Fairview’s donated space allows young entrepreneurs to expand their shop


Fairview Health Services CEO Rulon F. Stacey, center of the back row, along with Sisterhood Boutique employees at their grand re-opening.

A building that has been a fixture on Riverside Avenue for 125 years has a new life. Fairview has donated storefront space in the Smiley’s Point building so young entrepreneurs can expand their successful venture.

The Sisterhood Boutique was developed by East African teens and young women who reside in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis and participate in the Brian Coyle Center Youth Entrepreneurship Program.

More than a year ago, program participants decided they wanted to build something positive in the neighborhood for other girls and women. They began planning to open a boutique selling gently-used women’s clothing.

Donating needed space

After a successful Grand Opening in February at the African Development Center, Fairview Health Services stepped forward to donate needed additional space.

“We had an empty storefront in just the right place for them,” says Fairview President and CEO Rulon F. Stacey. “Our mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve. One way to do that is to promote a convenient, safe, vibrant place for people to work and shop.”

The Sisterhood Boutique is located near the West Bank of University of Minnesota Medical Center. The store celebrated its re-launch on June 25.

“Fairview’s willingness to be a leader and open their doors has truly inspired our youth to do even more; it has begun drawing more youth to join the venture and it has helped attract even more businesses, corporations and individuals to support the vision of this boutique,” says Brian Coyle Director Amano Dube.

Learning skills, benefiting the community

The girls are learning skills for use in the future, while benefiting the community today. Their work on the project focuses on personal and professional development, women and youth empowerment and business skills ranging from customer service to event planning.

The colorful variety of clothing and accessories in various styles and sizes provides affordable clothing options for the students and others in the neighborhood. People can support the effort by shopping at the store, or donating gently-used clothing.

Location: 2200 Riverside Ave., Minneapolis

Regular Hours:

Mondays: 4−7 p.m.
Wednesdays-Fridays: 4−7 p.m.
Saturdays: 12–5 p.m.

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