962 Pale San Vitores Road, Suite A3 Tumon, Guam 96913
By Akina Chargualaf
Bambino Collection, a cozy clothing boutique, has been operating in the Acanta Mall located in Tumon for the past 11 years. Two years ago Ayumi Tomida took over as owner, providing Guam’s tourist community with access to popular U.S. brands and local items. Tomida will be traveling to Las Vegas in August to find new brands and items to bring to her boutique.
How did the Bambino Collection begin?
Bambino has been open for 11 years at the Acanta Mall. I took over two years ago from the former owner, Misa Kannari, and I wanted to keep everything the same, including the products and the name of the business.
I first came to Guam as a tourist and I thought to myself how amazing it would be to live here. I then decided to move here to attend the University of Guam and shortly after, I started my business.
What items and products do you sell?
We carry accessories, T-shirts, backpacks, dresses and stationery. One of our more popular accessory brands is Dogeared and Umikumi. We also carry items from Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister, which are popular amongst Japanese tourists, and also local brands such as Hagåtña Eyewear and Mali Kai.
Who makes up your customer base?
Some 80% of my customers are from Japan. American brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister are very expensive in Japan; therefore, I wanted to provide them with an opportunity to purchase these brands at an affordable price.
Where do you receive your products?
Most of our items are from Los Angeles and we do also receive some items from Hong Kong. We carry local products as well.
How many staff do you have?
There are a total of two. I feel very fortunate because our other employee is a local Japanese and has helped me so much.
With English being your second language, what were some challenges you faced when starting your own business?
Two years ago, when I decided to start my own business I was scared. At the time, there weren’t many female Japanese business owners who were around my age. There were more male business owners, but not so many females. My dream is to inspire other Japanese people, who may be interested in starting their own business here to try it out. My main goal is to have them fall in love with Guam the way I have. n
Photos by Akina Chargualaf