BUSINESS NEWS

Published on: April 4, 2019

Using skills honed at father’s business, Bolivian woman runs Dollar Store

By STEPHEN FLANAGAN JACKSON

The small business entrepreneur is an important part of the United States economy. Some of these entrepreneurs choose to go it strictly alone. Some choose to team up as part of a franchise. In the case of Monica Monaghan of Sun City Center, she has chosen the latter.

The new Dollar Store is located in the Home Depot plaza just off S.R. 674 and Cypress Creek Boulevard in Ruskin.

Since September 2018 Monaghan has been the proprietor of the Dollar Store in the Home Depot Plaza on S.R. 674 in Ruskin/Sun City Center.

“We lean towards being a party and souvenir shop,” Monaghan said recently, while tending to the cash register at the front of the compact store.

“Before owning this business, I managed real estate properties for about eight years,” she said. “But I always wanted to go back to my roots in retail business, where I grew up back in Bolivia (South America).”

Monaghan was born in La Paz, Bolivia, one of 14 siblings. “Mom and dad owned a hardware store where we helped daily,” recalled. “My father is, was and will always be the biggest hero to me. As a young orphan, he was never allowed to go to school, but he taught himself to read, write and do math. He later became the owner of the biggest import company in Bolivia, buying merchandise from Germany, Argentina, China and Japan.”

Monica finished high school in Bolivia and did some technical classes afterwards, but said, “I learned the most working with my parents and siblings.”

The biggest challenge in this business is the stigma that inexpensive means bad quality, according to Monaghan. “I look hard for good quality products, things that I would be happy to use myself, unique products and items that are otherwise hard to find.”

Monaghan also likes the socializing that goes with running a small store. “I love talking to people. I come across really interesting, beautiful, spiritual and remarkable human beings,” she said happily. “I lost count of how many times people have come to the store and not only complimented it but left the warmest wishes and prayers. They make my days brighter, and I, in turn, want to make them all feel welcome and appreciated.

STEPHEN FLANAGAN JACKSON PHOTOS

“What I hear from the neighboring business owners is mainly to ‘be patient’; there’s a lot of growth happening in the area and that is always good for business,” she said of her new venture.

“I just want to thank my beautiful family for helping me everyday and giving me their support in making this dream a reality,” Monaghan said proudly. “I also appreciate all the neighboring business owners for cheering me on and just being nice. And to the beautiful people that come through the door of my business, Ruskin/Sun City Center has the best and nicest people I’ve ever been surrounded by.”

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