Entrepreneur Shares Her Sense of Envious Style
Raushona JenkinsHarris has a motto: “Why envy me, when they can envy you?” Her envious sense of fashion style, combined with her nickname –NV—led her to open NVme Boutique in University City.
Raushona JenkinsHarris always wanted to open a clothing store.
"Since I was a little girl, I just shopped, shopped, shopped," she said. “People would say, 'I envy you! I love those shoes,'” and ask her where she found her great clothes."
JenkinsHarris now shares her fashion sense through her boutique, NVme Boutique on 7809 Olive Blvd.
Her store carries women’s fashions, handbags, accessories and shoes. She also has a custom line of potpourri, scented oils and Shea butter lotions that she creates herself. None of her clothing is priced over $60 and the priciest item in the shop are her travel bags, marked at $150.
She will be moving the boutique to a larger store at the corner of Delmar and Hamilton this spring. The plaza, Gotham Annex, is currently under construction.
The new location will have 2,400 square-feet, more than twice the size of her current shop. The extra room will not only allow her to display more clothing, but it will give her the space needed to expand into menswear. She said her backroom is overflowing with clothes she can’t fit into her current showroom.
JenkinsHarris travels to California and New York to bring back the perfect fashions for her boutique. But unlike other stores that try to sell their customers a packaged look, JenkinsHarris wants her customers to find their own style from her shop.
“We want you to put your own style together and stand out in your world,” she said.
“When I started, I aimed for the younger generation—college students. Now I see a mix, from school aged girls to 45,” she said. “At this point I want to step my game up and bring the flavor to all ages.”
NVme Boutique also carries a wide selection of sizes, up to 3X. JenkinsHarris knows that plus sized women want to look good too.
“I used to be somewhat plus size," she said. "I’ve had four kids!”
JenkinsHarris opened the store in 2011 after returning to St. Louis. She said she left town when she was 18 and spent several years traveling the country with her Navy husband. Now that he’s retired from the military they’ve settled down once again.
“Military life took me to so many places,” she said.
She plans to turn her experience into a self-published book that she’ll offer at the boutique this summer. The autobiographical book will share her life story combined with her struggles and success as an independent business woman.