I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida - a once sleepy town on the west coast of the Sunshine State. In 1991 my mom opened her first retail shop (a consignment shop) in our dying downtown core. She helped pioneer the small business culture we see there now. She spent several years as President of the Downtown Business Association, advocating for life to be brought back to our once vibrant city center. I grew up watching this and realizing that even the smallest of businesses can have a real impact on the world around us.
Fast forward 20 years, I opened my own store, MISRED Outfitters, just a few blocks where my mom had thrived. With $17,000 in savings, I started on my own small business journey. When MISRED opened, my block was the quintessential artist district and MISRED was its flagship vintage shop. Eventually, as the block got busier, I did whatever I could to keep up. I tried clothing design, opening off site buying offices to focus on online sales, floor change planning, and distribution. I opened, then closed, a second location across town. All of those growth plans turned out to be stifling. But, I never gave up.
Over time, St. Pete changed and I saw an opportunity to change as well. Today MISRED is an all new clothing boutique, specializing in everyday clothing and handmade accessories for women of all ages. The change in concept worked for us. Now, the company has doubled in size, has a thriving online store, and is making over a million dollars a year in revenue. More importantly, I am an active participant in my community. I’m helping create real sustainable change for the people who live in my, now not so sleepy, Sunshine City.