I can remember riding with my father in his truck through the streets of Roseland, Englewood, Chatham, and other southside neighborhoods and listening to his childhood memories of all of the black-owned businesses that use to exist. He would tell me about how the southside was more of an attraction for black folks than the north. He would say, “Car lots, theatres, restaurants, grocery stores, and doctor offices… ...the community had it all.”
Those weekend history lessons sparked a deep desire in me to see and create that economic power for my generation. From those conversations, I started seeing unused retail spaces as opportunity-rich retail spaces. I can remember saying to myself, “When I grow up, I’m going to reopen all of the black-owned businesses.”
My opening Concept Stores, which are temporary and permanent retail spaces, is how I am seeking to “do my part”.
Concept Stores merge community organizing, community expression, and interactive retail experiences. The themes, focus, and activations very, and the core values remain - love, trust, and respect.
In all Concept Stores [001, 002, and 003] we host activations and feature installations relevant to the community's needs and desires. Each event has the common goal of healing, building, and strengthening relationships with self and others.
Concept Store 001 & 002 Partners:
- First Insight Realty
Concept Store 003 Partners: