Mariela Santori : Founder of Let’s Play Please

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsMariela Santori always had a knack for getting into business for herself. A native of Argentina, Santori remembers knitting sweaters and selling them on the streets of her hometown, which became fairly lucrative. “I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so it was only natural for me to follow in their footsteps,” said Santori. “Every since I was little, I always had that spirit to develop something that was mine.”

After a string of jobs working for importing companies here in Chicago, Santori discovered a new way to get into business for herself that was inspired by the birth of her daughter six years ago. “I have family all over the world. Some are in Argentina, some are in Italy, some are in Ecuador so I wanted to figure out a way to make sure my daughter stayed connected to her roots and to our large family.” So two years ago, Santori met with several developers to create Let’s Play Please, a website designed to go beyond the online games and gestures shared through video chats. Let’s Play Please allows family members, residing in different cities across the globe, to custom-design family-oriented activities, virtually. “It’s taking the idea of Skype to another level,” said Santori. “Through my experience, it was hard to have my daughter sit in front of a screen for more than three minutes without becoming bored. So Let’s Play Please offers families a way to connect through a desktop application and keeps children engaged through great games they can play together.”

A self-proclaimed novice to the tech world, Santori advises young entrepreneurs to learn all they can about their field of interest so that are better equipped to run their business. “It took me many hours and lots of money lost to get this website up and running, but I didn’t give up,” said Santori. “I networked and met with other entrepreneurs with an online business and learned so much from them. Eventually, the insight I gained from their experiences helped me in so many ways.” Through networking, Santori also was elected to join Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Technology Industry Diversity Council; she is the only female Latina on the council. “I believe I was chosen, because I had a lot to bring to the table. And I think that’s lesson for young women to follow. Follow your passion, learn all that you can, and network because you never know who will help you take that next step.” Although Let’s Play Please has not officially launched, you can still learn more at

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