Welcome to WhatSheBuys,
I'm Cathy, the Chief Buyer and the "She" in WhatSheBuys. The name WhatSheBuys refers to the high quality brands and unique products that I buy for family and friends and that I have been identifying for our customers since 2003. Over my 25 year retail career, I've earned a reputation for researching products and identifying the best.
At WhatSheBuys, we research, select and usually offer only one brand per product category - our selection of the best. We train our Customer Service Representatives regularly and thoroughly on each brand that we offer to help and give you confidence when you make your purchase. Ask to speak to one of our product specialists when considering one of the world-class brands we offer.
Live, Love, Laugh and Shop!
WhatSheBuys, One Of Those Meant To Be Stories...
WhatSheBuys is the brainchild of Raul Pallares, a Harvard grad and former real estate executive who invested and managed billions for the largest real estate advisory firm in the U.S. As an early user of online banking and the Internet, he was eager to join the Internet craze that erupted in the mid-to-late 1990s.
Since his favorite property type was retail, he liked the idea of an online store. However, his retail experience was on the landlord side and not as a retailer. He needed the expertise of his wife, Cathy. Cathy had 20 plus years of retail experience and her company was a sales representative for cosmetic and gift manufacturers. Cathy was skeptical of the idea. She also liked the flexibility her business afforded her and, most importantly, she wanted to have a baby. She was not interested in a start-up online store.
So instead, Raul became President of a financial markets internet startup that launched in 1999. That experience gave him more determination to launch his own internet startup. He continued to formulate his concept and he revolved his idea around Cathy. Because of her retail business, Cathy loved to research products. Wherever she went, people would ask her about items she had. Her friends also knew about her research and product knowledge. They would always ask for her recommendations. Voila, WhatSheBuys.com. He registered the name.
Raul would periodically bring up the idea with Cathy, but she always shot it down. In 2002, the stars seemed to be aligned. Cathy and Raul had their miracle baby in 2001, eliminating hurdle number one. While more of a businessman than a salesman, Raul had refined his pitch and he made the sales pitch of his life. "All you have to do is shop. You find the brands - I'll do everything else." We're not really quite sure whether she was motivated by making his dream a reality or by the "all you have to do is shop" pitch, but regardless she agreed.
WhatSheBuys launched in April 2003 selling several cosmetic brands that Cathy already represented. Raul and Cathy used their guest house for the business. They had a couple of computers, used a closet to store the cosmetics and sent out their daily shipments. Raul's stock trading would get interrupted by the periodic customer calls. With those initial high quality brands in hand, Cathy was able to go after more brands. Since she had recently been spending lots of time researching baby products, they decided that category would be next. Key additions at this early stage were Kettler trikes and Barefoot Dreams blankets. They started to use their garage for store products. Then in November 2003, they got an unexpected surprise. Oprah selected Barefoot Dreams robes and throws for her Holiday Favorites show. The orders and the phones went nuts. The delivery trucks began to drop off large shipments at their house. They began to fill their dining room, living room and bedrooms with Barefoot Dreams robes and throws.
When a delivery truck broke a major branch of a neighbor's tree, they decided it was time to lease space. They liked a space in the Mission District of San Gabriel which had been available for two years. Raul used his real estate expertise to strike a deal and they moved in December 2003. That space served both as the store and warehouse. Raul abandoned his stock trading to focus exclusively on the business. Eventually, the WhatSheBuys business consumed all of Cathy's time and she shut down the manufacturer's rep business.
Today, WhatSheBuys has its headquarters in San Gabriel, CA where the company processes and ships all its internet and phone orders from an office and warehouse facility. The company's physical store is located in nearby San Marino, CA.
To this day, Cathy jokes about Raul's promise that all she would have to do is shop.