An interview with Sophie Lloyd, Founder of Shop Hop Buenos Aires Apart from the fact that its universities attract students from all over South America, Buenos Aires attracts entrepreneurs from all over the world. Founder of Shop Hop Buenos Aires, a company which provides personal shopping services, tours, and experiences, Sophie Lloyd is one such entrepreneur. English-born and educated Sophie made her first foray abroad when she spent 5 years in Shanghai, China, working as a fashion journalist. After spending half a decade in the Asian country, Sophie felt it was time for a change and she decided her next destination would be Buenos Aires. Armed with a huge understanding of fashion and an interest in improving her Spanish, Sophie came to the Argentine capital and fell in love with the city. Five and a half years later, she’s still here, running a successful business in showing tourists and porteños fashion boutiques and closed-door businesses around the city.
Since I am in Argentina for a summer internship, I wanted to understand the startup culture here, and particularly learn about the opportunities available to, and challenges faced by foreign entrepreneurs in the city. Sophie’s business, Shop Hop Buenos Aires, epitomizes the startup culture in Buenos Aires. Like a large majority of Buenos Aires startups, Shop Hop BA is internationally-focused, forward-looking and adaptable to the city’s changing economy. Sophie customizes private tours for clients, and takes them to shops and boutiques that they might not find on their own. It is quite literally a shop-hop. Since Buenos Aires is a big city but has a closed economy without any major recognizable brands, sometimes tourists don’t always know what to buy. Sophie helps them bypass this problem by exposing them to and showing them around the local design scene. Shop Hop BA also does personal styling, design tours, and wardrobe consultations for men and women, either one-on-one or in a group. While Shop Hop BA can capitalize on the steady stream of foreign tourists in Buenos Aires, working in the city as a foreign expat can be challenging. Inflexible business registration laws, the logistical difficulties, and the difference between the official rate and the dolar blue rate, make the city particularly challenging to do business For more information on Shop Hop Buenos Aires, click here.
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