Introduce yourself and profession to our readers: My name is Shema Malika Lyons, the fearless and ambitious owner of My Closet Vault, a women's clothing boutique.
What inspired you to pursue this area of interest? In 2012, What inspired me to become a business owner was me being let go from my retail management position. I had just settled on my first home for me and my daughter and had no idea what I was going to do. After interviewing with a few retailers I knew I had to start my own business. I was overqualified, and the salary offers did not match the lifestyle I had built for myself and my daughter. So, I started selling on Ebay, and I’ve been self-employed since.
What advice would you share with those interested in a similar pursuit? My advice to anyone who is interested in opening a boutique is read and educate yourself. Network, go to trade shows, they have so much free information out there. Join Facebook groups engage in conversations. Also, don't be afraid to go to those free networking seminars that you know they only want to sell you something trust me you get a lot out of those, and you never know who you may meet.
Discuss a professional challenge and how you overcame it: A professional challenge is family and learning how to balance both. I believe you have to have a strong and supportive family. I only have one child that is 21 and away at college so that gives me a lot of space to work and travel. However my love life is kind of upside down especially because I travel a lot.
What is next for your brand/business in 2018? In 2018, I look forward to getting out speaking and discussing different aspects of the business, that I’ve learned. I would like to build a small business network helping other business owners. I’m currently the chapter president of Women By Choice Philadelphia, a women empowering networking group.
How can readers connect with you online and through social media: We love referrals, follow us on all social media @myclosetvault we are located in the Melrose Shopping Center 7402 Front St Cheltenham, Pa 19012. You can also Text MCV to 51660 to stay up to date