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Creative Shop Talk with Wendy Batten

Aug 21, 2023

With host retail coach Wendy Batten


Show Notes:

Are you looking for some creative new ideas to grow your business? You’ll want to turn up your volume on this one, my friends!


Today on the podcast I’m talking with retailer Madeline Muñoz-Bustamante, owner of Colorful Cute - Miami’s first (and only!) Kawaii gift shop.  Madeline is also an active member of my Level Up Mastermind and my Retailer’s Inner Circle. Like many of us, Madeline describes herself as an accidental entrepreneur. After losing her job in 2020 when the pandemic started, she turned her passion for kawaii (the Japanese culture of cuteness) from an online shop/pop up into a brick and mortar storefront. 


Madeline shares her journey to CEO, bumps and all with us.


For a number of reasons including (1)  a location that isn’t conventionally ideal, (2) opening a brick and mortar during a pandemic, and (3) she isn’t afraid to try new things, Madeline has implemented a number of creative ideas and strategies that have led to incredible growth of Colorful Cute over the past three years. I know you’ll be able to pull something from our conversation to implement in your business, so listen up!


Some of the ideas and strategies Madeline has implemented include:


1. A fresh perspective on marketing: Madeline noticed a niche market that wasn’t currently being served in Miami. Filling that gap came very easy to her because she was also a member of that niche market. Her marketing is very cohesive because the “voice” is simply her talking to her customers as they are friends who love what she loves. Madeline calls it “letting her geek flag fly,” which I love. 


“Excitement is contagious…and that’s what we try to inject into our marketing.” - Madeline


2. Hosting events: Madeline began hosting events like movie nights, cons, and trading nights after realizing that her customers were looking for community through her shop.


3. Growing her online presence through Instagram: Madeline uses hashtags to find her people. She searches hashtags that align with her shop and when she finds interesting or exciting posts, she comments and shares which results in pulling that person into her community!  Oftentimes, it results in a win-win: her new instagram friend becomes aware of her shop and they are excited that she has shared their post. Implementing this strategy only takes minutes a day and can really grow your business.


4. Coming up with creative ways to move stale inventory: One of the struggles Madeline has had to overcome was purchasing for a much larger space than she was used to. She knows the importance of moving stale inventory (even if we don’t make money on it!) so she offered grab bags and other ideas as creative ways to move inventory that has overstayed its welcome.


5. Putting her CEO hat on: Madeline admits that being the boss is hard for her, but as a business owner she knows it’s necessary.  


I work closely with Madeline so I know she now takes her role as CEO very seriously. Madeline advocates for regular team meetings, getting shop procedures in place, and so on - just like her coach. ;) It’s truly been my joy watching her take on a leadership role in her business.


Madeline’s last piece of advice to you: “Don’t do this by yourself. Find the people, find the coaching, find the group, find the classes … You don’t have to do it by yourself.”


Madeline is definitely one to follow - she’s a vibrant, authentic soul and I’m honored to have her in my group and on the podcast today. Thank you for listening!


If you want to hang with cool shop owners like Madeline, my Retailer’s Inner Circle is welcoming new members right now. 


We are knee deep in holiday planning so jump in and join us!  We would love for you to be a part of the conversation.


About Madeline and Colorful Cute:

The best place to hang out with Madeline is on Instagram @colorfulcutegoods - that’s where the party is! You can shop her website too at .


Madeline Muñoz-Bustamante is the Founder/President of Colorful Cute- Miami’s kawaii shop. She loves to stock her store full of cute, sweet, colorful, and fun products designed to help you live a cuter life. 


When she’s not making Miami a cuter city, you can catch her reading a book, watching anime, playing with her pets, driving her teenage children around, cuddling with her partner, or getting a sunburn on the beach. 

Related podcasts we think you’ll like: 

Episode 132: Retailer Success Series: Community Marketing Strategies with Millie Blackwell

Episode 122: Retail Success Series: CEO Mindset and Community with Sylvia Davis from Louisville Mercantile

Episode 68: Special Guest Marian Parsons On Growing and Doing Business Your Own Way

Episode 18: What’s Possible: The Accidental Shopkeeper with a Thriving Store (A Retailer Case Study)

Episode 10: “Making it Work with No Foot Traffic” a Retailer Spotlight with Lisa Casey

About your host, Wendy Batten

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m Wendy, a small business coach and founder of the Retailer’s Inner Circle, where I help other independent shop owners learn how to gain the right business skillsets to see more profits, paychecks, and joy as they navigate running their retail business. 

Through online classes, business coaching programs, speaking, and a top-ranked podcast, I’ve helped hundreds of retailers around the globe reclaim their dream and see the success they want from their beautiful shops. my signature private coaching community, The Retailer’s Inner Circle, has helped retailers around the world build their retail business skill sets and confidence. 

I am proud to have been featured in several major publications, including my own business column in What Women Create magazine. I have been privileged to be a guest on top-ranked podcasts and sought-after as a guest speaker and teacher for several brands, associations, and communities that are passionate about the success of independent retailers.

When I’m not coaching, you will find me either DIYing and renovating my very imperfect old crooked cottage by the sea in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Lunenburg, NS, or blogging about our travel and RVing adventures and the weird fun things we get up to in our coastal village. I’d love to invite you to check out one of my free resources for real retailers at 


For more support from Wendy


Retailer’s Inner Circle - Join Wendy inside the best retailer’s community


Wendy’s FREE Resources for shop owners 


Hang out and connect with Wendy on IG 


All of Wendy’s programs and services for shop owners can be found HERE. 

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