By Hannah Werle
Warren, Ohio — After spending years in Florida, Warren native Markisha Parker returned home to open Above Average Boutique, a clothing store and sewing that celebrated its grand opening Friday with a ribbon cutting.
Parker opened her first business, Sew Innovative Fashion Academy in Jacksonville, Fla., in 2018. With the onslaught of COVID-19, she moved home and decided to start another business where she grew up. Above Average Boutique had a soft opening May 25.
Parker took over the space, 2153 Youngstown Road, from her mother. She spent nearly $3,500 on renovations. She would like to extend her space in the rear of the store to provide both retail and sewing and fashion classes.
Parker’s goal is to bring her sewing classes from appointment only to walk-in ready. She currently offers intensive two-day classes by appointment for around $350. She plans to soon start regular classes for kids, starting at about $25 per class.
“I’ve always wanted to give back to the youth,” Parker says. “I mostly teach kids sewing classes and to make their own apparel, and teach them the business side of it. I wanted to bring back to the community where I grew up.”
Parker tries to sell mostly high-end fashion for affordable prices. Her target customers are mothers, she said, who want to “look cute…and want to be affordable.”
She would eventually like to start and sell her own fashion line at her store.
Parker’s father, Franky Parker, is thrilled to see his daughter working hard to open a business in an area “where folks really don’t want to open a business.” He believes in supporting local business and is proud to see his daughter giving back to her community.
Pictured: Markisha Parker, holding the scissors, celebrates the ribbon cutting for Above Average Boutique with her family and friends.
Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.