The first Black woman-owned shoe store opened its doors in Northtown Mall to welcome shoppers with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday afternoon.
Customers crowded “Boss Lady Shoetique” as the owner, Brittney Kline, welcomed shoppers for the first time.
If you take a walk in Kline’s shoes, you’ll find her journey came with ups and downs.
“It’s been a struggle, but it’s been fun. We ended up here today so I’m really excited,” Kline, Boss Lady Shoetique CEO, said. “I lost my job this past fall. And that really just made me want to go harder to my entrepreneurship.”
Boss Lady Shoetique started as an online business in 2019.
Kline wanted to go bigger so she brought her store to life making history as the first Black woman to open a shoe store in Northtown Mall.
“It also has made me a little bit nervous in terms of location because you don’t know how you’re going to be perceived or how you will be accepted,” Kline said.
Kline explained while living in Anoka County, representation was hard to come by.
“Definitely inspired me and it has made me work a little bit harder,” Kline said.
She said Black business owners were far and few between and she’s hoping to change the narrative.
“I came here for years shopping here at the mall and never had any stores owned by people that looked like me,” Michell Denard, Brittney’s mom, said.
Kline’s mom watched her daughter’s dream become a reality.
“I’m glad that Northtown Mall gave my daughter that opportunity because now people can come in and see ‘oh, she did it. I can do it as well,’” Denard said.
“We need exposure in every area of life. So if we can have you in the mall where we have most of our young kids are hanging out on a Saturday, the exposure is free so why not?” Kiara Clark, a shopper, said.
Family and friends call Kline an inspiration for opening a store that encourages young kids of color they can walk in her shoes one day and do the same.
“Nothing comes easy. You have to work for it and that’s the example that I want to show them that it wasn’t easy, but you can do it,” Kline said.
Boss Lady Shoetique is located in Northtown Mall next to the Becker Furniture Outlet.