Today we’d like to introduce you to Brandy Spearman.
Hi Brandy, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I’ve always dressed to express my mood and feelings. I believe that your outfit sets your mood. I endured years of working big box retail stores and despised the lack of inclusivity.
I failed at my first boutique partnership in 2015 (Shindy & Company in the Englewood Art District in Independence, MO). I was crushed. I never stopped talking about it to my now husband. I went back to school worked and tried to forget about it.
However, in 2017 I was sitting on the couch talking to my husband about having my own Boutique again in the future. He simply said “babe, just do it”. So, I did. We put our shoebox money to work and opened Black lemon Boutique in 2018.
Initially Black Lemon Boutique (who’s name derived from a seasoning (Charred Lime) meaning to add flavor to your closet)) was strictly online. While balancing family life (husband and son) and a full-time job this was perfect for me. We held a small space on the independence square above the old reinland restaurant. Although I enjoyed going live and having small pop ups, I grew an urge to share our boutique with the community. We found a small storefront right down the street at 211 W maple Ave Independence, MO. We become the only black-owned brick and mortar business on the square. Little did we know, I was pregnant.
We were open and running smoothly until covid hit. I gave birth during the pandemic. Like many other small businesses, we didn’t think we could make it. We closed down for months and lost so much business. During this time, I took care of our newborn and homeschooled our middle school child.
Upon reopening, we had a rush in business. However with city ordinances, we were only allowed three people in our small space at a time. We had outgrown our space. We then relocated to around the corner at 112 N Liberty Street Independence, MO.
At our new space, we anticipate being able to service more woman. Helping them express themselves through fashions.
I give special thanks to my husband for helping build out everything. Our community is amazing and we would be nothing without them.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Definitely not a smooth road. Having a baby during the pandemic and having to be absent for a while was hard. We also hit a few hardpoints. There was one point where we were paying the employees out of our own pockets because we knew they had families to feed and with low sales due to covid, I couldn’t risk losing them.
As you know, we’re big fans of Black Lemon Boutique. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
We are a Women’s clothing boutique who serves women of all sizes small to 3X Curvy. We promote body positivity. Between our walls is a safe place to be yourself, let go, and play dress up. Everyday, we are teaching self-worth and self-love not only through clothing but good girl talk and conversations. Immediately upon entering our shop, we have a wall of reflections full of mirrors that was designed to make you look at yourself. With hopes that you leave looking at those same mirrors filled with confidence and feeling badass!
Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
Plan ahead, follow your passions and never give up! Also, know when to hire help. Doing it alone is exhausting. Build a team through networking that will help you succeed.
- Email: Info@blacklemonboutique.com
- Website: www.BlackLemonBoutique.com
- Instagram: @Blacklemonboutique
- Facebook: Black Lemon Boutique by Brandy
Meredith Necole Photography