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CHICAGO (CBS) — Almost a year into the pandemic, the domino effect of quarantine continues. It seems businesses are closing left and right, but CBS 2 calculated more than 250 new clothing and shoe shops sprouted after the virus spread.

Morning Insider Lauren Victory introduces us to a dog lover who found success when COVID-19 made things “ruff.

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“I definitely wanted to do a business that I could incorporate my love for animals and that I could spend time with my dogs,” said Cynthia Soto, pet fashion designer and owner of Pocha Shop.

Her three little fur babies often double as her beta testers. Soto started sowing the seeds of her company when the pandemic hit.

“We were quarantined, and I was scared. I was like, ‘I don’t know if I will have a job tomorrow, in a week, in a month,’” she said.

Her backup plan suddenly turned into a full-time gig after she was laid off from her early childhood education job in June. Her worst fear was actually a blessing in disguise.

“I kind of, like, started outside of my house, and there’s a fence. So I would hang stuff on my fence,” she said.

The products sold out almost immediately.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God. This could be something big. It could grow. This is actually a thing!’” Soto said.

Her hand-crafted creations are more than a way to keep furry friends fashionable. Many are walking displays of Mexican culture.

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“The textile is called Cambaya. Cambaya is dyed naturally, and it’s threaded by hand,” she said.

The material is sourced straight from Mexico by Soto’s best friend and business partner.

“She definitely makes it a point to support people in need within Mexico also. So, I like to be full circle,” Soto said.

Which brings us to the name of this Chicago venture: Pocha Shop.

“Mexicans call other Mexicans ‘pochos’ or ‘pochas,’ because they’re not Mexican enough,” Soto said.

The Mexican-American is proud of Pocha Shop, which will soon be written in big letters at the storefront on 19th and Cermak.

“I wanted to take that word and reclaim it,” Soto said.

Blending two cultures while educating others, one outfit at a time.

Pocha Shop is an online-only store right now, and offers curbside pick-up or delivery within 10 miles of Pilsen.

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The physical store will open early next month; with Mexican-inspired accessories for dogs, cats and humans.

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Mexican president says country fairing better than US on coronavirus

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Tuesday that his country is doing better than the U.S. in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

"The most powerful nation on earth, our neighbor, did worse than us." López Obrador said -- after noting that comparing the two countries was in "bad taste."

López Obrador has both defended and praised former President Trump in recent weeks. He called Mark Zuckerberg "arrogant" last month after the Facebook blocked him from the platform.


Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gives his daily, morning news conference at the presidential palace, Palacio Nacional, in Mexico City on Dec. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

"I felt he was very self-important and very arrogant," López Obrador said, according to Reuters. "A court of censorship like the Inquisition to manage public opinion ... This is really serious."

López Obrador also told President Biden that he had a good working relationship with the previous Trump administration.

"I must mention that we do have a very good relationship with the now president of your country, Mr. Donald Trump," he told Biden in a call before he was sworn in, The New York Times reported. "Regardless of any other considerations, he respects our sovereignty."

As of early Tuesday, at least 181,809 people have died in Mexico from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. death toll recently surpassed 500,000, but its population is 2.6 times larger.

Biden called the milestone "truly grim" and "heartbreaking" Monday night, noting how the pandemic has taken more American lives than WWI, WWII, and the Vietnam War combined.


"That’s more lives lost to this virus than any other nation on Earth," Biden said.

Mexico has administered about 1.7 million vaccine doses, while the U.S. has given 64 million shots. The country is trying to beef up its supply of Pfizer vaccines with Russian and Chinese shots, and late Monday it received its first shipment of 200,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccines.

López Obrador, who has been criticized for his handling the coronavirus pandemic in Mexico, tested positive for the virus last month. He blamed rich countries for "hoarding" vaccines and demanded the U.S. vaccinate the millions of Mexicans living in the states -- with or without legal documents.


Mexico has had over 2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, but the low level of testing means the real number is probably several times that amount.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

David Aaro is a Reporter at Fox News Digital

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