“At that stage, what I was most looking for was differentiation. We were not able to bring fashion and personality to the offices and to a mandatory item, which is the lab coat”, she says.

how the business started

Without leaving his career as a dentist, Navarro started the business with 4,000 reais, resources from her and her sister, Ana Carolina — who decided to join the company as a partner. Together with her mother and brother-in-law, the two formed the initial business model of Dr. Cherie, a priori based on sales to professional colleagues, responsible for the word-of-mouth promotion of fashion lab coats.

A second step was the creation of an Instagram page, which ended up becoming the main channel for converting sales, completed after contacting customers via WhatsApp.

The moment favored the first “boom” of the brand. The year 2014 experienced the rise of social networks, such as Instagram, which boosted the reach of the brand, which soon created its own e-commerce.

The brand’s differential, according to Navarro, is in the comfort and refined style of pieces that, until then, were seen as a simple mandatory uniform for the work of dentists and other health professionals. “No one in the market thought about the well-being of thousands of professionals who would have to spend hours wearing a uniform that does not represent who they really are and what they like to wear,” he says.

The success of the brand led the entrepreneur to decide to dedicate herself exclusively to the business. “I spent a year doing a thousand things at once, it was crazy. But we realized we needed to put in more energy.” For her, however, the decision was not a risk-taking one. “I didn’t embark on an illusion, I embarked on a dream that was already happening and working very well. Seeing this is vital for entrepreneurs,” she says.

Today, Dr. Cherie has five physical stores (more than half of them opened in the last year) and an e-commerce also responsible for exporting products to countries such as:

  • Bolivia
  • Paraguay
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Mexico
  • Australia
  • Peru
  • Panama
  • Dominican Republic
  • Argentina
  • United States

New business

The relevance of physical stores surprised the partners right away. This performance gave rise to the idea of ​​betting on diversification and the good experience of those who go to a physical unit to make purchases. Thus came the Café Cheriea coffee shop attached to the brand’s main store, near Oscar Freire Street, in an upscale area of ​​São Paulo.

In the store, customers have access to an instagrammable space, totally pink. “It’s an experience beyond the product,” says Navarro. “It was really important to understand what the customer wanted when they came to “tour” our store and the cafe helps us retain that attention and passion,” she says.

This year, another Café Cherie unit was opened in Belo Horizonte, this time in a container format, which is also attached to a store owned by Dr. Cherie.

Now growing organically, Dr.Cherie also builds on Navarro’s success on social media. With more than 190,000 followers, she shares on her Instagram profile producing content about fashion, entrepreneurship and lifestyle.

On another front, the brand also bets on collabs with well-known brands. In are Smiley, Disney, Colgate and Mattel.

According to the entrepreneur, 2022 has been a year of structuring for the brand, which is now learning to deal with the more than 200% growth of the last two years. In 2021, the group earned BRL 59 million, and coffee quadrupled revenues. “It’s a testing moment for us, but we’re betting on continued growth,” she says.

Source: Exam

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