If you are looking for comfortable fashion with a casual appearance that will help you keep up with the “in” crowd, Urban 29 may just be the clothing store for you. Owned by Joyce Saunders, the store, located near Chicago Avenue and Lake Street in South Minneapolis, opened its doors in July of last year.
“I have had other retail stores, but I got the idea for this one about five years ago,” Saunders stated. “It’s a product of the vision I want to provide for the community, a nice, clean, professional “for us by us” kind of thing. Nobody is left out, though. I want to set the stage for Black owners who can accommodate any look.
“People assume that when you go to a smaller store it doesn’t have the quality of other stores, Saunders said, “but that’s not true. My store has the same quality and look as most department stores.”
She emphasized that the process of opening a Black business includes “a lot of planning, goal-setting and saving. One of the main obstacles for Black business is startup capital. “I started small, literally in the trunk of my car selling items. Later I did vendor shows and saved while still working jobs. It’s really about following your vision and saving the little money you have. I did it without a business loan or grant.”
Urban 29 has everything from jogging suits and tracksuits to button-ups, jeans, hats, boots, and casual wear. Its fashion appeals to practically everyone regardless of age.
A customer volunteered, “It’s a cute clothing boutique that has men’s and women’s clothing. Everything is so cute. The owner is always nice and helpful.”
“We basically follow a lot of the trends in the fashion industry,” Saunders emphasized, “a lot from the hip hop world and streetwear. Some things never go out of style. A lot of the items are trendy, but at the same time we can accommodate a mature, classy audience.” Saunders pointed out that one of the biggest selling clothing lines in Urban 29 is BlacLeaf, designed by a Black clothing designer in Miami. “The main thing about Blac Leaf is that it’s Black-owned and Black-designed. We were one of the first stores to carry him.”
Urban 29 also carries other Black clothing lines such as T.I.’s AKOO (A King Of Oneself), Streets Is Watching and RedTag, which are clothing designs out of New York, and Chris Brown’s Pyramid. Urban29 also has its own official clothing line. Saunders welcomes other up-and-coming Black clothing lines for opening slots to display and showcase their products. “When you are local and starting out, you are not in a position to wholesale,” she explained. “We offer competitive prices.
“Even if you don’t spend, just come see,” said Saunders, whose long-term goal is expanding to other locations, including North Minneapolis, St. Paul and surrounding areas.
Urban29 is located at 804 East Lake Street in Minneapolis. They can be reached at their 612-824-4122 store line, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also on Instagram urban29_, and Facebook (Urban 29 clothing).
Website address: urban29fashion.com.