This week’s Meet a Mom is with Johana Munoz, the #girlmom of three who owns Tribu, a group of professional body piercing studios that also sell beautiful fine jewelry. They now have three locations: Stamford Town Center, The Danbury Mall and their newest at the SoNo Collection Mall in Norwalk. Johana lives in Cos Cob with her husband Sergio (with whom she co-owns Tribu), and they have three daughters, Aisha (21), Katelyn (10), and Elana (4). Here is a bit more about Johana, including all about Tribu, her family life in Greenwich and more!
Why did you choose to live in Greenwich (and Cos Cob)?
We chose this area because of the great school systems and community, which we absolutely love. It is also a convenient location; it is just 45 minutes from New York City by train and everything within the town is close in proximity. We also like how family-oriented the town is and all of the different ways there are to get involved within the community.
For anyone who isn’t yet familiar, how would you describe Tribu?
Tribu means tribe and we wanted to bring attention to this concept that piercings are very ancient. They are not only a beautiful body decoration, but are also very meaningful and for decades tribes have used them to express different significant things. Tribu is like a family; we value our customers and employees and always want them to be a part of the journey. We provide all body piercings services such as ear, nose, belly, etc.
What separates you from other similar businesses?
We value sterilization and safety highly as well as making sure that our products are of the best quality. We do not use guns to pierce earlobes; we only use single use needles which avoid trauma to the ear. We offer a wide variety of body jewelry, all hypoallergenic and from recognized brands in the piercing industry. We have mill certificates from our vendors supporting that the metals don’t contain nickel, alloys etc. We also try to make the environment as friendly and welcoming as possible by connecting with our customers and giving them as much information as they need regarding the piercing process, picking out jewelry, and the after care.
What is your GentlePierce service for children?
Gentle pierce is the best second option for children under the age of 4 who can’t be pierced with needles. It is a single use machine that breaks after being used and it comes with a backing that protects the ears of young ones. The earrings are also made out of implant grade Titanium, which is a great metal, especially for children.
You just opened a 3rd location, in the SONO Collection. What are you most excited about with this opening?
My Husband and I have been working for the past 4 years in training and equipping our apprentices to become professional piercers and offer the best service to our clients. The SoNo location is very special to us because it represents expansion. It is always humbling to see how far we have come and very exciting to envision what more awaits us. It is also a beautiful mall and we are happy to be a part of it. Each location is decorated differently but with the same essence and I believe clients will see it as familiar.
Your business is family owned – how does that benefit the brand?
My husband and I are completely different in many ways and we are both able to offer the best of us by collaborating ideas and implementing changes that allow our business to grow healthy. The fact that it is a family owned business, is something that we take pride in and it makes us be very intentional with having our daughters come in and be a part of the process. Our daughters want to come to the stores and work on tasks according to their age and it has been a big blessing for us because they are seeing this business grow from scratch, especially our oldest. Our family owned business exemplifies to them the meaning of hard work and being able to accomplish anything they put their heart and soul into.
Have you always been an entrepreneur or small business owner?
No, I never saw myself as an entrepreneur. I have to say that my husband played a big role in opening our business. He had the vision and after many conversations it became our dream, our vision. I’m from Colombia and had worked as a nanny and laboratory assistant while going to school. We originally started this business by visiting customers at their houses who wanted to buy jewelry and from there we were able to open a kiosk at the Stamford Town Center. It has been a process that has entailed a lot of hard work and dedication which has made it worthwhile.
How do you handle busy times as a working mom?
Strategically, I have calendars and schedules for both our home and work that help me be organized with what needs to be done and important after school activities and family events. Having checklists also helps because as you start tackling each task the later ones start to become easier and you realize it isn’t impossible and that you’re doing it. However, the most important thing I have learned in the process of being a working mom is learning to have grace for myself. There may be things that come up that will break your schedule and it shows you that there really is no “perfect” balance but there is love and effort to keep going. I am also extremely grateful to have my mother living with me; she has been such a great help.
We love to support local businesses. Would you please share your favorite place locally to:
Get dinner as a family: Lugano
Go on a date night: Townhouse
Have fun as a family: Tods Point, taking the ferry to Island beach, Mianus River Park
Get your hair done: La Brosse
Grab coffee: Coffee for Good
This story is sponsored by Tribu.