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    Helping East African women in Minneapolis redesign their social enterprise

    Day 43

    Sisterhood Boutique

    Everyone needs a space to call their own. Especially young people. But for the young women of the East African community in Minneapolis, there just aren’t a lot of places where they can be themselves. Enter Sisterhood Boutique.

    “Young women didn’t have space in the community,” said Yasameen, one of the Boutique’s longtime employees. “The guys were taking over the sports, computers, etc…those types of spaces.”

    Founded by women of the East African community, Sisterhood Boutique is a social enterprise run mostly by women. They sell gently used clothing – and all for under $12.

    When the store opened four years ago, the girls chose a bright purple paint for the walls that made a statement. But now, they want something different – something more neutral that will make space for them to be creative in other ways. So for Day 42, and in partnership with The Progressive North, we’re helping the girls get a jump start on their new vision.

    Along with some amazing volunteers from ARC and The Progressive North, we painted their entire main retail room, the fitting room, and the hallway leading to the other rooms – each area was painted a pure white. Now the customers who walks through these rooms will feel a sense of freshness and openness.

    Everyone was so pleased with the white. It was a breath of fresh air – and a totally new look.

    When Yasameen first walked in after the purple walls had disappeared, she was amazed. “It looked like a fresh start,” she said. “It was breathtaking – nice and light and bright.”

    The paint refresh was just the first step on our journey with the ladies of Sisterhood Boutique, as we work with them to redesign their space. Stay tuned as we continue to work together, helping these entrepreneurial young women create a space that’s as amazing as they are.

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