KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Zona Rosa welcomed two new Black, women-owned businesses on Saturday.
Sydni Russell unveiled her store, Jill Marie Boutique filled with mommy and baby clothing and accessories.
“Jill Marie is my daughters middle name. My mom who passed away is named Jill and my fiancé’s grandma’s name is Marie who passed away as well, so it definitely has a meaning," Russell said.
Russell created her business in October, selling her items online and at pop-up stores throughout the Kansas City area.
Opening her own store was an idea that came to Russell during the COVID-19 pandemic. While she had feelings of hesitancy, she took a leap of faith.
“The whole pandemic honestly was a huge reason of why I started the business because I had been thinking about doing it and it just showed me that tomorrow is not promised and things may not always be the way they’ve always been and so, why wait," Russell said. "If you have a dream or something that you want to do, you need to just do it now."
A few stores down from Jill Marie Boutique is Fresh Factory KC.
“This really is just an opportunity to celebrate Kansas City’s fresh culture, it’s people, it’s art, in a fun concept that really is novel in many ways," India Wells-Carter said.
The event space and location for people to take photos and videos with different backdrops came to Wells-Carter in January. Nearly five months later, she opened her business to the public.
"It was nerve racking, as well as just so promising that your dreams, your ideas, they can come to life and my hope is that my short journey in entrepreneurship can inspire others to just go for it," Wells-Carter said.
They both hope to see their shops and ideas grow. However, inspiring future generations would be the true success story.
“Women rule the world, Black girl magic, 100%, and again, being able to inspire little girls no matter what their skin color is, but for those who are black or brown, your dreams can come to life, you can make it happen and people are here to support you," Wells-Carter said.