Someone You Should Know: Black Expo organizer makes leap to open boutique
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Many people had to find new ways to persevere through the pandemic with their business. But a Sioux Falls entrepreneur has much more motivation to keep going than just the shop itself. She followed what she wanted to do even if it was an unpopular opinion.
“Everyone thought I was crazy to open up a store right now, but I just felt like the time was right,” Shameka Shoultz said.
She started Coco’s Lollishop online, selling sleepwear and lingerie. Shoultz expanded to sell jewelry, shoes, purses, and clothing.
“Just seeing the amazing outpour of support that I got, I decided that opening up a store in town would be the next step,” she said.
Part of that support to open up shop in Sioux Falls came from the Black Expo.
“When young people can see people owning businesses that look like them and represent things that they’re interested in, it just sparks that interest in the future business owners for the next generation,” she said.
Shoultz started the Black Expo last year, which celebrates black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in the area.
“Sioux Falls has changed tremendously just in the last 10 years that I’ve lived here and just going downtown and not seeing representation of things that people would buy that are from my community, I thought it would be a good idea to show people that you know, these things do exist here in Sioux Falls,” Shoultz said.
She is even trying to encourage her fellow business owners to take the leap from online to a physical store.
“To show other people that you know, anything is possible,” she said.
Coco’s Lollishop is inside the strip mall along Minnesota Avenue between 29th and 31st Streets.
Shoultz said she wanted the name of her business to be “fun and flirty.”
“I thought of lollipop and if you’re shopping and then Lollishop,” she said. “And then Coco’s is just a popular colloquialism in the urban community.”
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