We had the good fortune of connecting with Lakeisha Ashley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lakeisha, how does your business help the community or world?
Socially, there’s a few different avenues we could take with BLVCMRKT. The first, socially encouraging individuals to embrace their own individuality when it comes to style. So many people get caught up in trends. Fashion and style is FUN & EXPRESSIVE. Who cares what season it is, does it make you feel good? Does that piece of clothing connect with your soul? Does it remind you of a time or a person who you’re inspired by? Then do it and wear it for YOU. Secondly, everything is vintage, socially empowering people to shop vintage aka investment pieces. They’re a little more pricey however they last longer they’ve been designed that way. So less waste for our planet and less time having to clean out your closet every 4 months because your “trendy”, fast fashion clothes have holes in them. Lastly, our collaborations with other local, small, & women owned business’, artists, creatives etc. We just wrapped up a COVID friendly SIP & SHOP event last week with ROOTED COLLECTIVE an all natural cold press juice company, along with 5 OTHER women owned business’ ( LUZBERLY, JOY, KAWESI, ROOTSHEARTSOUL & ARTBYTYREEVES). The event was centered around 1) creating a space for BLACK WOMEN & THEIR BUSINESS’ 2) Collaboration among people within our community to come together and support one another. & 3) we used that time and space to create a discussion panel concerning VOTING within our community and what that realistically looks like for us moving forward into the 2020 election. As well as ways as a community we can get involved outside of the politically spectrum and begin to make change internally. There’s so much we can do when it comes to socially making an impact, having a platform is the social advantage — people are looking for something to connect to and we’re looking forward to continuing to provide that for as long and as much is needed from the community.
We’d love to hear about a book that’s had an impact on you.
I’m a huge reader, I try to read at least 2-3 books a month — business wise RELENTESS by Tim Grover had a huge impact with my business mentality, the Tao of Wu by the RZA & the POWER OF NOW by Eckhart Tole we’re spiritual anchors and YOU ARE WORTH IT by Amanda Steinberg shaped a differently reality for me financially.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
BLVCMRKT Boutique is an All black vintage Boutique — where vintage culture and community come together. We travel around the country for our vintage finds while also collaborating with local brands, business’’, artists and creatives within our community. I would say we are more centrally community focused with our message and our pieces are one of a kind. What separates us is that we are our own individual when it comes to business — we’re not for everyone but we are for someone. The amount of time and effort and thoughts that go into our executions on every level Is what I am the most proud about. I believe in quality and Im not in a rush to compete , I’m just on time for whatever needs to be done the way it needs to be done. Business wise we are coming up on our 2 year anniversary & how we made it here is a lot of grit and vision. Lots of written goals, lots of time and investing but also a lot of beauty in creating something from nothing. The support we’ve had especially within this last year has also been amazing so shoutout to everyone who supports us! Y’all the real MVP! When people ask if it was easy, I really want to ask “what does that mean?” What may be easy to me may look impossible for someone else. So instead of looking at it as easy or hard I just look at it as , challenges or obstacles — have you ever done an obstacle race? Sounds more fun, sounds more exciting right? 99% of overcoming anything is mentality. You won’t always be positive and THATS OK — as a human you’re not designed to be. Biggest lesson, always put yourself first, it’s the only way you are able to come forth as the best version of yourself for everyone else — & that holds way more weight long term , people will remember you by how you make them feel, so to make sure you don’t project make sure you feel good about yourself first and be ok with taking time. With regards to what I want the world to know about the brand? Honestly, I feel like it speaks more to experience who we are, so look out for our next event 🙂
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
THE MOUNTAINS! 100% let’s go paddle boarding, hiking, we can grab food over on the North side or 5 points. We could do Yoga in the park, and definitely red rocks. We could find local events, community driven hang outs because it’s more about a vibe than a place for me. VIBES in the PARK at city park, things that create good energy — it’s all about the people you surround yourself around. So I would bring them to places that reflect that.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I feel like every single person whose walked along the path with me, even before BLVCMRKT was born — has impacted me greatly. Whether we still talk, are on good terms or not everything and everyone has been an important part of my journey. My journey hasn’t been a one stop shop, where I can account it to one person one group or one book. It’s been a lot like building a wall, each brick has contributed to the overall project. My friends & family I could never thank each of you enough. whether you gave me a shoulder to cry on, a slap in the face to stay focused, a pillow to sleep on, words of encouragement — those have really pulled me through in times of triumph. Shoutout to my dad for always buying out our men’s collection! & my momma for always showing support and coming to our events. My grandma is my favorite she looks the best in our gear & she inspires me — for everything she’s worked for, for our family and the next generation I wouldn’t be here without her, I wouldn’t have the opportunities I do without her sacrifices. I’m blessed in the sense that I’ve had a really strong support system all around, or maybe I made the choice to focus on those who support me and not give much energy to anyone outside of that. If I love you, you know who you are 😉
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