Boutique is surviving in the eye of the storm
The MSR recently caught up with Willie Frazier, owner of Finish Touch Boutique. The shop, located near George Floyd Square on 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in South Minneapolis, has faced its challenges but is surviving one of the most turbulent years in Minneapolis history.
Find an excerpt of Willie Frazier’s (WF) conversation with MSR contributing writer Nikki Love below.
MSR: How has your business fared during the pandemic and civil unrest?
WF: It’s been slow, and I only get out-of-town business. People have been skeptical about coming around since the George Floyd murder. Business seems to be picking up due to the summer approaching.
MSR: How did you get into business?
WF: I was selling regular clothes until the tragedy happened. When George Floyd lost his life in the square [George Floyd Square], I started making and selling George Floyd t-shirts—unfortunately, the incident happened about half a block from my establishment. That’s how my t-shirt business came about.
MSR: What advice would you have for others thinking about going into business?
WF: Believe in yourself, do your homework, and make sure you figure out if you’re able. With every business, you’re taking a risk. My main advice is to believe in yourself and do your homework.
MSR: What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you opened your business?
WF: Patience with customers because you have all different types of customers, and with my business my customers are different. Some are remorseful, touchy, hurt, and come with a lot of chaos. Some need a hug, and some you have to calm down. I’m learning how to be patient with them. The biggest thing in running a business is patience.
MSR: What’s your most popular?
WF: George Floyd t-shirts are my most popular items.
MSR: Why do you think that is?
WF: George Floyd is the one who is changing the world for Black folks and everyone wants a piece of that history.
MSR: What sets your business apart from similar businesses?
WF: Lots of businesses sell t-shirts, but I make personalized t-shirts on the spot. Customers have a chance to select what they want, and it can be put on a t-shirt.
MSR: Is there anything that I did not mention that you would like to add?
WF: I have been mentoring the youth on how to run a business. It’s been going well; I would like to take it to another level by helping open a store. I would be there to consult and mentor but let them do their own thing. I’m trying to do something for the youth from age 8-15. Thank you for your support!
Finish Touch Boutique is located at 3727 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis, 55407. For more info, visit finishtouchboutique.com or call 612-607-9341.
Finish Touch Boutique is one of several Black businesses near George Floyd Square that have joined together to bring attention to and gather support for their plight at the shutdown intersection. The group, known as 38th Street Black Business Collective, has started a GoFundMe page at bit.ly/GFSBlackBusiness.