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Thursday, April 5, 2012


To take a page from the gospel of Biggie: It was all a dream.. I used to read fashion magazines..

Those who know me will laugh at the mere fact that I started this blog with a rap lyric yet at the same time they won't be surprised. The journey to this moment has been filled with numerous obstacles and many setbacks.. Yet, the story of Kemistre Boutique is less about struggle and more about hope.  Our story is one of hope because we are a true testament to the power of God. I launched this business in the middle of a recession when people advised against it. They called me crazy! I financed this business with NO bank loan, NO investors, and NO grants. They said it couldn't be done! I have no business degree. I went to school for fashion and while the fashion industry is very abstract, the business world is much more concrete. They said I'd never be able to pull it off! Yet, here we are opening our very first store in SouthWest Center Mall.. 

When I ponder on the journey, I can honestly say that if I had it to do again, there are several things that I would do differently. However, I have no regrets. Life is one great teacher.. I've learned a lot about business but more so than anything, I've learned a great deal about myself. I've encountered fear on many occasions throughout this journey and surprisingly, it has never been enough to stop me. Contrary to popular opinion, I believe that the most accomplished people in the world are not fearless. They are simply people who have decided that there is something so much greater than fear and that is HOPE! I've never had all the answers.. I've never had all the connections.. but what I did have was a big God, a big dream and a dynamic team who trusted my vision. Shonedra came on board with an expertise in customer service & Savoyia came on board as a true marketing/branding guru. I am most thankful for them because their input has been invaluable.

Yesterday, while at Target, I came across a sign that said: Dream. Believe. Create. In my opinion, the verbiage couldn't be more appropriate. That's exactly how it happens.. I had a dream for Kemistre... I believed in Kemistre.. and then I made it my endeavor to create Kemistre.. As I write this blog, I would like to thank those who have supported Kemistre but more so than anything, I would like to speak directly to the dreamers. I would like to give to you that which has been given to me and it is this:
  1. Don't wait for the right time to pursue your dreams because it will never come. Just start from where you are and use whatever you have.
  2. Devise a plan and then work the plan. If you're plan isn't working, devise a new plan. Don't be committed to riding a thing 'til the wheels fall off' if you can see that you are not being progressive!
  3. Always trust your gut instincts. It's what God gave you.
  4. Don't sweat the small stuff. Small things have a way of working themselves out... This I promise!
  5. Maintain strong integrity. Don't EVER try to hustle the people that work for you or with you. If you go hard for others, they will go hard for you! Trust within your team will carry you a very long way!
  6. Everything is negotiable. And I do mean everything.
  7. Anticipate problems. Setbacks will occur. Over long periods of time, growing weary may occur but don't quit! Celebrate small victories and stay inspired!
  8. Stay Focused. Distractions will always present themselves.
  9. Knowledge is power. Whereas ignorance is a burden.. Always do your homework! 
  10. Trust God and PRAY often. Need I say more?
I have so much more that I can share.. I could give dreamers 200+ tips but I have a store to open today so please accept the mere 10 that I offer up. The last 2 weeks of my life have been filled with hardships and problems. A contractor didn't complete work in the store, our computer system crashed, our POS system lost all of the inventory that it took me 3 days to enter and the bracket for the TV mount didn't fit so the TV has yet to be mounted to the wall. My bank account was frauded so a substantial amount of money was frozen in my account until a claim could be processed so I didn't have access to money that I desperately needed. The sign company messed up the sign that should have gone over the entry to our store. As a result, its arrival is delayed and we will have no sign for our opening. The DVD with our media for the flat screen arrived damaged and will not play, the thermal receipt printer will not connect to the operating system, the phone company messed up our service order, merchandise that was due in-store has been lost in transit from the vendor and this isn't even half of the things that I've dealt with but again I say.. our story is less about struggle and more about hope!

Kemistre was built from HOPE.. Kemistre has been sustained by HOPE.. and Kemistre will always be the poster child for HOPE! When you enter Kemistre Boutique today, just know that God  has blessed us immensely and HOPE has carried us along the way! Whatever your dreams may be.. always HOPE FOR THE BEST, LOVE YOURSELF, HAVE FAITH, BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAMS and BE LEGENDARY!

I've received many texts this morning congratulating me on the opening of my store and praising me for my tireless efforts and to that I say: All of the Glory belongs to God, only the mistakes have been mine!

Love, Peace & Shoes!