E'tali's Thrift Store Boutique is celebrating its first anniversary in business along Lilburn's Main Street.
Owner Kimra Kimbrough is a lifelong resident of the area, and wanted to start the business as a way to better the community through fashion and art. It has been difficult, she said, to drum up local traffic to the business.
Still, she says, "just to be here in the city for a year is a big deal."
To help make it all work, Kimbrough has found other ways to grow support for her vision, including doing personal styling for red carpet events. She then turns around, and puts that money back into her business, including giving back with her nonprofit Kultural Love Fusion and renovating the 100-year-old house that her business is located in.
Lilburn-Mountain Park Patch caught up with fashionista and entrepreneur to talk about her work and her goals for the future.
Patch: Why is fashion, specifically your thrift business model, important?
Kimbrough: "Fashion to me, it kind of makes or breaks you. When you look good you feel good, so why not feel good for a fraction of the cost."
Patch: Specifically, what got you interested in fashion?
Kimbrough: "I call myself a fusion artist, and that's something that no one could take away from me – my fashion."
Patch: What was your epiphany to start your business and nonprofit?
Kimbrough: "I think I've always had that idea. I've always liked recycling. I just think that’s the way of the future."
Patch: Why the focus now on the nonprofit?
Kimbrough: "I started this two years ago, but I'm just putting this into the public eye now... It seems like I'm rolling really slow, but it's just a build up."
Patch: How do you get others to see this vision of fashion?
Kimbrough: "By teaching... I have volunteers that come into the shop, students, and sometimes we have photos shoots, and sometimes we style, and they learn how to work in the store, and it's not jut fashion; it's also furniture...
"A lot of the things today that are are made for teenagers are so inappropriate. It just shows skin; it doesn’t show them as a person… It just misrepresents a person, and learning how to represent yourself through fashion I think is a good thing."
Patch: Where do you see your business/nonprofit going?
Kimbrough: "My vision is just building a community that is very positive and showing that we can just create a better future."
Meet the owner and see the business during this weekend's Lilburn Daze festival. The store, located at 112 Main Street, will have its one-year celebration from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Oct. 13.
To learn more about the nonprofit Kultural Love Fusion, which uses art and fashion to bring people together, check out the Facebook page. Donations also are accepted; email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.