Quantcast

How This Boutique Owner Is Rebuilding After Looting Destroyed Her Business

Princess Pope is working to unify entrepreneurs to come back stronger and better than before.

BOSS UP

When Princess Pope opened her Dallas store eight years ago, she wanted to provide a space where chic, fashion-forward men and women could come to shop, vibe, and find common ground. She built an IG following of more than 25,000 followers, launched pop-ups to expand the brand, and worked to motivate others to pursue entrepreneurship through speaking and advocacy. Her store joined the ranks of more than 12 million women-owned enterprises killing the game, and she also became part of a tribe of the fastest-growing entrepreneur group in the country as a black female CEO.

"I'm originally from California and had a boutique there for five years," Pope recalled during an exclusive xoNecole interview. "I visited Dallas and I just fell in love with it. I knew that with my next store, I wanted to serve both men and women, that way we would be marketing to [everyone], and that's when Guns and Roses Boutique came about. I found the perfect location in downtown Dallas, and we just took off. We've catered to the Dallas Mavericks, the Cowboys, and a bunch of different entrepreneurs. We are fashion, entertainment and retail therapy rolled up into one giant space."

With the support of loyal customers, friends, and extended family, Pope was able to sustain a successful retail business. The graduate of LA's Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising was finally doing her thing, realizing her dream of being her own boss, and on the glow-up---until about a week ago.

A peaceful protest in the downtown and Deep Ellum districts had reportedly been held during the day, but by nightfall, nearby shops were ransacked. Pope returned to her business only to find that it was among those that had been vandalized and looted.

"When I got to the store, it was so devastating," she said. "It was really bad. Glass was still dripping from the front window as I walked in. They wiped out everything. I was so sad. I just stood in the middle of the store watching how all my hard work had gone down the drain in a matter of minutes."

Image Courtesy of Princess Pope

We can all agree that the past few months have been more than tough. Besides COVID-19 still lurking around, the current climate has been filled with unrest, fear, uprising, and challenges after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died during a Minneapolis arrest at the hands of a white police officer. Despite the unity and vitality of peaceful demonstrations, counter-elements have emerged, negatively affecting minority businesses that were already hit hard by months of being closed.

"We have been working so hard on growing and ramping up and then COVID-19 hit, and now this," Mahisha Dellinger, the CEO of CURLS and a mentor to Pope, said in a statement. "When I heard her voice, I knew I had to rally my city around her to support. I am so proud of the outpouring that's happening, yet so utterly disappointed that we are here in the first place."

Dellinger, along with other family, friends and community supporters have rallied behind Pope in the form of emotional, financial and resource support. "There were four fake GofundMe pages going around before we made our own. My sister found them and she said, 'Princess, we need to make our own so people know who the real business is,'" Pope said.

"Our supporters wanted to pour back into us, so we gave them an avenue in which they can. There were so many people who wanted to help, so the page was set up so they can do just that. It's not just about a dollar-amount. It's that someone is saying, 'I see you, and I care.'"

Image Courtesy of Princess Pope

Like any smart business owner, Pope said she has insurance, but it could take weeks--even months---for relief. She said she has also reported the incident to local authorities, and again, an investigation takes time. "We've been closed since March 17, and we were set to reopen [a few days ago]. Now that won't happen. I go to trade shows all over the world to [fill inventory] and I can't just take one day to fill my store back up. It will take months for me to even recover the inventory."

Pope is grateful that her community chose to stand with her to raise funds and show both emotional and monetary support so that she could get back to what she loves and serve the community that has supported her for so many years. Her GoFundMe campaign has already topped the $100,000 mark, surpassing the goal.

"We've received a lot of donations so we will be donating to five other small businesses that have been affected by the looting. There are two [neighboring] businesses in particular on Commerce Street that I definitely want to donate to. People have helped me, and I want to extend that [giving] to other businesses."

Image Courtesy of Princess Pope

Dallas Boutique Owner Talks Rebuilding After Looting Destroyed Her Business

For other small business owners who are facing challenges, Pope offered the following three tips:

Pause and reevaluate. "Sometimes when you can't do anything, you just have to stand. Be still for a little bit and rethink what's going on," she advised.

Tap into support from right in your backyard. "Stay close to those who believe in you and support you. Hold on and stay tight with your community."

Partner up with other organizations and businesses. "The support I have received from the city of Dallas and the people near and far has really helped me to get through these days," Pope added. "I am super grateful to everyone who has reached out---donating, offering a lending hand. The support has been amazing. We're standing strong, and I know that we will be back bigger, bolder, and better than before."

For more information on how you can support Pope and her plans for rebuilding, visit Guns and Roses Boutique's Instagram or Website.

Featured Image via Instagram/PrincessTheCEO

You know what? Sometimes, you've got to push a few coins aside and determine in your mind that you're going to invest into your sex life (if you had a sex jar, this would be easier to do, by the way. You can read more about what that is all about here). If you're someone who is totally down to do that, but you don't have a clue where to begin, boy have you come to the right place! Between the joy of being a writer who sometimes gets samples sent to me, the constant research that I do for the couples I work with and having folks shout-out certain items semi-often, I've compiled a list of 12 sex-related items that may seem random AF (a pun is kind of intended there) and, at the same time, can make sex so much better between you and your partner. Where's your pad at? You're definitely gonna wanna take note.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine about someone who once told me that they had an annual week-long summer rendezvous that lasted for over 15 years with someone else. Yep — this individual would meet up with another person who lived in a different state, solely to have sex for a week straight, and then return to their city as if nothing ever happened. According to them, the only reason why this ritual romp eventually came to an end is because the other person decided to get serious about someone else; however, it wasn't until it ended that the person who told me the story realized how attached they actually had become to their sex partner (a cautionary tale). After I completed my lil' tale, my friend simply said, "Oh, I do that s — t every cuffing season. There are some people who I only talk to around this time of year, we f — k around and then that's that until the season comes around again."

Keep reading... Show less

How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks about love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.

When it comes to sexuality, there have always been societal limitations centered on what is "acceptable." However, with more honest conversations about how fluid sexuality and sexual expression can be, now there are so many more opportunities for self-exploration and taking back ownership of our identities again. One couple that is living their truth and being sexual beings unapologetically while living and loving their lives are Jasmine Johnson and King Noire.

Keep reading... Show less

I'm so excited because one of my favorite unscripted shows is back. OWN's Ready to Love is a dating series that follows professionals over 30, looking for long-lasting relationships. Hosted by Nephew Tommy, it follows singles who desire true connections and are grouped together to find them.

Keep reading... Show less

Social media influencer and actress Tabitha Brown has garnered viral fame through her inspirational and vegan videos on Instagram, thanks to her cheerful personality and infectious smile. Now, she is entering a new phase in her life as an author. The 42-year-old released Feeding the Soul on Sept. 28 and recently shared an emotional video of herself after finding out her book was number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Jill Scott Talks Balance, 'Highway To Heaven' & Not Burning Herself Out To Produce

In this exclusive, the actress dishes on executive producing the reboot, and balancing business and motherhood.

Latest Posts